The Best Massage Stick
Table of Contents
9 Best Massage Sticks in 2023
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Massage Sticks Buying Guide
There’s a wide selection of massage sticks available on the market today and choosing the right one for your needs can be difficult.
Selecting the right roller stick can make all the difference in relieving pain and tightness in larger muscle groups.
Massage sticks – also referred to as muscle roller sticks or massage roller sticks, or muscle rollers - are a type of sports massager.
Whether you’re a regular at the gym, or someone who sits behind a desk all day long, rolling your stiff shoulders, legs and back might seem futile.
The massage stick can be used on any part of your body; you just need to find the right location that feels good.
A massage stick is a great alternative to massage rollers.
Benefits of a Massage Stick
A myofascial release is a form of soft tissue therapy that is used to eliminate myofascial trigger points and is increasingly being used in sports recovery.
It’s been shown to provide effective treatments while simultaneously providing relaxation, increased range of motion, a reduction in spasms, and post-therapy residual limb pain.
Massage sticks mimic myofascial release by physically applying sustained pressure to the myofascial. Making them ideal to use without the risk of over-stimulation.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep-tissue massages can provide many benefits from relieving stress to alleviating chronic pain that stems from large muscle groups.
They are a great way to relax, unwind at the end of a long day, and you can tailor the massage intensity.
When you target deep muscle tissue it helps with stiffness, soreness, knots, tendinitis, and arthritis.
The physical activity of using a massage stick improves blood and oxygen circulation.
Blood flow brings blood and oxygen to all parts of the body, thus preventing health problems like fatigue and blood depletion.
Because blood and oxygen flow increases, the whole body benefits from this.
A massage roller is a physical therapy tool that offers targeted relief to tense muscles and can be used at home or on the go.
People who suffer from muscle tension or, shin splints, aid their workout recovery with a massage stick.
Trigger Point Therapy
A trigger point is an area within the skeletal muscle tissue that is tender to the touch and can trigger a painful response when direct pressure is applied.
A muscle roller stick helps you locate these trigger points as well as release muscle tension that has accumulated in those muscles.
A muscle roller stick is used to help reduce muscle pain and tension, whether it’s acute or chronic pain.
Using the muscle roller on a specific area of the body will help to relax the muscles, joints, and tissues to gain the maximum benefit of muscle pain relief.
Stretching and Workout Recovery
Muscle rollers work by releasing muscle adhesions that may have formed as a result of muscle overuse or trauma.
The muscle roller can be used on a muscle group before and after exercise, during rest periods between sets, and/or before and after the massage, for maximum benefit.
Muscle roller sticks can help stretch muscle tissue after an intense exercise session which helps muscle fibers repair and heals.
Stretching muscle tissue during muscle repair is very important since muscle cell activity is increased by as much as 15% after an intense workout session.
Features for the Best Massage Stick
There are 2 parts to a massage stick: the long handle for easy gripping of the stick, and the rolling part where you apply pressure to relieve tension.
There are many different hard plastic materials used in making massage sticks, including ABS plastic and nylon plastic.
ABS plastic is a durable plastic that is lightweight and is made to be impact-resistant so it won’t break during normal use.
ABS plastic can cause irritation to the skin, especially if contact occurs over prolonged periods of time.
Nylon plastic is used in some massage sticks because it has a smooth texture that does not irritate the skin like other plastic options.
There are various metal tube types used in massage sticks, including aluminum and brass.
Aluminum is a very soft but durable metal that can be manufactured into many different shapes and sizes. Whilst being lightweight it’s not as strong as other metals such as a steel rod core.
Which massage stick you select depends on your preferences and comfort.
Textured vs. Smooth Surface
Many massage roller sticks have a textured surface for traction, while others are smooth and feature a hollow design to keep the stick light.
The textured surface will allow you to provide deep pressure while maintaining comfort for your hands and arms.
Alternatively, if you are looking for something less intense, then opt for a smooth surface massage roller.
The general length of a massage stick is about 17 inches. Many people purchase a variety of different-sized sticks instead of just 1 model.
This allows them to choose the correct size massage roller based on the muscle group that needs to be massaged.
If you want to travel and put your massage stick in your gym bag, you may want to opt for a length that is travel-friendly.
Massage sticks have anti-slip handles on either end that make it easier to apply pressure wherever needed and achieve a wide range of motion.
Some sticks have stationary handles with rotating heads or bars that roll independently in one direction or both directions.
Take your time to determine whether you want a stationary handle and independent rotating spindles.
You can modify how much intensity you apply to sore muscles, via the massage stick's rotating head or bars that can roll in the same or opposing directions.
If you’re a fan of intense massages, you may want to consider a massage stick with a textured surface.
The price of a massage stick is affordable, many massage sticks are less than $20, and sticks at the more premium end are around $30.
For something that has so many health benefits, it’s a steal!
Massage Sticks FAQ
Do massage sticks work?
The use of massage tools is to help reach and massage areas on your body, such as the back, shoulders, and neck more easily.
Simple in design, massage sticks provide a multitude of benefits like relieving muscle soreness and are excellent for self-myofascial release.
Many massage sticks are super portable, making them an excellent travel stick, to put in your gym bag to use after your workout.
How do you use a body massage stick?
Massage sticks consist of 2 parts: the main shaft for hands-free maneuvering, and the removable head which has different textures designed for massaging muscles or releasing pressure points.
The more you roll muscle rollers around, the more it digs into skin cells releasing tension in muscles.
The stick helps soreness and removes toxins by pushing them out of the skin through sweat or oil that's secreted through the pores.
If you experience any pain during the technique, stop immediately and consult a medical professional.
Muscle roller sticks vs. foam rollers
A muscle roller stick is typically smaller than a handheld foam roller. How much pressure is applied depends on how much your press down on the stick, when rolling over various areas of the body.
Muscle roller sticks are better for targeting specific areas than foam rollers and you can move around your joints with ease, so you won't have any trouble hitting deeper muscles.
Conversely, a foam roller is larger and requires you to use your body weight to apply pressure as you sit, lay, etc. on the roller.
There are certain parts of your muscles where it can be difficult to reach with a foam roller.
On top of that, when using foam rollers, you'll need to apply more pressure in order to reach those specific areas, which can cause discomfort to the muscle.
While a foam roller definitely has its perks and can be a solid choice when looking for a massage tool, there is no question that a muscle roller stick is an excellent option to loosen tight muscles.
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