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Discover The Best Back Massager for Pain Relief in 2024

The Best Back Massager – Reviews for 2023

Research shows that back massagers stimulate circulation, help to improve your posture and can relax stiff muscles.

So it’s no wonder you’re shopping for one!

The market is bursting with different styles of massagers, each with their own unique set of features.

That’s why we’ve created a handy buying guide later in this article to help you understand the benefits of each feature for your back pain.

Our Top Back Massagers

In this article:

Back Massager Reviews

Finding the right tool to treat your pain can be tricky, thankfully we’ve done all the hard work for you and shortlisted the 15 best back massagers for 2023:

1. Best for Power: Theragun PRO


A PRO back massager in every sense of the word!

Theragun’s PRO device is a must-have for anyone looking for effective back pain relief products.

We recently tested the PRO and found it to be both powerful and intuitive.

Product Highlights

  • Seriously powerful
  • Adjustable arm positions and grips
  • Long battery life (swappable batteries)

Potential Weaknesses

  • Heavier than competitor tools
  • Expensive

Powering 16mm into your muscle tissue, it can handle you applying an incredible 60lbs of force without stalling.

You can choose from four adjustable arm positions and three grips, giving you various combinations to get to those hard to reach places.

It’s worth mentioning that it is the heaviest device in their range (2.9lbs). Meaning though you can treat those tricky areas, holding it in place could be tough.

Theragun Prime is lighter (2.2lbs), however you would have to compromise on the adjustable arm for hitting the spot.

The PRO has variable speed options and ships with six heads, including the thumb attachment specially designed for your lower back.

Choose your settings on the OLED screen or sync with the Therabody app, where you can control your device and have access to massage programs created to treat back pain.

Investing in the PRO also means you’ll never run out of power:

It ships with two swappable batteries, totaling an amazing 300 minutes of battery life.

We reviewed Theragun’s latest range, and found the PRO to a real contender when it comes to back pain tools.

If you’re familiar with their devices, then you may know them for being noisy, however the new technology in the PRO means it’s nowhere near as loud as its predecessors.

All these features mean it does command a higher price, though thankfully there are a number of affordable Theragun alternatives, which might not quite have all the features, but still do pack a punch.

Like the iReliev Percussion Massager a little further down the article!

Our Rating: 4.5 / 5
Check out reviews

2. Best for Back & Neck Pain: Resteck Shiatsu Back Massager


A back massage machine that puts you in control

Drape around your shoulders and relax…

Resteck’s massage unit is complete with handles so you can position the device and maneuver it to reach the perfect spot.

This shiatsu massager can also be used on other areas of your body including your legs and feet.

Product Highlights

  • Use handles to position the device
  • Simple to control
  • Ships with car adapter

Potential Weaknesses

  • Requires user to apply pressure
  • Not cordless

Just four simple buttons on the device control the functions of the Resteck. However that gives you many different massage options as well as heat and vibration settings to tailor your treatment.

We love the fact that the Resteck massager is portable and can be stored in a handy carrying case so you can use it on the go.

It ships with both a wall A/C adapter as well as a car adapter so if you’re traveling between meetings and really need relief you can simply pull over, plug in your tool and away you go.

One drawback compared to other back massagers, such as the Comfier massage chair pad, is that you have to do some of the work!

Though the device is electric it’s up to you to maneuver the nodes and then hold it in place, as opposed to being able to sit back and relax.

The positioning however certainly didn’t appear to put people off:

Users commented on how well made the product felt and how it quickly became a tool they used daily.

Plus the manufacturer is so confident that it comes with a lifetime guarantee.

Our Rating: 4.1 / 5
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3. Best for Lower Back Pain: Zyllion Shiatsu Back Massage Pillow with Heat


A compact and convenient massager!

We really like the compact size of the Zyllion Shiatsu Pillow Massager with Heat and how it can easily be secured to your chair.

It’s the ideal solution for when you’re traveling as it’s just over 2 inches deep, making it a popular choice among office workers.

Product Highlights

  • Compact
  • Fits to any chair
  • Affordable

Potential Weaknesses

  • Limited massage functions

Though small in size it is still powerful:

The shiatsu massage nodes provide a deep massage and change direction every minute to mimic the hands of a real masseuse.

Some consumers felt a little frustrated by the changing direction and wished the settings could be altered to fix it in one direction.

Many others loved the style of massage and described it as the best neck massager they’d ever used (handy if you struggle with back and neck pain).

For those with sensitive back problems such as spinal stenosis, the massage was a little too powerful and they missed the ability to alter the speed.

Yet those with a long commute were grateful for this handy bag-sized product.

Looking for something a little more discreet? Take a look at the new iReliev Pillow Massager below…

Our Rating: 4.1 / 5
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4. Best for Relaxation: Aku Mat


A spiky way to soothe back pain

When you take a look at the Aku Mat it might seem a little daunting, and not like the relaxing back massager you were hoping to find.

However it has been shown to work as a muscle relaxant and pain relief tool (just two of the many acupressure mat benefits!).

Product Highlights

  • Covered in 2,170 metal spikes
  • Encourages release of endorphins
  • Relaxes the mind

Potential Weaknesses

  • Can initially be painful
  • Trickier to treat specific areas

Plus we’ve searched the market and believe it’s the best acupressure mat out there.

Covered in 2,170 tiny metal spikes, made from copper, zinc, iron, nickel and silver, it helps to increase blood flow and encourage the release of endorphins.

It’s these endorphins that help to reduce pain and evoke a sense of calm and relaxation.

Worried about lying back on a bed of spikes?

We reviewed the Aku Mat, after using it for months, and found it can be a little painful at first. However you quickly get used to the sensation and the results you experience are more than worth it!

Our Rating: 4.2 / 5
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5. Best for Your Home: iReliev Relaxable Pillow Massager


A discreet massager that will look great in your home

Place the iReliev pillow massager on your couch and no-one will ever know that the comfortable cushion is a powerful pain relief tool!

Available in four different colors, it’s one of the most attractive massage cushions on the market.

Product Highlights

  • Discreet and stylish look
  • Cordless
  • Contains infrared ceramic bulbs (for heat treatment)

Potential Weaknesses

  • Not as powerful as a handheld massager

It’s not style over substance though:

Tuck the pillow into your lower back and the circular kneading motion of the two-way massage nodes help to relieve back pain.

Enjoy the flexibility of three different speeds to reach the intensity you need.

Plus it’s cordless and rechargeable!

As if that wasn’t enough, the Relaxable pillow contains infrared ceramic bulbs that deliver penetrating heat.

Though you can expect a great massage, you won’t get the power of a percussion massager like the Theragun PRO.

On the flip side though it is really versatile, and makes the ideal low cost massage gift.

You can position it wherever you need on your back, slip it under tired legs or even ease your neck pain.

Our Rating: 4 / 5
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6. Best for Control: Miko Handheld Back Massager


A customizable massage tool you’ll love

If you really want to show back pain who’s in charge, take a look at the Miko Handheld Back Massager.

Typically with handheld massage tools, like the Mighty Bliss device below, you get one arm or stick. You use this to maneuver the nodes to where you need them.

With Miko’s Handheld Back Massager you get lengthy double arms to give you more control.

Product Highlights

  • Powerful treatment
  • Double arms for more control
  • Changeable node tips (firm, soft, heated)

Potential Weaknesses

  • Requires effort to apply pressure

You can customize your massage further by switching between the changeable node tips – Firm, Soft and Heated.

The heated tips were the ones most loved by owners of the product. They appreciated how the heat made the massage even more relaxing and helped to unwind their muscles.

Practically speaking, it folds away neatly and comes with a handy tote for storage!

You likely won’t get the intensity that other tools, such as the Resteck device, offer.

But you can experience a satisfying massage for less dollars than many of the competitors.

Our Rating: 4 / 5
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7. Best for Deep Tissue: iReliev Percussion Massager


A simple percussive massage tool

If you like the look of the Theragun PRO but want a more affordable alternative, then consider the iReliev Percussion Massager.

Product Highlights

  • Delivers a deep tissue massage
  • Includes four different attachments
  • Lightweight (1lb)

Potential Weaknesses

  • Requires good range of motion to treat back

Of course you’ll compromise on features, but you still get a powerful tool for treating your back pain.

Delivering 10mm strokes, iReliev’s massager allows you to enjoy all the benefits of percussion massage.

It ships with four different attachments including a Fork Head for the neck and spine and a Bullet Head for trigger points.

With the option of three speed settings too, it won’t simply be a device you use on your back but all over your body.

Weighing just 1lb it’s super light (especially compared to Theragun’s PRO), making it easy to maneuver it to exactly where you need treatment and then hold it in place.

Users who’d previously only known iReliev for producing some of the best TENS units, were impressed with this gun.

They described it as powerful and much quieter than other percussive massagers they’d used in the past.

Our Rating: 3.9 / 5
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8. Best for Your Office Chair: Comfier Shiatsu Back Massager Chair Pad


Enjoy the pleasure of finger pressure Shiatsu

Strap the Comfier Shiatsu massager to your chair and experience pure relaxation.

With this chair pad you get a whole host of different settings to choose from, including 2D and 3D Finger Pressure Shiatsu, air compression and a range of vibration functions.

Product Highlights

  • Fits onto any chair
  • Features 3D Finger Pressure Shiatsu setting
  • Includes Spot massage feature

Potential Weaknesses

  • Not easily portable

Finger pressure shiatsu really is as wonderful as it sounds. Four rotation massage nodes move inward and outward to give your back the deep massage it needs.

Opt for a full back, upper back or lower back then combine with air massage and heat to create a spa-like experience.

Spot massage was a favorite feature of the product, with people enjoying the relief it could provide.

Those looking for a softer massage also raved about the product and felt it was well worth the investment.

Practically, this massage pad can be fitted on to any chair so you can use it both at home and at work.

Of course, however, it’s not the most portable product.

If you want something you can use more easily on the go, then the Zyllion Shiatsu Pillow Massager would be a better option.

Our Rating: 4.2 / 5
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9. Best for Knots: Mighty Bliss Deep Tissue Electric Handheld Percussion Massager


Loosen those knots with this powerful (and affordable) handheld tool

Don’t suffer with muscle knots any longer, release them with the Mighty Bliss Percussion Massager.

It delivers a powerful 3,700 RPM, which Mighty Bliss liken to a BMW car!

Product Highlights

  • Powerful
  • Cordless
  • Good battery life

Potential Weaknesses

  • Requires good range of motion to treat lower back
  • Limited massage programs

Unlike other percussion massagers which can be a little bulky, this massager is slim and lightweight. It’s cordless too, meaning you can pop it in your bag and use it after a session at the gym.

Six different massage heads ensure that as well as your back, you can also reach other parts of your body to relieve any pain or discomfort.

Fitted with the same type of battery you now find in electric cars, it charges really quickly and can be used for 120 minutes.

If you’re interested in the iReliev Percussion Massager or the Theragun PRO, but don’t have the money to spend, this is a percussion tool that offers real bang for the buck.

Of course it doesn’t have a touchscreen or the range of different programs like the Theragun PRO, but you do get serious power and a number of different heads you can experiment with.

Deep massage fans loved how the various attachments and lightweight nature of the product meant it could get to those hard to reach places. Many even said it had quickly replaced their massage therapist.

Our Rating: 4 / 5
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10. Best for Self-Use: Thorex Back Massage Roller


A simple tool that delivers serious results

One of the most challenging things about using a back massager, is having the range of motion in your arm to get it exactly where you need it.

Thorex Back Massage Roller solves that problem…

Product Highlights

  • Offers full back coverage
  • Minimal effort for treatment
  • Doesn’t require charging

Potential Weaknesses

  • Not as powerful as a handheld massager

It looks like a really simple device, but it provides full back coverage with minimal effort.

With eight wheels that move up and down, you can enjoy a relaxing and satisfying massage.

Use the back muscle roller against the wall or on the floor, the perfect treatment option if you struggle with your range of motion.

As you’re the one applying the pressure you won’t get the deep tissue massage you’d get from a percussion device, such as the Mighty Bliss.

However, fans of this roller loved it as a recovery tool, describing how it could also be used in exercise, such as when doing squats.

They recognized the full back coverage, and how they could effectively hit the mid back, an area they’d struggled to treat with other massage products.

Our Rating: 3.8 / 5
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11. Best for Back and Legs: Therabody RecoveryAir PRO Compression Pants


An innovative approach to back pain relief

You might take one look at the RecoveryAir PRO Compression Pants, and think you’ve accidentally stumbled across a listing for a spacesuit!

However these compression pants from Therabody can be highly effective for lower back pain.

Product Highlights

  • 8 air chambers
  • Innovative inflation and deflation cycle
  • Flushes out metabolic waste

Potential Weaknesses

  • More expensive than other tools
  • Difficult to treat trigger points

Movement in your lower body involves more than you might think.

Use the air compression within these pants to treat not just your lower back but also your legs, abdomen and glutes.

The eight air chambers follow a carefully designed inflation and deflation cycle that flushes out metabolic waste.

You’re then allowing fresh, oxygenated blood to return to your lower body quicker than it would normally.

It’s more of an investment than many tools on the list, as the machine that inflates the pants has to be purchased separately.

However it’s an investment into a product that could not only treat your back pain, but also improve your sporting performance.

Therabody’s air compression innovation doesn’t stop with this product either.

They’ve also created the RecoveryAir PRO Compression Vest, designed for treating your upper body.

It’s powerful for arm and shoulder pain, and the ideal recovery tool for those with tennis or baseball injuries.

Our Rating: 3.7 / 5
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12. Best for Ease of Use: iReliev Shiatsu Back Massager


Deep kneading pain relief from a trusted name

Over the years iReliev have developed a range of high quality pain relief products, including their percussion massager and collection of TENS units – they’ve done it again with this device!

Product Highlights

  • Simple to use
  • 20 massage nodes
  • Deep kneading pain relief

Potential Weaknesses

  • Limited massage styles

Position it around your neck or across your back and feel the relief of 20 nodes easing the pain and tension in your body.

It’s super simple to use with built-in controls that give you access to three different speed settings and optional heat.

Users couldn’t get enough of this amazing product, raving about how they were planning to invest in many more as gifts for people in pain.

Our Rating: 3.9 / 5
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13. Best for Customization: PowerDot 2.0 Duo Smart TENS and EMS Stimulator


An electrifying (and smart) TENS and EMS unit

Unlike the rest of the products on this page, this is not a massager that applies pressure to the body. A pulse massager (also known as a TENS or EMS unit) uses low voltage electrical current to relieve pain.

Product Highlights

  • Uses a low voltage electrical current
  • Control programs with your smartphone
  • Uses a proprietary algorithm to create specially designed programs

Potential Weaknesses

  • Doesn’t apply pressure to the body

PowerDot’s groundbreaking device effectively turns your smartphone into a TENS / EMS unit.

TENS and EMS are different therapies, but both have been shown to effective in the management of pain so it could be a great alternative to a traditional back massager.

With the PowerDot 2.0, your phone acts as the controller, sending electrical stimulation programs to the wireless pods and electrodes that you position on your body.

Use the app to highlight your painful areas, identify the type of pain you’re experiencing, rate your pain score and tolerance level.

Innovative PowerDot technology then takes the information and, using a proprietary algorithm, creates a program specially designed to relieve your pain.

Add their Butterfly Pads to your cart when you invest in the PowerDot 2.0 Duo and you’ll have all you need to deliver a truly bespoke TENS treatment to your lower back.

Our Rating: 4 / 5
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14. Best for Muscle Tension: Therabody Wave Roller


Roll away your back pain

Another great alternative to a traditional back massager is the Therabody Wave Roller.

Therabody (makers of the famous Theragun massagers) have recently undergone a rebrand and launched an updated product range including their first smart foam roller.

This roller uses vibration therapy to help release muscle knots and tension.

Product Highlights

  • Uses vibration therapy
  • Pairs with your smartphone
  • Access customized routines

Potential Weaknesses

  • Doesn’t deliver a deep and intense massage

Across the Wave Roller’s surface there are asymmetrical groves that allow you to get the best possible traction, and really roll out your lower back.

Now for the smart bit:

You can pair the roller with your smartphone and control all the intensity settings, plus get access to customized routines.

Users raved about the quality, finding it far superior to standard foam rollers.

Our Rating: 3.8 / 5

15. Best for Affordability: Thera Cane


A unique design that you control

Thera Cane has a unique design to help you reach your hard-to-reach places and ease any aches and pains.

We love how it can be used to really get to those knots that are causing you discomfort.

Product Highlights

  • Simple to use
  • Affordable
  • Apply the pressure you need

Potential Weaknesses

  • Manual tool, requires effort

The cane has 6 treatment balls, with each one being carefully positioned so you can use it independently.

You’ll find many inferior copycat products out there, trying to replicate the magic of the Thera Cane.

However they struggle to deliver on the position of the treatment balls and quality of the cane.

Those who have used the Thera Cane comment on how enjoyable it is after you have carried out a strenuous task or even just for day to day use.

Obviously there is no power to bring the intensity, but you can provide it yourself by using the massager to apply as much or as little pressure as you desire.

Controlling the pressure was in fact a key selling point, with many saying you can apply serious force and it rises to the challenge!

Our Rating: 4 / 5
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Below we’ve answered a number of frequently asked questions about back massagers, so you have all the information you need!

What is a back massager?

What does a back massager do?

Are back massagers good for back pain?

How do I choose a back massager?

Can I use a back massager when pregnant?

How long can you use a back massager for?

Can you overuse a back massager?

Can you sleep on a back massager?

Can you drive while using a back massager?

How much does a back massager cost?

Where can I buy a back massager?

Still searching for back pain relief?

For more innovative products and gadgets, take a look at our back pain gift guide.

It’s filled with many trusted devices, as well as exciting new discoveries for pain relief…

Laura Smith


Laura Smith

Associate Editorial Manager

Specialist health & wellbeing writer, passionate about discovering new technologies & sharing the latest research.


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  2. Furlan, A. D. et al. (2008). Massage for low-back pain [Online]. National Library of Medicine. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18843627/ [Accessed 05 June 2023].