Body Back News
What is a Trigger Point?People suffering from myofascial pain may experience a limited range of motion and targeted pain from a knot in the muscle called a ‘trigger point’, that form in a muscle when it is unable to relax. Trigger points cause both pain in a pinpointed area of a muscle, as well as referred pain, which occurs outside the trigger point by irritating the nerves around it.
Trigger points are the root cause behind myofascial pain which affects most people at some point in their lives.
Available Treatment OptionsLuckily, there are a variety of options to help with managing, or even relieving persistent trigger point pain. The best option for your needs depends on your budget, schedule, threshold of pain, and overall health.
Massage therapy is one of the more affordable options to manage trigger point pain. Any licensed physical therapist,or massage therapist will physically ‘work out’ the knot to release tension from the inflamed muscle. The therapist will either apply pressure with a tool or their hands to warm the body increase blood circulation, and release the knot.
Another less costly approach is to do it yourself. You can use a massage tool to relieve trigger point pain, especially for frequently occurring pain.
Manual massage tools like the Body Back Buddy are specifically designed to reach any area on your body, even hard to reach areas like the neck and back. Relieve tension by applying the appropriate amount of pressure using any of the 11 knobs on the tool. The knobs come in 3 shapes--acorn for deep tissue relief, round for all over massage and nubs for lower spine. The 11 knobs are arrayed strategically along the 27" frame to access every trigger point and provide all over muscle pain relief.
Self massage tools are the perfect option to relieve pain between appointments with a therapist.
Download our free trigger point guide!
Trigger Point Injections
Trigger point injections are another way to solve trigger point pain. This treatment requires a doctor to administer an injection of either saline or a local anesthetic to treat the inflamed area. The injection relieves the inflamed muscle and the relief can be instantaneous.
Continuous treatments can help alleviate pain, but the frequency of a trigger point injection is dependent on the medication in the injection. If a steroid injection is used then appointments must be spaced out to avoid muscle shrinkage, which can be a side effect of steroid usage. If the injection is anesthetic, then appointments can be scheduled more frequently.
These injections can treat pain in muscle groups such as the back, neck, and legs. In some cases where a steroid medication is used, a shrinkage of fat can occur underneath the skin, leaving a visible mark on the injection site. Other common side effects that may occur include infection, bruising, and bleeding.
Dry NeedlingAnother approach is ‘Dry Needling’. This treatment is often referred to as the “deepest tissue release” because a solid needle is inserted directly into the muscle to stimulate the muscle tissue. The needles penetrate the sore muscles and cause relaxation, which relieves even the most persistent pain.
This process can damage the muscle tissue but will also encourage healing by promoting blood flow to the affected area. The needle is a foreign object inserted into your body, so your immune system will activate and a natural inflammatory reaction will occur. The intensity of pain you feel will depend on your threshold. Dry needling causes a twitching sensation, which can feel like a muscle cramp.
The aftereffects of this treatment are commonly some mild soreness and bruising.
What Will Work Best for You?
While there are options available to treat trigger point pain, there is no one treatment that is guaranteed to work over another - only you can know what works best for your body's needs. We recommend starting with a manual massage tool, which is currently the most inexpensive and convenient option, and working from there to find which treatment will best relieve your trigger point pain.
Best Back Massagers of 2019
A sedentary lifestyle has become one of the leading causes of chronic health conditions. Among the growing list of conditions, chronic back pain is one of the most common reasons for visiting a doctor. Back pain may seem unprovoked, but there are various underlying reasons which can lead to discomfort in the spinal, lumbar or cervical spines. Two of the most common causes of back pain can be found in the average person's daily life: sleeping in an awkward position, and sitting for long hours.
Owning a massage tool can provide the comfort of immediate relief when you need it, without the cost, time, and stress of making an appointment with a massage or physical therapist. Incorporating a small massage tool routine can help alleviate existing pain, improve blood circulation, reduce muscle tension, and provide preventive therapeutic treatment to help stave off crippling health problems for a lifetime.
Here's a quick look at are some of the best back massagers available in 2019:Comfier Shiatsu Neck & Back MassagerRollingRenpho Rechargable Handheld MassagerHandheldSnailax Massage Mat with HeatMatBody Back Company's Buddy Trigger Point Self-Massage ToolManualSHAPEChair Back MassagerHandheld MassagerMassage MatCane MassagerCONSTRUCTION8 massaging rollers5 nozzles: Two 3-heads, 1 round head , 1-point head, curved head2 heating pads, soft polyester11 therapy knobsAPPLICATIONBack, Lumbar regionBack, Shoulders, Neck, Lumbar regionBack, Neck, Lumbar region, LegsBack, Lumbar region, Neck, LegsType OF MASSAGEShiatsu, HeatVibrationVibration, HeatShiatsuOPERATIONElectricElectricElectricManualFUNCTIONALITY
- Adjustable flaps
- Air massage function
- Three intensity variations
- Cordless and rechargeable
- 3600 pulses per minute
- Simple 4 button control
- 10 vibration massage nodes
- 4 massage zones
- 5 programmable massage modes
WEIGHT24 pounds3.4 pounds4.9 pounds1.2 poundsPROS
- Lightweight and portable
- Poster and instructions included
- Washable/detachable flaps
- Convenient design
- Various massage options with included heads
- Easy storage
- Auto-Off feature
- S-shaped design can reach any area
- No power required
- Convenient to use and store
- Difficult to transport
- Limited to 2 areas
- Weight can quickly wear out arms
- Must be charged
- Short reach hinders massage capabilities
- Plush fabric can ruin over time
- Overall weaker massage
OUR VERDICTWill be most appreciated by savvy multi-taskersProvides the ideal massage for overworked and tired musclesPerfect for those who just want to relaxEasy-to-use and the most effective for deep relief anytimeA Deeper Look: Finding the Right Back Massager for You
- May require short adjustment period
Shape and construction, massage type, functionality, and weight should be the main deciding factors when looking for a tool that fits your lifestyle.
Shape and Construction
The construction and shape of a back massager directly impacts how it can be used. It's important to be realistic about which type of tool you can foreseeably incorporate into your lifestyle. Generally, back massagers are equipped with rollers for the back, and vibration motors for the neck and spine. Models with massage nodes and spikes are meant for a more relaxing and rejuvenating massage. The more rollers, spines, and motors a massager has, the larger area it will cover with less targeted relief . Chair massage models can be convenient because they're designed for a sitting massage - leaving you hands-free and able to freely work. Cane and handheld models are best for pin-pointing areas that need deep tension relief, and can apply more force than most other models, with the former being able to withstand virtually any exertion of pressure.
Most massagers are designed to reduce tension in your back and lumbar zone, but some models are multi-functional and can be used for massaging your neck, shoulders, and even legs.
Having a brief understanding of massage techniques can help in picking the right tool for your body’s needs.
- Shiatsu: Based on massaging with fingers and thumbs. Helps to eliminate stress and muscle fatigue for a feeling of complete relaxation.
- Rolling: Most effective for people engaged in intense physical activity. Rotating movements can restore muscular activity and encourage elasticity in back muscles.
- Vibration: Improves blood circulation, blood supply, and mobility of neck and back muscles. Enriches oxygen by increasing blood flow, improves vital actions, and reduces overall fatigue..
- Heated: Encourages faster muscle recovery and elasticity, provides soothing relaxing effect, and enhances blood circulation.
- Acupressure: Targets zones on the back and neck by with spikes. Restores blood circulation and is useful for both sensory endings and total relaxation.
Functionality and Weight
The functionality of a tool is dependent on its requirements to be used and maintained. An electric massager will need to be plugged into a wall outlet or charged before it can be used. While they're highly-functional, maintenance can be extreme and require prior knowledge of electronics or maintenance fees, unless they're under warranty. Handheld massagers are basic yet practical because they aren't restrained to an outlet, and often require little to no maintenance. Depending on your upper body strength, the weight of a handheld massager will affect the duration of a massage. If you're planning on purchasing a handheld tool, it is recommended to find one that can be comfortably supported, without muscle strain, for a reasonable amount of time.
Comfier Shiatsu Neck & Back MassagerCONSTRUCTION8 massaging rollersА+Massage TypeShiatsu kneading massage, Soothing heat therapyА+WEIGHT24 poundsА-
Shape and ConstructionThe Comfier Shiatsu back massager can easily accommodate any seat, making it the perfect addition to your favorite chair at home. It features 4 (8 total) independent heated rollers sectioned around your back and neck that knead and soothe any persistent aches. The rollers imitate the Shiatsu massage technique and provide all over body relief in an ergonomic sitting position in the seat of your choice.
Massage TypeThe replicated Shiatsu kneading effect shares the most resemblance of any technique to a manual massage session. This rolling massage has positive effects on muscles by improving their elasticity, and has been proven as one of the best options to those who experience regular muscle loading. In tandem with heat therapy, it increases blood circulation and provides the user with relaxation and healing all in one convenient sitting.
FunctionalityIts seated design was created for multi-taskers who want a relaxing massage while lounging about, or seated at work. The detachable covers make it easy to go from intense kneading to alleviate deep knots, to a softer massage catered towards soothing relaxation.
Renpho Rechargeable Handheld MassagerCONSTRUCTION5 nozzles: Two 3-heads, round head , 1-point head, curved headА+Type of massageVibration massageАWEIGHT3.4 poundsАShape and Construction
Fitted with 5 interchangeable nozzles: 3-sphere massaging node to cover large zones of your back, pin-point massaging node to alleviate deep tension, curved head for limbs, and a round head for an everyday massage.Massage Type
Effortlessly targets areas on the neck and shoulder, and can even reach the hard to reach area between your shoulder blades. The vibrations ease muscle tension while simultaneously improving circulation.Functionality
Fits comfortably in your hands, making targeting areas in need simple and effective. The cordless design allows for ease of use at any time.CONSTRUCTION10 vibration massage motorsА+Type of massageVibration massage, Soothing heat therapyАWEIGHT3.5 poundsАShape and ConstructionEnjoy a relaxing lie down massage on a soft, plush polyester padded mat that can be folded and taken anywhere. Its 10 vibrating motors provide an effective full body massage which improves blood circulation and relieves tension, leaving you feeling rejuvenated and re-energized.Massage TypeThis model is perfect for a full body massage to target any and all sections that need tension relief. It’s created with any user in mind, from those who enjoy vigorous exercise to people who find themselves sitting the majority of the time. Its soothing heat therapy improves blood circulation, muscle elasticity, and enriches visceral organs with oxygen.FunctionalityEquipped with a corded remote, it features 5 pre-programmed variable massage modes with 3 intensity speeds to pinpoint your ideal massage. It includes an overheating protection system designed to shut off after 30 minutes of activity, making it the perfect option for people looking to transition from a relaxing massage to a nap without worry.CONSTRUCTION11 therapy knobsА-Massage typeShiatsu kneading massageАWEIGHT1.2 poundsА+Shape and ConstructionThis highly-functional back and neck massager cane is fitted with 11 therapy knobs - perfect for a full body massage to target trigger points for deep relief from tension pain. The knobs are strategically designed and placed to easily reach any zone in need of relief. The unique S-shape allows for self-massaging in hard to reach areas such as the neck and back which would normally require the aid of another. Each tool is proudly sourced and manufactured in the USA from premium, high-density glass-filled polypropylene which is built to endure the most intense of massages.Massage Type and Targeted ZonesThe unique design encourages versatility of use, and allows for relief from virtually any area experiencing tension pain. While smoothly gliding over the skin, it pinpoints tension to relax strained muscles while effectively improving blood circulation in the targeted zone. Intense pain from hours sitting in a chair or standing on your feet will be instantaneously relieved.FunctionalityThe simplicity and ease of use is what sets this massage tool apart from the competition. Unlike other massagers that require adapters or power, this manual massage tool can be used for a relaxing massage anywhere and anytime without any prior requirements. Its lightweight build of less than 2 pounds makes it perfect for travel, and won't drain your arm strength to ensure your ideal intensity of massage.