Manual Tools for the Back
These tools are used primarily on the back and require the user or a friend to employ pressure:
. Cane and C Shaped Self Massager these tools are shaped so that the back pain sufferer can reach the back without straining. The ergonomic designs give the user a way to apply pressure to the shoulders, upper and lower back without reaching the arm around.
. Roller Massager popping up in department stores everywhere these plastic devices feature a rolling ball within a cradle. Can be used for self massage, or by a friend as a backrub.
. Knob Massager come in very unusual shapes, see image below for example, and can be used for localized tight muscles or over the back and shoulders.
. Foot Tools available as foot rollers, soft and hard balls, and massaging sandals.
An electronic massage tool ranges from a handheld device to more complex systems involving chairs and pads. Here are some of the most common mechanical massager on the market:
. Foot Massager available in platform styles that vibrate and heat to enclosed massager that knead the feet and calves.
. Massage Wands this is a popular style of electric massager because it is easy to store, is the length of a forearm and has a smaller vibrating head. The versatility of this type of handheld massage tool makes it great for family use since it is lightweight and easy to wield.
. Back Massage Cushions vibration, heat and tapotement are common features in these pads that are placed in office chairs or on the couch. This is a budget and space friendly device compared to the cumbersome massaging chairs.
. Chair Massager large leather chairs are equipped with rollers and kneaders to provide a relaxing environment at home. High end models come with music, customizable settings and plenty of bells and whistles.
. Hand Held Back Massager these percussion based handheld devices feature large massage heads with two to four nodes that apply vibration in various speeds.
Choosing a Massage or Bodywork Tool
When shopping for a bodywork tool or massager consider the versatility and restrictions each item has. Some devices would require a nearby electrical outlet, others can't be used without assistance from another person in the room.
Read product reviews and complaints thoroughly. In a December 17, 2008 report by Gizmodo Blog [Evil Foot Massage Machine Kills Three People, Gizmodo.com, by Jesus Diaz] three people were reported killed by a foot massage machine that was inappropriately used on the necks. This is a sobering lesson in using electronic massager in a safe manner according to the manufacturer's guidelines.