In my 20 years of being a massage therapist, I have bought and used many self-care massage tools for self-care. Of the many I have tried, there are only a few I use consistently and recommend to others.
These are the tools I use to help me after a long day of giving massages and what I recommend to my clients for self-massage at home between their appointments.
For years, I have seen how self-massage can help decrease pain and maintain the benefits of massage between appointments. My clients who use these tools have a better awareness of where their pain is, what causes it, and often report less pain and tension between appointments.
These simple, safe tools can be used anytime over the clothing. They can be kept in your car, travel bag, or office desk.
Ready to find out what tool is best for you?
Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. Please understand that I have used all of these tools, and I recommend them because I believe they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I earn if you decide to buy something. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. All affiliate links will be labeled as #CommissionsEarned.
Since originally posting this article, there have been a few new massage tools added to the market. Therefore, making this now the top 6 massage tools for self-care.
Percussion Massage Gun Tool
Percussion massage guns are not just for massage therapists, chiropractors, or physical therapists. They are powerful self-care tools for athletes, chronic pain sufferers, or anyone looking to relieve tension at the end of the day.
- Back pain
- Leg/Glute pain
- Workout recovery
This tool is the most powerful of my recommendations. It is also the most expensive. I have reviewed several massage guns in the past few years. There are so many options out there ranging from $30 to $500. Here is my most current massage gun review and one I suggest looking at if you are looking for a massage gun, Bob and Brad’s C2 Massage Gun.
Foam Roller or Grid Roller
Foam rollers can be used for toning exercises, but they also make excellent self-care massage tools. At the end of the day, foam rolling is my favorite method to relieve tension and improve posture.
- Low, mid and upper back tension
- Leg pain
- Lat pain
I would opt for the smooth surface rollers instead of the ones that have spikes or look like a tractor tire.
Trigger Point Cane or Back Buddy
Do you ever wish you could dig into your shoulder muscles with your own thumbs? These cane-like tools make that wish possible.
This tool is not as versatile as the massage stick and foam roller, but will do a much better job of addressing “trigger points” or “knots” around your shoulder blade.
- Shoulder tension
- Pain between or around the shoulder blades
Rolling Stick – Massage Roller
Before these were widely available, I recommended a rolling pin for self-care to my clients with leg pain. However, rolling sticks are not just for leg pain and tension. They are very versatile and can be used all over the body.
Best for pain and tension in these areas:
- Backs, sides and fronts of legs
- Inner thighs
There are many stick tools available. Some are very good and some are not. Poorly designed sticks are too hard, noisy or clunky. These two are just right:
LaCrosse balls are firmer than a tennis ball, but softer than a pool/golf ball. They are the perfect density for relieving pain in specific areas and are very inexpensive.
For easier use of this tool against a wall, put one in a sock or pair of stockings to keep it from falling behind you. Sling it over your shoulder and lean against the wall when you find the area you need to address. You can also use these while lying on the floor.
- Gluteal/Sciatic pain
- Pain around the shoulder blade
- Chest tension
- Foot pain
- Pain at the base of the skull
Buy plain lacrosse balls. Some companies label lacrosse balls as “therapeutic, myofascial, yoga or trigger point balls” and then increase their price.
Massage Blocks’ Neck Kit
Massage Blocks actually has an entire set of self-care massage tools, but their neck kit is my favorite.
- Neck pain and tension
- Tension headaches
Massage Blocks’ Neck Kit#CommissionsEarned
Self-massage is an essential part of any wellness plan. I hope these suggestions can help bring relief to daily aches and pains in between your massage appointments. If any symptoms you are experiencing do not improve, or worsen, seek professional care.
Do you have a favorite self-care tool not listed above? Please share in the comments below!