Best Back Massager Under $100

best back massager under $100

Looking for the best back massager on a shoestring? You don’t have to sign up for monthly massages or shell out hundreds of dollars for relief that lasts. Keep reading for 4 of the best back massagers I’ve come across as a Physical Therapist.

When You Need the Best Back Massager at Home

Rarely do I meet someone who doesn’t enjoy a nice back massage. Especially at the end of a long day, after experiencing back pain or sore muscles, it’s hard to beat the healing effects of a kneading back massage. 

One option is to visit a massage therapist, assuming you can afford $60–90 for a brief session. But the benefits are usually short-lived, meaning you’ll have to keep going back regularly to experience any long-form relief. 

If your budget’s just $100, you’re in luck. In this post I’ll share my opinion as a Physical Therapist on some clever tools you can use to relieve muscle aches in your back. Let’s start with the most affordable back massager and work our way up.

Cheapest Back Massager: Foam Roller

foam roller back massage

If your budget is tighter than your back muscles, an electric back massager might not be possible for you. Instead, consider stretching your dollar on a foam roller from Amazon. It costs just about $15 but can achieve similar results as a fancy machine.

The foam roller is one of my personal go-to PT tools in the clinic and at home. Its stiff construction and smooth shape make it perfect for rolling out knots and sore muscles in the mid back. It requires no batteries, no instruction manual, and it’s versatile for both recovery and exercise.

Granted, using a foam roller does take some mobility, since you’ll need to lie down on the floor to get the most out of it. But once you’re there, the foam roller will work wonders on your stiff upper back.

TheraCane Back Massager

For about $40, you can iron out pesky back aches with a TheraCane back massager. It’s one of the tools I love to show my patients in the clinic because it’s easy to use, suited for all body types, and super effective in targeting trigger points in the mid back. 

The TheraCane is essentially a beefed-up back-scratcher with a wide shepherd’s hook, which you’ll use to dig into those hard-to-reach knots. Flip it over and you can use the short, straight knobs to pinpoint stiff spots in your neck, chest, and shoulders. 

Unlike the foam roller, a TheraCane can be used from a seated or standing position—no limberness required. For anyone fighting poor posture or mid-back pain, the TheraCane is a great resource to have at home. Plus, it complements a foam roller nicely while keeping costs low.

Massage Gun for Back Pain

In the past few years, massage guns have become more affordable and available than ever. Walk into any supermarket and you’ll likely encounter a display of massage guns by the health aisle.  

massage gun back massager

I don’t recommend just any massage gun, however. When you have mid- and low back pain, you’ll want the gun’s handle to be sufficiently long and easy to grip, especially if you don’t have someone to use the massage gun for you.

It’s also important to buy a quality product backed by a reputable company. For example, on this blog I’ve reviewed over a dozen massage guns, but Bob and Brad’s products always come out on top. 

My top pick of massage guns for the back is the Bob & Brad X6 Pro massage gun. Not only does it have a long handle to reach all parts of the back, it also offers adjustable intensity and 5 different attachments to give you the most customized massage-gun-administered back massage. 

However, this top gun breaches the $100 price point. So for comparable caliber, consider the Bob & Brad C2 massage gun, which provides the same quality, customizable massage without the long handle. The C2 is a great option if you have good flexibility, long arms, or someone to help use the massage gun to pinpoint hard-to-reach areas.

Neck, Back, and Shoulder Massager

neck massager

If you like Bob and Brad but want to stick to your budget, consider their Neck and Shoulder Massager. Although it’s marketed for the upper back—particularly the neck and shoulders, as the name implies—I’ve found a way to use it for my mid- and lower back. 

The Bob & Brad neck and shoulder massager uses shiatsu rollers to knead out stubborn knots, but you have control in where you place the rollers. By simply lowering the unit or adjusting the arm handles, you can manipulate the rollers to hit your low back. Or, raise it to target the muscles in your mid back. 

If your back muscles are tight, odds are your neck and shoulders are too. With this machine you can work out virtually all the knots in your upper body. And at just $50, it’s one of the most affordable and versatile back massagers on the market. 

Best Back Massager: Summary

Back pain can get discouraging, and for many people regular massage therapy is out of the question. But you don’t have to consign yourself to chronic pain. There are plenty of ways to relieve muscle tension in the mid and low back that don’t cost an arm or leg—or a tank of gas, in today’s terms.

For under $100, you can get a great back massager to use over and over for a long time, far outliving the effects of a pricey in-person massage. So be sure to check out the detailed reviews of the above recommended massage tools. And as you journey towards pain-free living, consider adding these stretches and exercises to your daily routine for longer-lasting pain relief. 

Tim Fraticelli DPT, MBA, CFP®

Tim Fraticelli is a Physical Therapist, Certified Financial Planner™ and founder of PTProgress.com. He loves to teach PTs and OTs ways to save time and money in and out of the clinic, especially when it comes to documentation or continuing education. Follow him on YouTube for weekly videos on ways to improve your financial health.