After nearly a month of sifting through the best neck and shoulder massagers on Amazon, and spending two weeks of thorough product research, we found 5 outstanding devices that passed and even exceeded our expectations in terms of massage quality, versatility, heat function, ease of use, warranty, and portability. From these 5, the Nekteck Shiatsu Deep Kneading Massage Pillow With Heat brought home the crown, thanks to its impressive features that effectively relieve neck pain and tension at a very affordable price.
The Nekteck neck and shoulder massager doesn’t have a rechargeable battery unlike other more expensive products. However, what it lacks in portability it makes up for in features that truly matter the most. For first-time users, it’s difficult to distinguish it from other similar yet pricier products. However, a closer examination of its features reveals that the nuances of the massage is what sets Nekteck massager apart from its competitors.
Nekteck comes with 8 deep-kneading Shiatsu massage nodes that rotate in two different directions, mimicking the actions of a massage therapist’s hands. The therapeutic heat, which is warmer than what other neck massagers provide, speeds up muscle recovery by increasing blood circulation. Most importantly, Nekteck neck massager is the only one in its category that offers three speed modes, each one providing users with a custom massage experience.
And while it lacks a rechargeable battery, the Nekteck neck and shoulder massager do have a car adapter, making it easy to charge and use this device while you’re stuck in traffic or in the middle of a long road trip.
If you prefer a neck massager with a “cordless” design that allows you to use it virtually anywhere, the truMedic Instashiatsu+ Neck And Back Massager With Heat is a better choice. It also features 8 rotating Shiatsu massage nodes that move in either direction (clockwise and counterclockwise). But unlike Nekteck which automatically shuts off after 15 minutes as an overheating protection mechanism, truMedic operates up to 20 minutes at a time.
The only two cons worth noting for truMedic is its lack of car adapter and its relatively weaker heat. However, these are minor flaws since you can easily charge the device at home before hitting the road or buy an inverter so you can charge it in the car. The heat may be lacking strength but it’s still warm enough to ease muscle pain. Best of all, it also comes with a free carry bag for easier transfer and travel.
Looking for the cheapest alternative? Try HoMedics NMS-375 Shiatsu Neck And Shoulder Massager With Heat. This massager is very lightweight and has a 2-year limited product warranty, the longest among the neck massagers we’ve reviewed. It’s also the only one that offers both vibration and Shiatsu massage (through its 2 rotating massage nodes), giving you more variety in terms of massage style.
However, with a cheaper price comes a few disadvantages. It has neither a rechargeable battery nor a car adapter usually seen in its more expensive counterparts. It also won’t work as effectively on your shoulders, back, arms, or calves unless you try a few awkward positions. Heat is also nothing to write home about. Worse, it doesn’t even light up to indicate if the heat is on.
If you’re short on budget but willing to endure all the minor inconveniences that come with it, then HoMedics NMS-375 will suit you well.
Best Neck Massagers: An Overview.
Neck pain. We’ve all experienced it at one point in our lives. For some, however, it’s becoming more like a cockroach under the fridge that just won’t die.
People who experience neck pain usually have desk jobs that keep them sitting all day everyday. They also include students who have tons of reading materials and almost no time to relax. Both groups have things in common: They have poor posture and usually spend hours hunched over their computers, resulting in neck strains or spasms that drastically affect their productivity.
A recent study reveals neck pain afflicts a lot of Americans, so much so that it accounts for more than 10 million annual medical visits in the country.
Medical interventions for neck pain are usually intended for those with a serious underlying condition. For most Americans who work in their computers, however, a good ‘ol massage is often enough to relieve the pain.
This guide provides everything you need to know about neck pain and how massage–either through the traditional way or the use of the best neck massage machine–can help you cope with it.
What Causes Neck And Shoulder Pain?
Our neck is a delicate structure that supports our head and everything inside it. It’s made of muscles, ligaments, bones, and cervical discs that all work together to ensure your neck moves and functions normally. Thus, any abnormality that affects one of these structures can lead to neck pain or stiffness.
Thus, any abnormality that affects one of these structures can lead to neck pain or stiffness.
The most common causes of neck pain include wrong sleeping position, sports-related injury, and poor posture. The last one is best exemplified by office workers or gamers who spend crazy hours in front of their computers while in a slumped position. Other
Other possible causes of neck pain are the following:
⇒Trauma from accidents; whiplash.
⇒Degenerative diseases like arthritis.
⇒Any abnormality in the neck bone or joints.
More often than not, pain in the neck also involves the shoulders as the two are connected through the trapezius muscle. The shoulder is particularly vulnerable to injuries because of the mobility of its ball and socket joint. Some of the common causes of shoulder pain include:
⇒Dislocation or fractures.
⇒Tendonitis due to overuse.
⇒Muscle strains from exercise or contact sports.
⇒Pinched nerves or radiculopathy.
Neck and shoulder pain can be easily treated with complementary therapies such as massage. In more serious cases, however, a traditional approach is required. If your neck pain persists for more than a week and is accompanied by alarming symptoms, please consult your doctor immediately.
How To Treat Neck And Shoulder Pain?
Treatment for the neck and shoulder pain depends on the severity of the condition. It can range from anti-inflammatory medications or pain relievers to surgical procedures in cases involving nerve roots or the spinal cord.
Because of the risks that go along with medications and invasive procedures, more and more patients are now resorting to complementary therapy for pain relief. This includes massage therapy given by trained therapists who know how to safely manipulate the neck and shoulder muscles.
Equally effective are devices designed to mimic the actions of the therapist’s fingers and hands. The best massager for neck and shoulder pain is lightweight and portable, providing you the convenience of getting a relaxing massage without relying on someone else’s hands.
What Is A Neck And Shoulder Massager?
According to the American Massage Therapy Association, a one-hour massage by a professional massage therapist cost $65 on average. Some spas and therapists in other US cities charge even more. The increasing cost of massage–not to mention our lack of time to visit a spa–force many to choose the next best alternative.
Neck and shoulder massagers are affordable devices (with an average price of less than $100) that are designed with different mechanisms to release muscle tension. These massagers are of two types–manual and electric.
Those in the first category are the cheapest, but require the users to have some arm mobility and flexibility. Therefore, people with severe arthritis in the arms or any condition that restrict arm movements may find it hard to use this massager.
Electric massagers are the more popular options. They run automatically and can provide shiatsu- or percussion-style massage with a click of a button. Choosing between the two types of massagers depend on what kind of massage you prefer.
Do you want full control over the intensity and doesn’t like being stuck near a power outlet just to use the device? Then manual massagers are a good fit for you. However, if you have issues with arm strength and prefers a massager that does all the hard work, then electric massagers are a better choice.
What Are The Health Benefits Of A Neck Massager?
Although more scientific data are needed to prove the effectiveness of neck massage, recent findings have been pointing towards the right direction.
In a study published in 2009 in the Clinical Journal of Pain, 64 adults who had been suffering from persistent neck pain for at least 12 weeks were given either massage or self-care book. After 4, 10, and 26 weeks, the result for each group was measured.
Those who received massage 10 times within 10 weeks reported a more significant improvement in function and symptoms than those who only received a self-care book. At the end of 26 weeks, the self-care-book group also increased their medication intake by 14%, higher than the massage group whose medication use remained the same.
This study, funded by NCCIH and done at the Group Health Center in Seattle, proved that neck massage can treat pain if done regularly.
As for the right dose of massage that is most effective in relieving pain, another study published in the Annals of Family Medicine provides an answer.
Led by Karen Sherman, senior scientific investigator at the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle, the researchers assigned 228 participants to six different groups, each varying in terms of the duration and frequency of massage they received per week.
When the results were in, they discovered that those who received an hour (60 minutes) of massage for two to three times a week were “five times as likely to have a clinically meaningful improvement in function and over twice as likely to report a clinically meaningful decrease in pain.”
How To Choose The Best Neck And Shoulder Massager: The Criteria.
To separate the wheat from the chaff, we used the same criteria that helped us tremendously in finding the best back massagers on the market. The following criteria have been chosen with the user’s satisfaction and convenience in mind–some more important than others, but all of them necessary to help us find the best neck massager.
The following criteria have been chosen with the user’s satisfaction and convenience in mind–some more important than others, but all of them necessary to help us find the best neck massager.