Loosen Up Trigger Points and Relieve Muscle Tightness with the Best Self-Myofascial Release & Massage Tools

Have you ever seen somebody lying on top of a tube at the gym and wondered, “what the heck are they doing?”

Well, here’s your answer: myofascial release.

In our modern world of “text neck” and long periods of sitting, myofascial release can offer a welcome relief from muscle tension and tightness with simple techniques that you can do from just about anywhere.

With the right tools built for effective myofascial release, you can take control of your most troublesome aches, tension and knots.

In this post, we are going to cover 25 of the best myofascial release tools on the market and provide a comprehensive list so you can choose the best one for you.


What is Myofascial Release?

In its simplest form, myofascial release is the technical term for a form of massage therapy that is meant to make connective tissues (fascia) looser and more flexible, this results in relieving tightness and pain in your muscles.

Repetitive motions or injuries can cause the fascia around your body to tighten up and cause “knots” (also referred to as “trigger points”). A large part of myofascial release includes targeting these trigger points and keeping steady pressure on them to help release them.

What are the Benefits of Deep Tissue Massage and Myofascial Release?

Deep tissue massage and myofascial release have immense benefits for your muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves.

The therapeutic value even extends to your entire body because of the way it improves your circulation.  As already mentioned, fascia is the sheet of fibrous connective tissue that envelops your muscles and separates them from other organs.

Myofascial release restores the health of your fascia, allowing it to function properly and prevent adhesions, tension and other sources of muscle pain.

Here are the main benefits you can gain from massage therapy:

  • Prepares your body for exercise and helps prevent injuries
  • Helps your muscles recover faster from exercise
  • Reduces delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)
  • Relieves muscle pain and tension
  • Improves your range of motion
  • Increases circulation

As you can see there are many benefits to myofascial release and in turn, there are also many tools that can help perform it.

Why So Many Different Myofascial Release Tools?

When you are prepared with the right myofascial release tool and knowledge of the best techniques you can expect great results.

However, finding the right tools for your body is easier said than done.

Different trigger points can be harder to reach than others and may require a tool that is a different shape and level of firmness depending on where the trigger point is located.

For instance, you can use a foam roller to hit trigger points on your calves, however, for some people, a massage ball is more effective as a massage ball can sink deeper into the muscle.

In addition, the more you perform myofascial release, the more likely you’ll find that the tools that used to work for you aren’t as effective. As time goes by, you’ll discover new trigger points that are located deeper and hard to reach locations thereby requiring new tools in order to reach and release them effectively.

A large part of finding the right tool means trying a lot of different ones and sticking with the ones that work for you.

There are a lot of tools out there often they look (and sometimes feel) like medieval torture devices, but I promise you they will do your body good. It’s not for the faint of heart, but boy is it effective!

This guide will cover the most popular myofascial release tools and give advice on their best uses.


The Best Myofascial Release & Massage Tools

Given the overwhelming variety of self-massage tools on the market, you may be wondering which one is the best.

The truth is, different types of massage therapy tools suit different people based on their unique needs and preferences. These are the types of tools to consider for recovery and pain relief.

To give you a closer look at these various tools, here’s a comparative look at the pros of cons of specific tools on the market:

1. Myofascial Releaser Ellipse Pro

Myofascial Releaser Ellipse Pro - Stainless Steel Physical Therapy Tool for Soft Tissue Mobilization...
  • RELIEVE PAIN: The Ellipse Pro is ideal for...
  • PREVENT INJURIES: Use the Ellipse Pro before...
  • MOST VERSATILE IASTM TOOL: You won't need any...

Pros:

  • Easy tool to control for accurate, pin-pointed trigger point release
  • Versatile, allowing you to massage virtually anywhere on your body
  • Thin edge allows you to “dig” into nooks and crannies like the muscles around your shins, shoulder blades and spine

Cons:

  • It only scrapes muscles for myofascial release, but does not knead or provide percussion to loosen muscles
  • Will require assistance to use on your back

You may have never heard of scraper tools or scraping therapy, but if you have any fascia related pain, you should consider this tool.

It’s a hand-held manual tool great to use for myofascial release, soft tissue mobilization and muscle soreness relief.

These kinds of tools are generally used by clinicians and massage therapists to help in instrument-assisted fascias mobilization (IAFM) and instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM), however, it is also possible to use these tools for self-myofascial release.

Scraper tools like the Myofascial Releaser Ellipse Pro are the ideal massage tool for myofascial release and is extremely popular among athletes.

If you have a muscle injury, you most likely experience pain related to fascia damage. Scraper tools release the adhesions in your fascia caused by muscle tension and muscle alignment problems.

Instrument Assisted Fascial Mobilization for Self Physical Therapy and Self Myofascial Release

The Myofascial Releaser Ellipse Pro is made of bevelled edges that are hard and narrow enough to apply pressure and “scrape” your muscles and fascia.

This action pushes blood out of the area, causing fresh blood, oxygen and nutrients to enter the area and promote healing.

Scraper tools are made with different hard materials, such as hard plastic, jade, stone, copper or stainless steel.

To find out more, see our page on the best myofascial release tools for IAMFM & IASTM.

See Prices >


2. Muscle Floss band

Sale
CTM Band | Advanced Muscle Recovery | Combine The Effects of Compression, Deep Tissue Massage, and...
  • Used By The NFL, MLB, NBA, D1 Collegiate Teams,...
  • Wraps, Digs Into, And Releases Tight And Sore...
  • Four Removable Dense Rubber Massage Balls To...

Pros:

  • Helps relieve pain associated with arm, leg and foot injuries such as plantar fasciitis, shin splints, tennis elbow, runner’s knee and IT band pain
  • Combines compression, tension, and movement at the same time to help muscles prepare for activity and recover from it

Cons:

  • Not the ideal tool for back pain, neck pain or shoulder blade tension

The CTM “muscle floss” band created by CTM therapy is an affordable one-of-its-kind tool that combines the functionality of massage sticks and massage balls.

Relieve Muscle Pain And Increase Flexibility With The CTM Band

You wrap the rubber band around a muscle area such as your calf, thigh or forearm, and then lengthen the muscle. When you do so, it digs in and releases fascia and muscle tension.

See Prices >


3. Fitness Cryosphere Cold Massage Roller

Recoup Fitness Cryosphere Cold Massage Roller - 6 Hours Cold Relief - Ice Cup - Myofascial Release-...
  • Easy to carry: The mobility tool is portable and...
  • Useful for pre- and post-workout recovery:  Use...
  • Gives relief from pain:  The roller ball easily...

Pros:

  • Reduces inflammation with ice
  • Hard material makes it easy to apply adequate pressure
  • Holder allows you to easily roll the ball using your hand

Cons:

  • Great for treating small trouble spots causing you pain, but not the ideal tool for a full-body massage or for kneading out stiff back muscles

Sometimes, your muscles need ice to bring the inflammation down.

The Fitness Cryosphere Cold Massage Roller is a unique tool that works a lot like a massage ball, but it stays ice-cold for 6 hours to provide cold relief.

Besides the cooling aspect, another thing that makes it different from a regular massage ball is that it has a holder that allows you to hold the ball and roll it.

Recoup Cryosphere Cold Massage Roller Benefits

You can roll the ball with accuracy along your muscles while holding it in your hand, instead of having to use a wall or the floor to make the ball roll.

However, you can also remove the ball from the holder and use it like a massage ball.

See Prices >


4. Basic Foam Roller

Sale
AmazonBasics High-Density Round Exercise Therapy Foam Roller - 36 Inches, Black
  • High-density blue speckled foam roller with molded...
  • Ideal for balance, strengthening, flexibility, and...
  • Made from molded polypropylene to maintain...

Pros:

  • Good for beginners, simple to use
  • Cheap and durable
  • First timers will find it less intense than massage balls
  • Release tension and fascia in large areas at a time
  • Great for increasing blood flow quickly
  • Able to quickly loosen large muscle groups before workouts to improve performance and prevent injury

Cons:

  • Not able to target small trigger points or “dig” into hard-to-target areas
  • In most cases, you need to be on the floor to use it effectively

This tool is your bread and butter of myofascial release.

It is the first tool you are likely to use when first starting out. The classic foam roller is extremely versatile and can be used on most parts of the body.

Foam rollers are cylinder-shaped manual tools that break up muscle knots and release fascia when you roll on them.

They’re widely used by athletes immediately before and immediately after workouts to support healthy fascia and muscle function.

They may sound like they’d be a soft object, but foam rollers are made with very high-density foam that compresses your muscles very firmly.

In fact, most people experience pain while using a foam roller, which lessens with regular use as the health of your fascia and muscle tissue improves.

Foam rollers are excellent for releasing the fascia of large muscles, particularly in your legs and back. They’re great for muscle recovery in your legs after athletic activity, and for increasing blood flow in your upper back after long hours at a desk.

The AmazonBasics foam roller is a great foam roller to start out with, as it has a smooth but non-slip surface that improves your control. It also comes in many sizes and colours.

If you are interested in getting a foam roller but do not know which one to choose, see our page on the best foam rollers.

See Prices >


5. Gideon™ Neck and Shoulder Therapeutic Self-Massage Tool

GideonTM Neck and Shoulder Therapeutic Self-Massage Tool Dual Trigger Point Deep Tissue Massage
  • Give yourself a vigorous and deep massage at home,...
  • Designed to feel exactly like a massage...
  • Adjustable pressure knobs to relieve pain through...

Pros:

  • Releases neck and shoulder tension and pain

Cons:

  • Limited to the neck and shoulders, so you can’t use it for a back massage or to target your shoulder blades.
  • The balls don’t roll

The Gideon self-massage tool combines shiatsu massage with a massage stick, allowing you to knead muscles with two shiatsu massage balls when you leverage the stick.

Typically, massagers with shiatsu rollers are massage chairs, pillows or chair pads, which knead muscles for you without giving you precise control over the massage.

With this tool, you can massage your neck and shoulder muscles accurately and apply direct pressure. It’s easy to dig into your neck and shoulder muscles with this tool, but you would get more versatility out of a massage ball compared to the balls attached to the stick.

See Prices >


6. PUREWAVE™ CM-07 Percussion Massager

Sale
PUREWAVETM CM-07 Dual Motor Percussion + Vibration Therapy Massager (Black) | Official Patented...
  • RECOMMENDED BY CHIROPRACTORS, PHYSICAL THERAPISTS...
  • DUAL MOTOR DESIGN:  Powerful Percussion &...
  • PATENTED | MADE IN KOREA | FDA REGISTERED #2349002

Pros:

  • Easy to target any type of trigger point in any part of the body using different attachment heads on the device

Cons:

  • Too painful for some people
  • Doesn’t focus on myofascial release or provide techniques like rolling, scraping or kneading

Percussion massagers emit rapid pulses of pressure that stimulate blood flow and relax your muscles. By increasing circulation and breaking up tension, percussion therapy relieves pain and enhances muscle flexibility, range of motion and performance.

Percussion massagers offer comprehensive and versatile deep tissue massage therapy, and are often used by massage therapists.

Pure Wave Cordless Massagers – Defining Percussion Massage

These handheld electric devices provide the perfect combination of manual control over your massage and motorized percussion that penetrates muscle tissue.

The PUREWAVE percussion massager is the best one on the market, with 6 different attachment heads and 2 motors that provide different percussion intensities.

For more information on these types of tools, see our page on the best percussion massagers.

See Prices>


7. KOA Elite Trigger Point Massage Tool

Enjoy Fast Relief for Deep Tissue Muscle Pain with Handheld Massagers. A Hand Massager for Back,...
  • LIVE YOUR LIFE SPONTANEOUSLY AGAIN - RELAX & ENJOY...
  • STOP RUBBING DANGEROUS CHEMICALS & ESTROGENIC...
  • GET READY TO TAKE ON THE WORLD as you improve...

Pros:

  • Easy to grip
  • Great for myofascial release

Cons:

  • Lacks the benefits motorized electronic devices provide such as percussion and kneading
  • You have to provide your own pressure with your strength

The KOA Elite Trigger Point tool is a massage stick unlike any other. It has knobs and a grip handle which makes it easy to use with control and accuracy on your neck, arms, legs and other areas.

All you have to do is find a trigger point and apply pressure with the tool. The KOA tool is small and light making it a great option if you have to take it with you whilst travelling.

See Prices >


8. 4KOR Ultimate Massage Balls

Sale
Ultimate Massage Balls & Lacrosse Ball Physical Therapy Set - Deep Tissue Trigger Point Myofascial...
  • ELIMINATE MUSCLE STIFFNESS & SORENESS with the...
  • FEEL HEALTHIER & STRONGER by alleviating back,...
  • PINPOINT YOUR TRIGGER POINTS with the lacross...

Pros:

  • You decide how much pressure you want and where you want it
  • Highly versatile (you can use it on almost any muscle, big or small)
  • Effective for myofascial release

Cons:

  • Can be difficult to manipulate, requiring a lot of manual effort to target certain trigger points effectively

Massage balls provide deep tissue massage and myofascial release. They’re simple, durable and easily portable, but on the other hand, the massage you get from them depends on the work you put in, since you have to roll them against a wall or the floor.

The 4KOR Fireball 3 piece Mobility Ball Set

The 4KOR ultimate massage balls are the perfect set if you want to try out massage balls, since they include 3 different sizes for targeting different muscles and they have great grip for better control.

See Prices >


9. Rolflex PRO Edition Leverage Foam Roller

Rolflex PRO Edition Leverage Foam Roller - w/Dual Stability Rollers (DSR) - Best Myofascial Release...
  • THE ONLY FOAM ROLLER that uses leveraged...
  • INNOVATIVE ERGONOMIC CLAM-SHAPE DESIGN allows...
  • THE NEW DUAL STABILITY ROLLERS allow for even...

Pros:

  • Provides the benefits of foam rolling with better ease of use
  • Lets you target more muscles than a foam roller

Cons:

  • Not able to apply as much pressure as regular foam rollers, so it’s not intense enough for some

The Rolflex PRO is a unique foam roller or “stability roller” that is designed to target more muscles throughout your body than you could with a regular foam roller.

Rolflex Pro – The Future of Foam Rolling

What makes it different is that it has built-in rollers that penetrate muscle tissue, and you don’t need to use your bodyweight, the floor or a wall to roll them.

You adjust the tool to the desired level of compression and use your hands to move it along muscles.

See Prices >


10. CranioCradle Home Therapy System

CranioCradle Home Therapy System - Head, Neck, Shoulder & Back Pain Relief - Relaxes Muscle Tension...
  • PROFESSIONAL PAIN RELIEF - Recommended by health...
  • TREAT MULTIPLE SYMPTOMS - Works in minutes to...
  • FOLLOW THE EASY INSTRUCTIONS & FEEL THE DIFFERENCE...

Pros:

  • Helps treat headaches and upper body tension
  • Relaxes your entire body by releasing critical trigger points on your neck and head
  • Easy to use without the need for physical activity – simply lay or sit still while using it

Cons:

  • Not very versatile
  • Releases certain trigger points but it’s not a tool that can knead out any muscle like a percussion massager

The CranioCradle massage tool is a simple fix for people working long hours at a desk, since it’s a small, light and easily portable.

It’s designed to relieve tension from your upper and lower back, neck, head and shoulders.

If you suffer from tension headaches or neck and back tension, this could help. It’s made of firm foam like a foam roller, but there’s no rolling necessary.

It uses pressure and compression to release trigger points when you place it in certain positions on your body (instructions are included).

See Prices >


11. Dr. Berg’s Self Massage Tool

Sale
Dr. Berg's Self Massage Tool, Best for Back Pain Relief, Hand Held Neck and Lower Back Massager,...
  • WHOLE BODY RELAXATION: Effective massage &...
  • CHIROPRACTOR-DEVELOPED: Developed to mimic Dr....
  • PAIN & TENSION RELIEF: Relieve tension, tightness...

Pros:

  • Helps relieve chronic headaches, lower back pain, neck pain and other pains
  • Designed to stimulate circulation and relieve tension in your spine to improve back health

Cons:

  • Prone to slipping
  • Can be difficult to find the right position for relief
  • Requires you to apply your own pressure to knead and compress muscles

Dr. Berg’s self-massage tool, developed by a chiropractor to assist with pain relief, massages your muscles with firm knobs that allow you to apply pressure easily.

Self-Massage Tool for Relaxation, Deep Sleep & a Tight Neck

Similar to the CranioCradle, it’s shaped in a way that it releases trigger points when placed in certain positions.

Using the instructions provided, you can apply to critical points that can relieve stress and tension throughout your entire body.

See Prices >


12. Cupping Therapy Sets Vacuum Suction Cups

Sale
Cupping Warehouse TM Supreme DEEP PRO 6065 8 Cups (4 Sizes) Professional and Home Use: Clear Chinese...
  • PROFESSIONAL CUPS: Supplying Healthcare Providers...
  • NO COMPROMISES:Cups with Purer, Clearer Greater...
  • YOUR SUPREME DEEP PRO 6065(8 Vacuum Cupping Kit)...

Pros:

  • Minimal work required; you simply relax while the painless therapy is in progress
  • Helps with detoxification
  • Effectively relieves pain

Cons:

  • Not ideal for instant relief on the go
  • Can leave temporary marks on the body

Cupping therapy works through the suction of small portions of your back to draw blood and muscle tissue to the surface.

It’s like a “reverse massage” because it breaks up tension through suction instead of with pressure.

The suction created by vacuum cups breaks up stagnation, releasing the fascia and freeing tight muscles that are hugging onto bone.

Cupping Warehouse TM Professional Medical Supreme Cupping Therapy Set with Demonstration

Fresh blood then enters the area and helps restore optimal cellular functioning.

Silicone cups like those in the Cupping Warehouse TM Supreme set are easy to apply and remove simply by squeezing them. There’s no pumping or fire needed to remove air from the cups.

See our page on cupping therapy sets to learn more about the benefits of cupping therapy, and how to choose a cupping set for home use.

See Prices >


13. Theragun G3 Percussive Therapy Device

Theragun G3 Percussive Therapy Device, Black, Handheld Deep Muscle Treatment Massager & Muscle...
  • THE DEEP MUSCLE TREATMENT EXPERTS TRUST. Backed by...
  • SUPERIOR CONSTRUCTION & DESIGN. Significantly...
  • ULTRA-COMFORTABLE, ERGONOMIC HANDLE. Hold our...

Pros:

  • Effective on virtually any muscle no matter where you’re experiencing pain and tension
  • Easy to use by holding it in your hand, with no manual pressure required
  • Gives you the benefits of myofascial release and deep tissue massage

Cons:

  • Most guns are loud

A percussion massage gun is a device that sends pulses of pressure that penetrate deep into muscle tissue.

They’re handheld electronic massagers that hammer away at your muscles, and most come with different attachment heads you can use to target different muscles in your body that are different sizes.

Unlike foam rollers and massage balls, percussion massage guns don’t require the effort it takes to push into muscle tissue with your own body weight. It’s also easier to get precise and pinpoint specific trigger points.

Percussion massage guns are highly effective tools for releasing muscle tension and relieving pain.

Theragun G3: Breakthrough Handheld Percussive Therapy Device for Pain Relief

Most massage guns are notably loud when operated, but the Theragun G3 is a percussion massage gun is of the quieter variety.

It’s also very versatile, with different intensity settings and 4 interchangeable attachment heads.

For more information, see our page on the best massage guns.

See Prices >


14. Rad Rod

RAD Rod I Myofascial Release Tool I Steel Core Stick I Self Massage Mobility and Recovery
  • Multi-use massage, mobility and recovery stick...
  • Relieves muscle tension, increases mobility and...
  • Won't bend / steel core with high density EVA foam...

Pros:

  • Effective for myofascial release along smooth, long muscle surfaces
  • Portable and easy to use
  • Good for the lower body such as the quads, hamstrings and calves.
  • A great tool for runners

Cons:

  • Not ideal for kneading and digging into muscles that are hard to reach, like those around your shoulder blades and along your neck
  • Not as versatile as a ball or foam roller

Massage roller sticks are a great tool to manually roll out your knots. The small design makes this a more portable version of a foam roller.

Muscle roller sticks are a popular myofascial release tool among runners and athletes, due to how quick and easy it is to use after a run or workout session to prevent tight calves.

Muscle roller sticks like the RAD Rod provide myofascial release, similar to the way a foam roller works.

Instead of rolling against the floor, however, you can simply roll the massage stick or glide it along your muscles in your hand.

The RAD rod has an add-on massage ball sold separately, which allows you to manoeuvre the ball while it’s attached at the end of the massage stick.

By leveraging the stick in your hand, you can control and manoeuvre the ball.

If you’re thinking to try out a massage ball, consider the RAD rod with its massage ball attachment an alternative that’s more versatile and easy to use.

In general, massage muscle rollers are easier than foam rollers to use on the go, because you can target muscles in a seated or standing position and they’re more portable.

See our page on the best muscle roller sticks for more options of these types of myofascial release tools.

See Prices >


15. Spoonk Acupressure Mat

Sale
Spoonk - Back Pain and Sleep aid Relief in Coton Regular Size Acupressure mat with Bag Eco USA Foam,...
  • 3 PIECE COMBO SET: 1 reg. size mat with 6200...
  • RELIEF from back and neck pain, sciatic nerve,...
  • ACUPRESSURE MASSAGE has been used for centuries...

Pros:

  • Easy to adjust the intensity level by wearing a shirt or removing your shirt
  • No manual work involved to get results

Cons:

  • Doesn’t manually break up muscle knots like a tool that kneads, compresses or provides percussion
  • Can take some time of regular use to get relief from chronic pain

An acupressure mat is a spiky chiropractic mat you lay on that stimulates pressure points on your back that are just below your skin.

Rather than massaging muscle tissue, these tiny spikes help correct imbalances in your body’s systems and physiological functions. As a result, they relieve pain and provide other therapeutic benefits.

Acupressure mats are great for people who want to relieve tension at the end of the day before going to bed, but don’t want to put a lot of effort into it.

These spiky mats are virtually maintenance-free and all you need to do is lay on them.

Most people with chronic back pain, neck pain and headaches who try an acupressure mat are surprised with how effectively it relieves pain, especially with regular use.

Spoonk is one of the best-recognized brand creating acupressure mats, and their mat actually comes as a set including an acupressure ball and pillow. To see more brands and buying options, see our page on the best acupressure mats.

See Prices >


16. MOBOT Water Bottle Foam Roller

MOBOT Official - Big Bertha 40oz - Foam Roller Water Bottle - High Performance Stainless Steel -...
  • PATENTED 2-IN-1 FOAM ROLLER WATER BOTTLE - MOBOT's...
  • HYDRATION ON-THE-GO - Big bertha has everything...
  • SUSTAINABLY MADE - Built to last - made from 100%...

Pros:

  • Doubles as a foam roller and water bottle
  • Durable and high-quality
  • Smaller and easier to take with you

Cons:

  • Not as long as regular foam rollers, making it harder to target the width of your back
  • Doesn’t target small trigger points

Not sure if you should bring a foam roller with you to the gym? What if it was your water bottle?

The MOBOT water bottle doubles as a high-quality foam roller.

How MOBOT helps you!

It’s made with steep ridges and high-density foam and can withstand up to 350 pounds of pressure without caving. It’s easy to use as a regular foam roller and it even keeps liquids cold up to 5 hours!

This is a great idea if you want to take a foam roller with you to the gym but want to save space.

See Prices >


17. Body Back Buddy Self Massage Tool

Body Back Buddy Back Massager, Handheld Massage Stick, Trigger Point Massager, Massage Cane (Blue)
  • The full-body self massager for simple, fast...
  • Calm painful muscle knots and aches in your back,...
  • Effective pressure point therapy eases tension...

Pros:

  • Lightweight enough to throw into a suitcase for travel
  • Easy to adjust the amount of pressure you need
  • Allows you to compress and release virtually any trigger point from your neck to the soles of your feet

Cons:

  • Doesn’t massage large muscle groups or release large areas of fascia the way a foam roller or massage stick can
  • Although they can be versatile, they are not as versatile as a foam roller

Massage sticks are versatile tools for self-massage. Most of them have knobs on them that are designed to help you reach hard-to-reach trigger points on your back, neck and shoulders.

You can also use the length of the stick for myofascial release on larger muscle groups when you push it along the muscle the way a foam roller would roll.

Massage canes are typically shaped like an “S” with strategically placed handles along the design for you to get a good grip.

Multiple knobs and each end of the “S” can be used for myofascial release by pressing the knobs into tender areas on the body.

The Body Back Buddy is a one-of-a-kind S-shaped massage stick with 11 knobs.

Its shape is designed to access every trigger point in the body. While it takes a lot of manoeuvring to achieve the correct positions for accessing the trigger points, it comes with instructional videos you can access online with your purchase.

Body Back Buddy Feature Showcase

Once you get over the initial learning curve, the Body Back Buddy can easily become your go-to tool when you have stiffness or pain, because it helps you accurately target hard to reach places with pressure you can control.

Plus, it lets you release more points at a time than you could with a small handheld tool.

Body Back Buddy and the Thera Cane are the market leaders when it comes to massage canes. 

For greater analysis of these types of myofascial release tools, see our page on the best trigger point massage sticks.

See Prices >


18. The Davinci Tool Soft Self Massage Wedge

Sale
DaVinci Tool FIRM, Tension Release, Neck Massage, Pain & Headache Relief, Occipital Release Tool
  • Release Neck Tension - Soothe muscles in your neck...
  • Goodbye to Pressure Points - Relieve pain and...
  • 3 Different Edges - Equipped with a Round, Pointed...

Pros:

  • Digs into crevices like your scapula with its edges
  • Versatile for head-to-toe use
  • Lightweight and portable

Cons:

  • Too hard and painful for some
  • Can be hard to keep it in place while using

The Davinci tool is similar to the CranioCradle, but with its own unique shape.

If you benefit from a foam roller but you wish it could release muscles and fascia in delicate, hard-to-reach areas like your shoulder blades, neck and shoulders, you may like it.

It’s made of plastic and utilizes gravity and your body weight to dig into trigger points when you position it properly. You can use it virtually anywhere from head to toe, and there’s no rolling necessary.

Like with a foam roller, it can be painful. However, the pain lessens with regular use as your muscles and fascia heal.

See Prices >


19. Thumb Saver Massager

Sale
Deep Tissue Massage Tool and Thumb Saver Massager
  • This massage tool saves your thumbs and joints...
  • Helps you apply the perfect amount of pressure...
  • Hand mold allows you to get a tight grip for...

Pros:

  • Easy and intuitive to use, as it’s designed to mimic your own hand

Cons:

  • Still requires a lot of manual effort to perform a self-massage
  • Only targets small trigger points at a time

The Thumb Saver massage tool provides an ergonomic grip with a thumb-shaped knob you can use to dig into tight muscles the way you would use your own hand.

Of course, it applies a lot more pressure than you could achieve with your own fingers, and it saves your joints from the wear and tear of self-massage.

The Thumb Saver is made of plastic and great to use with massage oils.

See Prices >


20. Rumble Roller Beastie Ball

RumbleRoller BXA Extra Firm Beastie + Base Extra Firm Beastie Ball + Base, Green
  • Uniformly spaced, high-profile bumps for deepest...
  • X-Firm bumps
  • The Base orients the Beastie so that one of its...

Pros:

  • Compact and portable
  • Small enough to target small places in your neck, scapula and more

Cons:

  • Too small to meet the needs of larger muscle groups
  • Too painful for some

The RumbleRoller beastie ball gives you the benefit of foam rolling, but with deeper and more targeted penetration.

Unlike a regular massage ball, it has ultra-deep ridges with bumps that dig deep into your muscles and open up the fascia.

Beasties from RumbleRoller

The other thing that makes it unique is the base it comes with. When you place the ball on the floor using the base, it won’t roll away while you compress a muscle onto it.

It positions the ball so that one of its bumps is facing directly up, where it can penetrate the tissue you place on the ball.

The Beastie ball sits at the extreme end of the myofascial release tool spectrum because it is very painful to use. Trust us, we know, as we’ve taken it for a test drive in our editors Beastie Ball review.

See Prices >


21. Neck Track Massager Tool

Sale
Neck Track for Trigger Point Massage & Myofascial Release - Relieves Pain & Tension Headaches, Size:...
  • PHYSICAL THERAPIST RECOMMENDED: Used & recommended...
  • IMMEDIATE BENEFITS: Many people tell us in their...
  • FREE HOW-TO VIDEO & INDEPENDENT EXPERT REVIEWS:...

Pros:

  • Holds massage balls in place to prevent them from rolling
  • Raises the balls off the ground to allow more pressure into the neck

Cons:

  • Could achieve similar results with a peanut massage ball placed on a yoga block
  • Have to lie down to use it

The neck massager tool uses a foam block, massage balls, and gravity to gently release sensitive trigger points in the neck. This multi-tasker can also be used for other body parts.

Do your own deep tissue massage for the neck and jaw

To use, simply:

  • Place the balls in one of the three available positions depending on your trigger points and anatomy. Carefully relax your neck onto the massager.
  • Adjust the size and softness of the massage balls to meet your needs.
  • Lay on your side and rest onto the massager to release the sides of the neck and jaw

Don’t have massage balls lying around? No problem. You can also use tennis, lacrosse or other similar sized balls instead.

The main selling point of this tool is that it holds your massage ball still rather than having it roll around everywhere.

See Prices >


22. RAD Peanut Massage Ball

RAD Roller Original I Myofascial Release Tool I Medium Density I Self Massage Mobility and Recovery
  • Upgrade your lacrosse or tennis balls stuffed in a...
  • Relieves muscle tension, increases mobility and...
  • Medium density / made of high quality silicone...

Pros:

  • Cheap and effective
  • More stable to use than a single massage ball
  • Great for rolling down the spine and back of the neck
  • You are bound to find new trigger points when using this kind of tool

Cons:

  • May take time to get to used to
  • Can be uncomfortable at first

The peanut massage ball (otherwise known as the double lacrosse ball) has a double ball design that provides stability and accuracy for myofascial release all over the body.

The small design is great for people who travel and need a lightweight, portable massager.

The peanut massage ball is often one of the most underrated myofascial release tools.

Most will have come across this tool for running down either side of the spine, which it works well for, but it also works well for other body parts.

For example, it is great for running down the length of your quads, calves and even around the hip area. It provides a different type of pressure that is two-pronged rather than the standard one pressure spot from a normal massage ball.

If you’re interested in getting a peanut massage ball but don’t know where to start, see our page on the best peanut massage balls.

See Prices >


23. Lacrosse Ball (standard massage ball)

Kieba Massage Lacrosse Balls for Myofascial Release, Trigger Point Therapy, Muscle Knots, and Yoga...
  • IMMEDIATE BENEFITS - Self myofascial release...
  • EASY TO USE - Simply lean on the massage ball and...
  • MASSAGE ANYWHERE - Perfect for use while sitting...

Pros:

  • Come in a variety of different densities and sizes
  • Easy to acquire (everyone has a ball lying around somewhere!)
  • Can be used on any part of the body
  • Can reach the smallest of trigger points
  • Easy to carry around

Cons:

  • For best results, you need to get on the floor or use a wall
  • May be too intense for beginners depending on the ball

The standard small massage ball is a versatile, portable and effective massage device.

Massage balls work like foam rollers, but they help you massage the smaller areas foam rollers can’t reach. You can use a massage ball on virtually any muscle by using the ball to apply pressure against your sore muscles. You can also use it against a wall, in your hand or on the floor and rolling on top of it.

You can use most massage balls on any part of the body which is why they are an essential myofascial release tool.

They are particularly effective when used on the neck, biceps, forearms, back, chest, glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves and feet (practically any body part!).

They come in all different surfaces, densities and sizes meaning you’ll be able to find the perfect massage ball for whatever your needs.

To get started on choosing a suitable massage ball to get started with, see our page on the best massage balls.

See Prices >


24. TheraFlow Dual Foot Massager Roller

Sale
TheraFlow Dual Foot Massager Roller (Large). Relieve Plantar Fasciitis, Stress, Heel, Arch Pain -...
  • MAXIMUM RELAXATION: Melt the aches & stresses away...
  • FEEL THE THERAFLOW DIFFERENCE! Enjoy an unrivaled...
  • NO MORE FOOT PAIN: Find relief for conditions such...

Pros:

  • Provides a deep tissue massage for the foot
  • Releases deep trigger point in the foot
  • Can help with plantar fasciitis
  • Can reduce foot pain

Cons:

  • Specific to the feet only

The Theraflow foot is an example of a ‘foot roller’ massager, which is a wooden roller with small pegs for a deep-tissue massage. This model is designed specifically to help with plantar fasciitis and trigger points in the feet.

Foot rollers are designed to be placed on the ground. You then, sit down and gently roll feet back and forth over the massager, stopping for several seconds on any trigger points.

This massager has no give because it is made of wood, so “tread” gently.

See Prices >


25. Jacknobber Tool

Pressure Positive Co. The Jacknobber II (Blue)
  • Provides a most pleasant and relaxing back massage
  • Can be used in many ways to apply deep pressure to...
  • Smaller knobs provide deeper, more intense...

Pros:

  • Can release the smallest and deepest trigger points
  • Small and easy to carry
  • Low price
  • Different sized heads for different pressures

Cons:

  • First-time massagers will find this tool too intense
  • Not useful for large muscle areas

There are a variety of tools that don’t fit into a specific category other than looking ‘weird.’

These tools come with pointy ends of different lengths, shapes and sizes designed to reach deep trigger points around the body. We’ve covered some of them already but now its the turn of the ‘Jacknobber.’

The Jacknobber is one of the most popular tools in this ‘weird’ category. Funny name aside, the Jacknobber tool is a handy little massager for myofascial release.

This is discreet enough that you can keep it at your desk at work. As handheld massagers go, this does not require much grip strength and can be pressed down instead.

See Prices >


Finding the Right Myofascial Release Tool

In conclusion, there are many types of tools for myofascial release. Choosing the right one for you may take some trial and error.

If you’re starting out definitely go with a foam roller.

As time goes by you’ll likely need something that can create more pressure in smaller areas. This is when you should perhaps look at the other tools.

You can pick up two or three of these tools for the price of a single massage, so don’t be afraid to try them out and see which ones work best for you.

With regular myofascial release, you can relieve pain, gain better flexibility and enjoy feeling better in your day-to-day life.

However, when in doubt, seek the advice of a trained massage therapist or physical therapist for help learning how to use these tools.

Leave a comment

Want to learn about more of the best gadgets?

Join others who get our FREE weekly newsletter on the best tools and techniques for living pain-free, improving mobility and fixing your posture.

By entering your email, you agree to our privacy policy

Send this to a friend