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Many of the things we do day after day put pressure on our neck and shoulders . From looking down to reading text messages, to sleeping in awkward positions, there is a lot of stress on these parts of the body.
Since back-to-back neck massage isn't practical for everyone, buying a neck massager at home is the best way to get the relief you need, when you need it. Neck massagers come in a variety of shapes and sizes with many different features, so do your research to find the one that best suits your needs.
Here are the best neck massagers on the market today.
When acute neck pain occurs, neck massagers are a great way to find relief. The first step should be to determine the cause of your neck pain. Talk to your doctor to develop an appropriate and effective treatment plan. The InvoSpa Back and Shoulder Massager (see on Amazon ) is one of the best at-home relief options that is affordable and effective. If you are looking for a massager to help with headaches associated with neck pain, LuxFit manual trigger point muscle massage (see on Amazon ) can help.
What to look for for a neck massager
There is nothing better than pain relief on the go. Whether you are working from home or need to relax after the gym, make sure you know exactly how your massager works. It can run on a battery that's easier to transport, or if you stay home most of the time, a plug option might be better for longer use.
Heating and cooling therapy
The use of warming or cooling agents is always a common discussion about pain relief . Eric Truomes, MD, a board certified orthopedic surgeon at the Texas Spine and Scoliosis Unit in Austin, Texas, and president of the North American Spine Society (NASS) says the ice sheet can be a remedy for problems just below the surface, but for more deep tissue problems like neck pain, heat is often the best solution. 'I have heard patients swear by using the glaze as a remedy for neck pain. However, I find that heating is generally more beneficial. The main structures of the cervical spine cannot be frozen, they are too deep; the muscles will benefit from the heat. "
However, Dr. Truomes cautions against using heat if neck pain is caused by something like a sports injury. 'I would avoid [warming] for a few days if you had severe tension with bruising or swelling. A foam padded collar is another way to warm up the neck muscles, but I try to avoid braces whenever possible to avoid further stiffness. "
An important factor when buying a neck massager is its ease of use. If you suffer from pain that spreads to the skull and causes headaches, Dr. Truomes says, you can avoid percussion massagers, which can only make the discomfort worse. If you have arthritis and cannot throw things on your shoulders, shiatsu wrap massagers are not for you.
TENS devices are very gentle and should not be stressful for people with more sensitive neck and shoulder areas. According to Dr. Truomes, 'many people's neck pain spreads to the upper back. I would recommend keeping this in mind when choosing the cars you want to test drive. "
Frequently asked questions
While there are no official guidelines on how long to use the massager, you shouldn't use it for long, especially on one spot on the body. "There have been case reports of damage to the fascia as a result of overuse of the massager," explains Dr. Lev Kalika , owner of the New York Center for Dynamic Neuromuscular Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation . 'Patients must understand that massagers are not intended for self-medication, but are an additional tool. It is very easy to damage the fascial or cutaneous nerve if you apply excessive pressure or if it is under pressure for too long.
That is why, according to him, I would not recommend holding the massager on one point for more than a minute. You should also avoid areas with large blood vessels, avoid the front of your neck, use soft tips, and apply pressure gradually.
'I think massagers are a good idea as long as they are not pressed too hard or overused,' says Dr. Kalika .
In general, you shouldn't use a neck massager for more than 20 minutes, explains Dr. Teresa Marco , Doctor of Physical Therapy and Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist, even when moving it from one place to another. This is why many neck massagers have an automatic shut-off feature.
Also, "if you need [a neck massager] more than once or twice a day, you should consult an expert for help," says Dustin Martinez , a chiropractor.
Yes, neck massage during pregnancy is considered safe, says Kalika. However, just in case, you should always discuss this with your doctor beforehand. Stick to the neck area and do not use the massager on other areas of the body. You must also be careful not to overdo it.
Considering your pregnancy, it may be more appropriate to receive a neck massage from a qualified professional. It's also worth noting that massage is generally not recommended in the first trimester of pregnancy, as it can cause dizziness or aggravate morning sickness.
What the experts say
'People with neck pain generally need to stay active. Bed rest is not a solution for most causes of neck or back pain. Muscles work best when blood is flowing. Walking or other aerobic exercise is a good idea, and massagers and heat are another way to keep blood flowing. "
– Eric Truomes, MD, board certified orthopedic surgeon at the Texas Spine and Scoliosis Unit in Austin, Texas and president of the North American Spine Society (NASS)
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