Regular readers will know that almost two decades ago, I suffered a severe job-related injury that left me with a fused spine and serious nerve damage in my lower back. Since then, I've been in pain 24/7/365, and had limitations on movement, ability to lift any meaningful weight, and so on. Over time, as my spine adjusted to a much more limited range of motion, I began to experience pain and stiffness problems in my neck and shoulders, too. They've been getting steadily worse. Chiropractic treatment and massages haven't fixed it, although they can temporarily alleviate pain; but they're pretty expensive. I also tried a heating pad for my neck and shoulders, which feels good while I use it, but only produces minor temporary relief - nothing long-term.
Recently, someone recommended that I try the Snailax Shiatsu Neck and Shoulder Massager.
It's a shiatsu-type massager with a kneading, probing motion, not just a hot pad for the neck. I use the arm/hand loops to pull it reasonably tight against my neck, which adds to its effectiveness. I've been using it for almost two weeks now, at 15 minutes per session, and it's made an amazing difference to my neck and shoulders. Most of the stiffness and much of the pain has receded, and the little that's left is responding well to ongoing (daily) use of the massager. I expect that given another couple of weeks' use, they'll be negligible; if I'm lucky, they'll be gone altogether.
I've seldom been more impressed by how well a product works. After years of enduring increasing pain and restricted mobility in my neck and shoulders, it feels almost miraculous - which sounds like hyperbole, I know, unless and until you've had to endure being locked up solid in that area by muscle and nerve issues. Those who have will understand my joy at being relieved of that burden. I'm also able to use it on different parts of my back and shoulders. It's probably not as good as a full-back massage pad, but as a "problem spot treatment" it works reasonably well. If you have muscle-related neck and shoulder problems, and haven't been able to find a solution, I recommend this product very highly.
This model is powered by a plug-in adapter, but there's also a rechargeable model if you prefer to use it without a cord attached. I haven't tried the latter yet, but I plan to. If it works as well as the plug-in model, it'll be very handy to carry in the car on long trips. I also plan to try the same company's Full Body Massage Chair Pad. It won't be able to relieve the area of my spinal fusion - that's pretty much frozen solid - but if it helps the rest of my back muscles I won't complain. The Shiatsu Foot Massager also looks promising for future reference. (There are any number of competing products out there, some of which look almost identical to the Snailax versions - typical Chinese practice, where one factory may "pirate" a single design under several different labels. However, since I haven't tried any others, I can't recommend them from personal experience. That's not to say they may not be as good, of course. YMMV.)
The cost of these products may raise an eyebrow or two - they certainly did mine, being on a limited budget. However, when one compares it to the cost of a massage or chiropractic adjustment, it looks a lot more reasonable. For example, around here I have to pay $60-$70 for an hour-long back massage. That's about a third more than the price of the massager - but I can use the latter every day without paying any extra, so the "cost per treatment" plummets. The foot massager is also less than the price of one massage, while the larger and more complex chair pad costs a little more than three massages - and, again, one can use them as often as one likes. I hope they'll hold up in long-term use, but in all honesty, even if this neck and shoulder massager stops working after as little as a month, I reckon I'll have had my money's worth out of it. (Fortunately, thousands of positive customer reviews provide relatively few complaints of it breaking down.). When one is calculating a cost-benefit analysis in terms of pain and mobility (or the lack thereof), it adds a lot more realism to price comparisons.
In general, highly recommended.
(Note: I paid for my own massager, and have not been compensated in any way by the manufacturer or distributor for reviewing it here or mentioning their other products. They don't even know I'm doing it.)