There are a vast amount of massage tools on the market. Some are motorized. Others have knobs and levers that bend and massage every sore spot on your body. There is something for every body type. The massage care industry has so many choices that it can be overwhelming to someone not familiar with the products available. Therefore, it becomes difficult for the average consumer to pick out a useful massage tool to self-treat tight muscles and pain.
Let’s face it. The economy is hurting and people won’t spend money unnecessarily. Not everyone can afford multiple massage therapy sessions a year, let alone every month. I’ve put this list together to help inform you about self-massage options on treating your own aches and pains. Using self-massage care tools in conjunction with professional massage care can go a long way towards saving you time and money.
The self-massage tools that I keep in my toolbox have a combination of these criteria in common:
- Easy to use – I don’t like to set up equipment or prepare a scenario in order to do self-massage. If it takes more than 5 seconds to get myself and the massage tool properly oriented, I won’t use it.
- Versatile – I don’t keep 100 different massage tools in the house. For one, I don’t have the space. And secondly, if I can use a self-massage tool that performs multiple tasks, I’m more inclined to use it and use it often.
- Durable – I look for a high quality of workmanship. If a tool is not built to withstand years of use and even some abuse, I won’t keep it.
- Simple – A simple design is both aesthetic and appealing to me. Less moving parts makes for less chance of broken parts.
So, these criteria help me to determine what stays and what goes. Links to the each of the websites are included in the name. The best self-massage tools are:
1. The Sciaticare Ball – Yes, this is my design. Yes, I think it’s brilliant. Here’s why. I’ve used countless massage tools and there are so many that require you to push and press the tender spots out. With the Ball, I don’t have to use many of my own muscles to work out my tension. Gravity does the work for me. I can use it standing up, sitting, or laying down. It works out pain and tension in muscles from head to toe. There is very little that this device cannot massage. Plus, it fits in my workbag and comes with me to the office so I can use it between patients or during break.
2. The GRID Foam Roller – This is another tool that gets almost daily use from me. I am a runner and cyclist. With my legs doing a lot of sagittal plane (forward/back) movement, muscles like my IT band, TFL, Gluteus Minimus, Peroneus group tend to get tight. This foam roller is an easy way for me to smooth out those muscles after exercise. The foam roller hits that hard-to-stretch lateral thigh region and does it impeccably. It takes a short time to learn to use it correctly, but it’s great at what it does, steamrolling muscle tension out of the body.
3. The Index Knobber II – Please note that there are 2 versions, and this one is the ergonomic plastic version. The Index Knobber II also shares time in my workbag with my Sciaticare Ball. It’s small and easy to use. It’s like having an extra hard knuckle to press on tender spots with. This self-massage therapy tool gets used on my stubborn forearm muscles mostly, but it also gets pressed into my neck and upper trapezius areas. The great thing about this tool is that I can also use it on my clients when I need to apply just a little more pressure during massage. The downside of using this tool is that the hand that holds the tool can get fatigued. Otherwise, excellent tool to have.
4. The Ma Roller – I’ve owned this tool for about as long as I have been doing massage therapy. It’s a great device that helps to loosen up those tight paraspinal muscles in the back. It’s not extremely versatile, but since the back is problematic for so many, I give it the thumbs up. It’s easy to use and can work almost the entire length of the back. Just lay on it. I’ve found myself relaxing on the Ma Roller for 10 – 20 minutes at a time while I do my breathing exercises. I’ve had spinal adjustments occur naturally, just by laying on the Ma Roller. It is made from solid wood and it looks great too.
5. Still Point Inducer – This tool wasn’t so much a massage tool for me as it was a tool that I used during my meditations. I liked to place it under my occiput while I carried out my meditation exercises. It’s a nice, soft tool that presses on the scalp muscles in the posterior region of the head. It can also be used to press on the upper neck cervical muscles just by laying on it. The downside is that the device collapses if too much weight is over it. And I used to use the still point inducer often, but now I just place my Sciaticare Ball under the occiput and it does practically the same thing.
If you would like to learn more about each of the products listed above, visit their websites using the links embedded in the article. If you would like to learn more about my opinions of these products, please ask and I will be happy to answer.
Disclaimer: As a note, I do NOT have any affiliation with any of the self-massage tools listed above other than the Sciaticare Ball. I have tried to be as objective as possible with my assessment and these tools are what I use. You may find that the above self-massage tools do not appeal to you in the same fashion. Therefore, it is best to gather as much data as you can and, if possible, try before you buy.