Muscle and joint pains caused by continued sports, workouts or seasonal weather can be uncomfortable and debilitating. And the last thing you want is to get a mediocre massage that will only make your pain worse.
Simple massages certainly help, but bare hands can only do so much as their strength allows. Fortunately, there are effective tools and techniques that should relieve all the discomfort you are enduring. Here are the best physical therapy tools that are user-friendly and expert-approved:
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1. Foam Roller
Having tight muscles can make any form of movement painful to do. That is something that can be solved through the art of self-myofascial release — better known as foam rolling. Originally used only by professional athletes, coaches and therapists, this technique involves applying pressure to specific points on your body (called trigger points) in order to aid in muscle recovery and bringing muscles back to normal function.
Foam rolling can be done manually or through a foam roller such as the Brazyn Morph Foam Roller. This full-sized foam roller is used by many sports teams and organizations, including several NBA and NFL teams, as well as the WWE and the U.S. Army. It collapses and expands instantly for travel and storage, and is strong and durable, being tested at over 350 pounds. It is also eco-friendly as it is made from environment-friendly materials such as bamboo and aluminum.
2. Massage Stick
When relieving compressed nerves, knots, achy joints and stiff muscles, a massage stick is just what you will need. Unlike a foam roller, this portable deep tissue massager has two handles that you can hold on to during use, allowing you to roll it up and down over the area you are massaging for a more controlled massage.
One good massage stick that you can use is the Brazyn Morph Stick. Described as “awesome” by Hilary Swank, this versatile massage device is wide enough to span all your major muscles and is great for massaging sore feet. It can be used by itself or with included adjustable massage rings for deep tissue, precision massage on knots and adhesions on targeted body parts. With a length of just 13 inches, it is compact enough to fit in your backpack, allowing you to use it anywhere you go.
Should you opt to buy two additional massage rings, you can use the Morph Stick as a makeshift foam roller and ab roller.
3. Massage Guns
Massage guns are great tools for faster muscle recovery before or after an intense workout. Also called percussion massagers, they help improve your mobility by loosening the treated muscle area while promoting blood circulation to your muscles. In addition, they deliver a good massage that helps lower your cortisol (stress hormone) levels. Because of these and other benefits, these massage tools are now used by many alternative practitioners, including physiotherapists and chiropractors, in treating patients with neck, back and shoulder problems.
Among the best massage guns available online are those from Relxbit. They are available in Mini, Mini Plus and Pro variants. The Mini and Mini Plus, in particular, are both lightweight and small (about the size of the latest iPhone), and each feature a USB cable that can be plugged on a powerbank, laptop or car charger, allowing you to release fatigue before exercise, recover muscle tissue or relieve pain anywhere you go.
With these physical therapy tools in hand, massages for you and others are sure to be more effective this season and beyond.