Home / Pain Management / Discover The Best Back Massager For Pain Relief In 2019

Discover The Best Back Massager For Pain Relief In 2019

When you’re looking for an effective back massager it can be tricky to find the one that really targets your particular pain. Research shows that back massagers stimulate circulation and relax stiff muscles, with several types featuring programs designed for upper, lower and full back.

Then there are heat options, vibration, different intensities, so choices that can be a little overwhelming which is why we’ve done the hard work for you and shortlisted some of the best back massagers available in the marketplace.

Top-rated Back Massagers

Before using any type of back massager, you should always read the instruction manual. If you are unsure of its suitability it’s best to speak to a medical professional to ensure it is appropriate for your health or medical conditions.

Take it Anywhere – Zyllion ZMA13BK Shiatsu Pillow Massager with Heat for Back
  • Use at home or take it with you, attach it to your favorite chair, lie on it... relax and enjoy!
Chiropractor Recommended – Pado Purewave CM-07
  • Handheld powerhouse with two motors that deliver strong percussion and vibration massage.
Multi-functional – Resteck Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager
  • Shiatsu kneading for back, neck and shoulders. With soothing heat, intensity and directional settings.

1. Resteck Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager

A back massage machine that puts you in control

Drape around your shoulders and relax… Resteck’s massage unit comes complete with handles so you can position the massager 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.

Just four simple buttons on the device control the functions of the Resteck Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager. 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 comes with a handy carry case so you can use it on the go.

It comes 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 massager and away you go.

Users of this massager commented on how well made the product felt and how it quickly became a product they used daily. Plus the developers are so confident in their massager that it comes with a lifetime guarantee!

2. Zyllion ZMA13BK Shiatsu Pillow Massager with Heat

A compact and convenient massager!

We really like the compact size of Zyllion ZMA13BK Shiatsu Pillow Massager with Heat which can be easily 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 amongst office workers.

Though small in size it is still powerful with the Shiatsu massage nodes providing a deep massage and changing direction every minute to mimic the hands of a real masseuse.

Some consumers felt a little frustrated by the changing direction and wished you could alter the setting to fix it in one direction, while many others enjoyed the style of massage and rave about its success for 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.

3. Purewave CM-07

A premium product recommended by chiropractors

The Nursal Deep Percussion Massager is a great entry level handheld massager, however if you’re searching for something more substantial then take a look at the powerful Purewave CM-07.

Purewave’s CM-07 massager comes with a range of different attachments which have been created to treat different areas of the body or different types of pain.

Purewave claim the device is recommended by chiropractors and sports therapists due to the power it provides. It has two motors that allow the massager to deliver strong percussion and vibration.

Users of the massager suffering from sore muscles had great things to say about the massager, feeling that it really helped to relax their muscles.

Some users of the massager did find that the machine was a little noisy however with that level of power this is a side effect that you’re likely willing to live with.

4. Nursal Shiatsu Heated Massage Seat Cushion

Like having your very own massage therapist on hand!

Choose the Nursal Shiatsu Heated Massage Seat Cushion if you want a high quality massage seat at a reasonable price.

Nursal’s massage cushion has four Shiatsu massage nodes that cover the whole back so it’s perfect for targeting different areas of pain.

If you’re struggling with one problem knot then you can change the settings to work the kneading in that area.

The movement and settings of the cushion are designed to mimic the hands of a masseuse, and the vibration and heat helps relax you right in to the deep tissue.

We really like how thin and light the cushion is, so it’s ideal if you’re wanting something that you can use both at home and in the office. The design and durable leather fabric means it can fit discreetly on to your office chair.

If the heat function is the most important feature for you, then you might want to look at another device, as a number of users commented on the heat function not being as powerful as they hoped.

However the overwhelming feedback on the device was that it delivered a powerful massage that was very satisfying, some felt it was too intense, so perhaps not one for the fainthearted!

5. Back Buddy

Reach those hard-to-reach places

It may look a little strange and you could presume it isn’t up to the job, however the Back Buddy has been relieving back pain for more than a decade.

It has 11 knobs that have been positioned to allow you to get the most from the product and give you the ability to access any pressure point to relieve spasms and muscle knots.

The simplicity of the design gives you the control over the intensity which particularly suited users with myofascial pain syndrome.

Users of the product were impressed with the quality for such a low price, and were surprised by how lightweight it is.

If you struggle with flexibility the Back Buddy might not be the right option for you as it does require you to maneuverer it efficiently to hit the spot, in which case something more like the Resteck Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager could be a better option for those who have limited movement.

6. Back2Life Back Massager

A gentle solution to back pain

For longer term relief to back pain, we really like the Back2Life Back Massager which is designed to naturally help you realign your spine, which in turn will help to relieve pressure and discomfort.

It provides a much more gentle solution, and is designed for long term use as opposed to offering a quick relief from pain. Those that used it on a long term basis got the most from the product commenting that it had greatly improved their mobility.

It comes with a high price tag, so some users felt it may be more beneficial to splash out on an inversion table instead, however of course this requires much more space.

7. iReliev iRenew Plus TENS + EMS System

An electrifying alternative to a back massager

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 unit) uses low voltages electrical current to relieve pain.

The iReliev iRenew Plus TENS + EMS System offers you a wide range of features including eight TENS programs and six EMS (Electrical Muscle Stimulation) programs.

Both TENS and EMS have been shown to be effective in the management of pain so it could be a great alternative to a traditional back massager.

iReliev’s TENS + EMS unit has been cleared by the FDA for use in the management of pain.

The device comes with electrodes and a rechargeable battery that can be charged with a wall A/C adaptor or plugged in to a laptop via a USB adaptor.

iReliev has a great reputation within the TENS community, so if you’re looking for a reliable unit this seems to be a name you can trust.

8. Relaxonchair MK-IV

The ultimate home massage experience

When you’re looking to make a real investment, then we can’t get enough of the Relaxonchair MK-IV.

This stylish chair has been specially designed to adapt to different body shapes and comes in 4 different colors so it can fit comfortably with your decor

Choosing a massage chair is a big commitment due to the initial investment and the amount of space that the chair can take up in your home.

However one of the great selling points of the Relaxonchair MK-IV is the new design which is is described as ‘zero gravity technology’, requiring only 3 inches of clearance from the wall.

We feel this is a high quality product, not just offering 5 different automatic massage programs, but also combining air and heat massage, as well as a hand and foot massager.

Some users found the foot massager a bit of a novelty and not particularly effective, however they found the chair itself provided an intense body massage and reported success, particularly for lower back pain.

9. Nursal Handheld Deep Percussion Massager with Heat

Handheld massager with a range of attachments

We love how the Nursal Handheld Deep Percussion Massager with Heat comes with an attachment for just about every part of your body!

This handheld electric back massager from Nursal has six different detachable nodes, including one for scalp massage.

You can easily use the wand to reach the area you desire, with the heat function being a wonderful extra.

The percussion action is a powerful feature of this heated back massager, delivering an intense massage that you can control. However powerful it is though it’s still a lightweight device, just over 1kg in weight in fact, so many found it easy to hold and control.

Others however still struggled with the weight of the device so it’s worth considering whether you have the strength to massage your back in this way.

Those suffering from plantar fasciitis were big fans of Nursal’s Percussion Massager, as they saw a noticeable improvement in their pain.

10. HoMedics Quatro Mini Hand-Held Massager

Small in size, big on power!

If you’re looking for a back massager that you can throw in your bag for when you’re out and about, then they don’t get much smaller than the HoMedics Quatro Mini Hand-Held Massager.

This hand-held massager from HoMedics fits comfortably in to your hand and has attached to it four vibrating massage nodes that can be maneuvered all over the body.

The comfortable hand grip means you can apply pressure as appropriate, and the compactness allows it to be used throughout the body.

It’s easy to operate too with a simple on/off button on the device. It takes 2 x AA batteries and weighs just half a pound.

Users have good things to say about the HoMedics Quatro Mini Hand-Held Massager, with one user describing it as their “best friend”!

11. PowerPro 2-in-1 Foam Rollers

Robust rollers for injury rehabilitation

A gentle or a deep massage, you can get both with the PowerPro 2-in-1 Foam Rollers. We love foam rollers for back pain relief, and PowerPro’s 2-in-1 rollers are great as they offer a soft inner roller for gentle relief which is perfect for injury rehabilitation as well as a hard outer core for a real deep tissue massage.

Success for the product has been experienced by those suffering from chronic back pain and migraines, with the PowerPro company also promoting the product as an option for cellulite as the product smoothes and helps to tone the skin.

The product comes at a very competitive price point and ships with a handy carry case as well as 2 e-books to help you get the most from the product.

Some felt the rollers were a little on the small side, with others saying they didn’t roll smoothly, however if you’re after a simple roller then this product could be exactly what you’re looking for.

12. Brookstone Cordless Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager with Heat

A deep tissue massage that you control

If you’re looking for a massager that you can drape around your aching neck and upper back then take a look at the Brookstone Cordless Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager with Heat.

The Shiatsu nodes can travel easily across your shoulders or down the full length of your back.

Brookstone’s cordless massager offers vibration and heat functions across 3 levels of intensity, to help relieve tightness and aid in muscle recovery.

Users felt the massager would benefit from additional speed settings, as it only carries one, however the intensity of the massage was pleasing for many who felt it offered exactly the level of deep massage they were looking for.

13. HoMedics MCS-750H Quad Shiatsu Massage Cushion

Enjoy a massage in your favourite chair

The HoMedics MCS-750H Quad Shiatsu Massage Cushion offers percussion, kneading and rolling massage styles to deliver ultimate satisfaction to you.

We love the way HoMedics has developed this massage cushion to include an easy to use hand control which allows you to move the nodes to different areas as required.

This Quad Shiatsu Massage Cushion includes heat and offers a very intense massage to give real relief to back pain.

There were a few reservations about how high up the cushion goes, with some feeling that it didn’t reach high enough to the neck. However if you’re looking to target back pain, then sit back and relax, the HoMedics MCS-750H is an excellent option.

14. Thera Cane

A unique design that you control

An alternative to the Back Buddy is the Thera Cane which also uses 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.

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

Controlling the pressure was also a key selling point, obviously there is no power to bring the intensity, but you can provide it yourself by using the massager to bring as much or as little pressure as you desire.

15. Conair Touch N’ Tone Massager with 5 Attachments

A powerful handheld massager at an affordable price

If you’re looking for a handy little massage device, then take a look at the Conair Touch N’ Tone Massager. It comes with 5 different attachments to work on different key areas including your face and scalp, so ideal for those that suffer from migraines.

The Touch N’ Tone Massager is very simple to use with 2 different speed settings to help you work on your tired and aching muscles. It’s compact too, so ideal if you’re looking for a simple budget device.

Users suffering from tension loved the face attachment as it offered a fantastic level of relief, with others feeling it was a little lacking in power. However it’s offered a such a super-affordable price, making it an easy pick up.

16. Naipo Shiatsu Massage Pillow

A handy massage cushion you can use in the car

Naipo’s Shiatsu Massage Pillow is an affordable massage cushion that’s ideal if you’re looking for something you can use on the go.

You can easily strap the cushion to the back of your headrest in the car so you can enjoy a massage whilst parked up waiting for your next meeting.

In terms of the practicalities of portability it comes with a car adapter so you never run out of power.

This massage pillow has four nodes that create a kneading action for a satisfying massage. The nodes change direction every few minutes to recreate a genuine shiatsu massage experience.

The clever design of this compact massage pillow from Naipo means that it fits neatly in to the contours of your body. It can be used effectively throughout the body including the lower back and thigh.

A heat function is available on the Naipo Shiatsu Massage Pillow reaching temperatures of 112℉, further helping to relive tightness in the muscles.

People love how easy the Naipo pillow is to use, finding they can easily position it in a way that they can get relief.

Types of Back Massagers

There are a number of different types of back massagers available, whether you’re looking for something handy for a recent ache or if you’re looking to make a big investment to deal with chronic daily pain.

Styles of Electric Back Massagers:


A chair back massager is a piece of furniture that you add to your home, that you can sit in each day. It’s a big investment but it’s probably the closest you can get to a hands-on massage.


A good hands-on massage can play a crucial role in alleviating back pain. Similarly, a good massage chair is designed to provide some measure of pain relief and relaxation, however, without the need for person-to-person interaction.

Chair Pad

The next best thing to a chair massager is a massage pad that you can attach to your favorite chair. It normally hooks over the back and underneath the seat to give your back full coverage.


A handheld massager is normally a wand or pad that you operate and maneuver around your body to get to the source of the pain.


A belt massager can be wrapped around your lower back or draped around your shoulders so you can get a deep massage in key areas.

Cushion / Pillow

A cushion or pillow massager is handy for use on the neck or lower back where you can tuck it exactly where you need the relief.


A TENS unit comes with electrode pads and sends pulses across the skin that stimulate the nerves.

Styles of Non-Electric Back Massagers

Cane Massager

A cane massager is a simple device which can be maneuvered to the right part of the body to provide relief.

Wooden Ball Massager

A wooden ball massager is rubbed on the problem area to provide relief. The wooden balls are run up and down the skin to release tension.

S Shaped Massager

An S shaped massager is a stick massager which normally has carefully placed nodes so that the massager can be maneuvered to the exact right position.

3 Prong Mini Massager

A 3 prong mini massager is a simple handheld device that can be used to work out knots and tension.

Foam Roller

A foam roller has a hard or soft exterior depending on the relief needed. It is rolled up and down the affected area to release tension in the muscles.

Features of Back Massagers – What to Consider


The shape of the back massager is important as you need to make sure it can really target the source of your pain. Whether it’s an S shaped stick or a chair pad, you need to make sure it can reach where it needs to go.


You also need to consider the size, will it give you coverage for the area you need? Is it too large to be portable? All should be considerations to make the right choice.

Electric / Non-Electric

Consider which option is right for you, whether you want to take your massager on the go, or just ensure you can use it in your favorite chair!


The number of massage nodes that the device offers may be important to you if you’re looking for a deep and intense massage.


Percussion is a style of massage and users have described this technique as “thundering on your back”, so perfect if you want a deep tissue massage perhaps not ideal if you’re looking for something a little less intense.


Look for this feature, a Japanese massage technique, if you want to replicate the hands of a masseuse as closely as possible!


If you have knots and want a massage that is really going to work them out then you might want to look out for the kneading function.


If you want hand-held control then you may opt for a wand massager or a unit that includes a wand.


Some units offer an additional vibration function which might be something you want to consider for that added extra relief.


Heat can offer comforting relief from pain as it heats the skin which stimulates the sensors and blocks the pain signals being sent to the brain, many different massagers include this option so it’s worth looking out for.


A timer can be handy if it takes you a while to get to the source of your pain, so you can set a period of time and then just sit back and enjoy the relief.

Auto Shut Down

Auto Shut Down can be great as it protects you and the unit from overheating, however if it takes you a while to get to the source of your pain, a short auto shut down could be frustrating.

Intensity Settings

If you have good days and bad days and want a massage that can flex with you then you want to look for a massager with a selection of intensity settings. Some devices only come with one setting so make sure you choose what is right for you.

Speed Settings

As well as intensity settings you need to look at what speed settings are offered if you want something rigorous or if you’re looking for something more gentle.


Some massagers are rechargeable making them handy to be used in the office or on the go.


If you’re wanting to take the massager on vacation or use it at work then a portable option might be the one you’re looking for, that is an appropriate size and lightweight. You can also choose a massager for in the car, however this can only be used when stationary or as a passenger.


Some massagers come with attachments to target different areas, such as the face.

Memory / Recall

If your pain is hard to reach and you get the intensity just right it can be frustrating to have to go through the various settings each time. Memory/recall functions remember the intensity, speed and style of massage you enjoy which can be helpful day to day.

Benefits of Back Massagers

Back Pain Relief

Of course the main benefit from a back massager is relief from back pain! A back massager stimulates circulation and relaxes stiff muscles and research proves that massage is very effective for short term relief from back pain.

Improved Circulation

Massage is a technique which is often used to improve circulation, that is because the improved circulation can enhance the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to muscle cells, basically waking them up!

Lift Mood

Massage releases endorphins which relaxes the nervous system and creates feel good hormones. Back massage in general has been shown to be a successful technique for the treatment of anxiety.

Improved Sleep

Having a regular massage is also shown to improve sleep. Those suffering from insomnia due to the menopause have reported marked improvement in their condition following massage.


What is a back massager?

What is a back massager?

A back massager is a device that comes in many different forms, it could be a simple pillow or a hand-held wand or a new piece of furniture. Essentially it mimics the hands of a masseuse to provide you with daily relief from pain.

What does a back massager do?

What does a back massager do?

A back massager simulates a manual back massage. Massage stimulates your circulation and relaxes stiff muscles to give you relief from pain. Different massagers can target different areas and use different massage techniques and intensities.

How do I choose a back massager?

How do I choose a back massager?

Doing your research is important before you make a purchase to make sure you choose a back massager that will provide you with relief.

Speaking to your doctor or a medical professional could help point you in the right direction, however hopefully by reviewing some of the features above you’ll have more of an idea of the back massage that is right for you.

Can I use a back massager when pregnant?

Can I use a back massager when pregnant?

Check with your doctor before using a back massager when pregnant as advice is mixed.

It also goes without saying that you should always read the instructions before using any massage product for any other warnings or precautions.

How much does a back massager cost?

How much does a back massager cost?

Back massagers vary widely in cost, from a few dollars for a small hand-held wooden massager to thousands of dollars for the highest range massage chair, so it’s best to set a budget. Once you’ve chosen the massager that is right for you it’s prudent to shop around for the best price.

How long can you use a back massager for?

How long can you use a back massager for?

Manuals for back massager products vary a little in their advice, however overall the consensus seems to be that to avoiding bruising your muscles it’s best to use a back massager for short periods of time, the suggestion being around 15 minutes.

Many products come with an ‘auto-off’ feature that encourages you to limit your usage to the recommended time.

Can you sleep on a back massager?

Can you sleep on a back massager?

After overusing a back massager some users have reported that it can cause bruising of the muscles.

Can you drive while using a back massager?

Can you drive while using a back massager?

Advice from back massager product manuals indicates that it’s not advisable to use a back massager whilst driving. However you can buy massage cushions for your car seat that you can use when stationary or as a passenger.

Where can I buy a back massager?

Where can I buy a back massager?

You will find back massagers for sale online, and are widely available on many websites, such as Walmart, CVS, Target and Walgreens. If you want to buy a back massager locally, visit your nearest pharmacy. Several online retailers offer free shipping on orders as well.


  1. Acupuncture & Massage College (2015) Back Massagers. [Online] Available from: https://www.amcollege.edu/blog/back-massagers [Accessed 10 January 2019].
  2. Schubbe, P. J. (2003) Massage Chairs for Pain Relief. [Online] Available from: https://www.spine-health.com/wellness/massage-therapy/massage-chairs-pain-relief [Accessed 10 January 2019].
  3. Miller, J. (2018) Heat Packs. Why does heat feel so good?. [Online] Available from: https://physioworks.com.au/FAQRetrieve.aspx?ID=30990 [Accessed 10 January 2019].
  4. Burgan, B. (2016) How Does Massage Work?. [Online] Available from: https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/massage-therapy/how-does-massage-work [Accessed 10 January 2019].
  5. We Speak Science (2016) Role of massage in body. [Online] Available from: https://wespeakscience.com/role-of-massage-in-body/ [Accessed 10 January 2019].
  6. Morris, K. (2017) Why Is Massage Therapy Good for You?. [Online] Available from: https://www.livestrong.com/article/546491-deep-tissue-massage-vs-sports-massage/ [Accessed 10 January 2019].

Check Also

What is the best TENS unit – HealthmateForever Pro12AB

What Is The Best TENS Unit: Reviews And Ratings (For 2019)

For years we have continually tested and reviewed the best TENS units on the market. We …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *