This Deeply Discounted Massager Is My Go-To for Chronic Neck and Shoulder Pain

This affordable massager works wonders on tense neck and shoulders.

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Shiatsu Back Neck Massager with Heat

Health / Tyler Roeland

If there was a way I could get a massage every single day of my life, I would. But since that’s neither practical nor very affordable, I decided to invest in the second best thing: an at-home shoulder and neck massager.

Thanks to a combination of carrying stress in my shoulders and working on a computer for a living, I had been dealing with some serious symptoms including headaches, pain, numbness, and even occasional finger twitching that my doctor surmised was exacerbated by tight neck and shoulder muscles, so I set out on a mission to relieve my aching muscles. 

Along with making some changes to my workspace with an under-desk walking pad and accessories, I popped a shoulder massager in my Amazon cart. It was much more affordable than many other big name massagers on the market, so I didn’t hold my breath, but I’m happy to report that the Mirakel over-the-shoulder massager works wonderfully, and according to Amazon, it's currently marked down to its lowest price in 30 days.

Shiatsu Back Neck Massager with Heat

Amazon

To buy: Mirakel Shoulder, Neck, and Back Massager, $44  (was $70); amazon.com 

The way this massager works is so simple that it’s almost beautiful: it’s designed to go over your shoulders and has hanging arm “loops” that you can place your arms through so you can find the perfect position and pressure for you, right where you need it. If you need more pressure, just pull down on the loops and if you want less, just place the massager on your back, neck, or shoulders and let it do its thing. It’s incredibly effective in working out the knots in my neck and shoulders especially, but you can also place it anywhere on your body, such as your lower back if you need to get tight muscles there. 

I'm not the only one who finds the adjustable pressure via the arm straps incredibly handy. After explaining that a car accident left them with chronic neck and back pain, one Amazon reviewer explained that the massager helps fill the gaps for pain relief between professional massage therapy sessions. “This has given me so much relief in my upper back,” the reviewer noted. “You can adjust the pressure by how hard you pull on the straps. The motion feels like someone is using their hands along the natural muscle fiber.”

Shiatsu Back Neck Massager with Heat

Amazon

To buy: Mirakel Shoulder, Neck, and Back Massager, $44  (was $70); amazon.com 

Unlike many so-called “massagers,” this massager has six kneading massage balls that rotate, not vibrate, to actually work out knots and tension in your muscles. The massager also has a heat function, which can also be effective for muscle relief. My favorite way to use the massager is in my reclining chair and I will often work in that chair with the massager on to prevent any muscle tension. I also love it when I start to get the inklings of a tension headache. I pop it on and after a good 30 minutes, my headache will usually melt away without the need for any pain medication. 

Raj Desai, MD, an interventional pain physician who is double board-certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Pain Medicine, tells Health that he regularly prescribes massage therapy to his chronic pain patients and that massage therapy has proven benefits in prenatal conditions, chronic pain conditions (fibromyalgia, arthritis), and autoimmune diseases. 

“Massage therapy provides more stimulation of pressure receptions in turn enhancing vagal activity and reducing cortisol levels,” he explains.

Sports massage therapist and We Run coach Alexa Briggs, explains that many people hold out tension and stress in our neck and shoulders. “These tend to be the areas of highest muscle tightness in many people,” she says. 

Fortunately, focusing on relaxing those areas has benefits that extend even past the immediate: “Relaxed shoulders post-massage can reduce tension, headaches and other symptoms of stress like grinding the teeth,” she adds. “Shoulder massage can also help with your posture, keeping your shoulders from rounding forwards.” 

While massage can be a wonderful tool, it is important to note that an at-home massager is not a substitute for a professional and you should always check with a doctor before adding an at-home massage device to your routine, as well as be careful to avoid using it on one specific area for too long, as that may increase the risk of injury. 

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