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Massage therapy helps reduce pain in the body. Massage cushions may be a beneficial way for a person to relieve pain in the back, shoulders, and neck.

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Massage therapy involves manipulating the soft tissues of the body to relieve pain from sore and aching muscles. There are many different massage types, including classical and shiatsu.

Learn more about massage therapy here.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) states that massages may only provide short-term relief for those with:

The NCCIH also notes that massage therapy can reduce pain, anxiety, and depression in people with chronic conditions, such as cancer and fibromyalgia.

Research suggests that massage can reduce pain in those with musculoskeletal pain in the short term. The authors reviewed previous studies and found that massage helped relieve pain, compared with no treatment. However, the studies used in the systematic review only provided low or moderate quality evidence.

A 2020 study found that vagus and shoulder massage reduce stress and increase relaxation in a laboratory setting. The researchers state, however, that more studies are necessary to determine which type of massage promotes the most relaxation.

A person may wish to consider the type of massage the cushion gives. A shiatsu massage is a deep tissue massage, and some people may find this too intense.

Some models have additional features, such as rechargeable batteries, different massage levels or types, optional heat functions, and much more. A person should consider which additional features they may benefit from.

In the sections below, we discuss some of the best massage cushions for pain available to buy online.

Zyllion Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager Cushion Pad

Best device for most heights

This massage cushion delivers a deep kneading shiatsu massage to the back and neck. People can decide to use an optional heat function, as well as a setting that targets the upper or lower back.

The company states this product is suitable for those who are between 5 feet (ft) 2 inches (in) and 6 ft tall.

Additional features include:

  • three vibration levels in the seat cushion
  • an elastic strap to attach to chairs
  • a 15-minute auto shut-off safety feature
  • an adjustable height

This product weighs 15.5 pounds (lb) and has dimensions of 30 x 16.5 x 7.9 in.

At the time of publication, the Zyllion Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager Cushion Pad had a list price of around $130.

HoMedics 2-in-1 Shiatsu Massage Cushion

Best rolling massager

This massage cushion provides a deep shiatsu or rolling massage. People can choose to target a specific area of the body using the included remote control.

The 2-in-1 Shiatsu Massage Cushion is rechargeable and cordless. The company states it is suitable for use on the back, legs, thighs, and arms.

Additional features of this product include:

  • a remote control for customization
  • optional heat and vibration in the lumbar area
  • variable speeds

The massage cushion weighs 17.55 lb and has dimensions of 29.53 x 17.72 x 5.12 in.

At the time of publication, the HoMedics 2-in-1 Shiatsu Massage Cushion had a list price of around $300.

Snailax Memory Foam Massage Seat Cushion

Best heat and massage device

This polyurethane memory foam massage cushion provides a vibrating massage.

According to the company, people can choose to target the upper, mid, or lower back, as well as the thighs and hips.

Additional features that this product comes with include:

  • six massage motors
  • four vibration intensities
  • three optional heat levels
  • an automatic shut-off function to prevent overheating
  • a nonslip base and elastic straps to adjust to any chair

The massage cushion weighs 4.54 lb and has dimensions of 16.65 x 12.91 x 6.57 in.

At the time of publication, the Snailax Memory Foam Massage Seat Cushion had a list price of around $67.

Comfier Cordless Back Massager

Best rechargeable device

This cordless back massager provides a deep shiatsu massage. It has a rechargeable battery and is small and lightweight.

The company states that the battery lasts approximately 70 minutes.

Other features of this product include:

  • 12 massage nodes and two rotation modes
  • two levels of intensity
  • an optional heat function with 15-minute switch-off safety mode
  • a carry handle to enable portability

This massage cushion weighs 8.9 lb and has dimensions of 19.5 x 14.5 x 5.7 in.

At the time of publication, the Comfier Cordless Back Massager had a list price of around $74.

OSIM uJolly Full Back Massager

Best for mimicking a masseuse

This adjustable massage cushion offers a shiatsu massage and has V-Grip and Lumbar Press Technology that mimics the feeling of a human hand.

The company states this product can target the back, shoulders, and neck.

Additional features of this massage cushion include:

  • a heat therapy with safety overheat protection
  • body target area customization
  • two massage techniques to choose from
  • a removable headrest

This product weighs 19.67 lb and has dimensions of 18.11 x 14.09 x 31.3 in.

At the time of publication, OSIM uJolly Full Back Massager had a list price of around $500.

HoMedics Perfect Touch Masseuse Heated Massage Cushion

Best smartphone-controlled device

This massage cushion provides a deep kneading shiatsu massage, rolling or percussion massage, or combination.

People can control the product through the HoMedic smartphone app.

Additional features of this massage cushion include:

  • an adjustable height
  • optional heat
  • a strapping system to fit most chairs
  • a retractable cord for storage

This product weighs 27.3 lb and has dimensions of 34.63 x 10.13 x 20.5 in.

At the time of publication, the HoMedics Perfect Touch Masseuse Heated Massage Cushion had a list price of around $430.

If a person does not want to purchase a massage chair, they can try several alternatives.

Individuals may consider finding a local masseuse. According to the NCCIH, 45 states and the District of Columbia regulate massage therapy. Masseuses in these states must have a license or certification to practice massage. People should only make an appointment with a certified masseuse.

If an individual experiences muscle aches and pains that do not go away by themselves, they should contact a doctor, who will advise them on the most suitable treatment methods.

Below, we answer some frequently asked questions about massage cushions.

What is a massage cushion?

A massage cushion is a device that stimulates muscle movement and blood circulation.

These devices may be helpful for those who experience aches and pains in the back, neck, or shoulders.

How much does a massage cushion cost?

The price of a massage cushion varies depending on the manufacturer and the features the product offers.

More expensive devices may come with additional features, such as variable speeds and extra massage options.

Can people who are pregnant use massage cushions?

There is currently no scientific evidence to suggest that massage cushions are not safe for people who are pregnant.

However, if a person finds a massage cushion uncomfortable, they should stop using it.

Can people with a pacemaker use a massage cushion?

The American Heart Association (AHA) states that massage chairs and pads may pose a small risk to people with pacemakers or implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs).

Massage chairs and pads may produce electromagnetic waves that interfere with these devices. If a person experiences any interference with their ICD or pacemaker when using massage chairs or pads, they should turn off the massaging devices immediately.

Massages may provide short-term relief for people who have back, shoulder, or neck pain. Massage cushions may come with additional features, such as variable speeds and different types of massages.

These devices are usually suitable for most individuals. However, people who find them uncomfortable and those with ICDs or pacemakers may prefer alternative massage therapies.