Are you searching for an effective massage gun to alleviate back pain? Don’t look any further; we have you covered. Below, we’ve compiled a list of the best massage guns for back pain, ensuring you make an informed and practical choice.
But remember, not all devices are created equal. In the world of massage guns, certain features stand out for back therapy, distinguishing the best from the rest. So we’ll highlight them and their role in providing comfort and relief for your back.
Here is what you will learn:
- Our Best Picks, Tested and Explained
- Theragun for Back Pain – But Which One?
- Which Hypervolt Works Best for Back Pain?
- Key Aspects of a Massage Gun Important for Back Pain
TIP Looking for expert-backed advice on using massage guns for back pain relief? Check out our guide, medically reviewed by Dr. Gary Tanchak, D.C.
Why Trust Our Advice and Some Disclaimer
As avid users of massage guns, we’ve tried and tested numerous models over the years. We review every product we buy according to our vetting process.
This post is not a medical advice though, and we encourage you to consult with your doctor prior to using massage guns on your back.
Rest assured, we made sure that the all information provided here have been reviewed and fact-checked for accuracy by Dr. Alex Stone, one of our experts.
Our Best Picks, Tested and Explained
Ekrin B37 – Best For Lower Back Pain
In our hands-on experience, the Ekrin B37, with its medium amplitude, emerged as one of the most versatile percussion massagers.
Ekrin designed it so perfectly it has to be the top best massager for back pain – especially lower back pain. There are several reasons why…
Having tried numerous models, we found the Ekrin B37’s angled handle to be a game-changer. When everyone else was designing a T-shaped gun, Ekrin thought of a different approach.
The angled handle adds about an inch or two. This makes it easier to reach the lower back. The approach also allows for a more natural grip, which reduces wrist tension and further reduces arm fatigue.
It’s also very easy to maneuver since it only weighs 2.2 pounds.
Perfectly Balanced Power
The medium stroke length falls perfectly within our “sweet spot” category. With 10mm amplitude, it won’t be as punchy as a Theragun, Achedaway Pro or Bob and Brad D6 Pro.
But the standout power feature is its stall force. This gun has 56lbs. of stall force – more than enough to massage the lower back and the surrounding large muscle areas (hip, buttocks, and hamstrings).
And, it’s not just the stall force on the highest gear that is impressive, lower gears have enough power as well. When you want a slow but deep massage, this gun can offer it.
The percussion range is 1400-3200RPM. That is a wide range that can be very beneficial for massaging the whole body. There are 5 speeds to go with that range. You can have both a slow, soothing massage as well as an intensive one.
Reliability and Premium Feel
Ekrin is a trusted American brand. Having used various brands, we can vouch for Ekrin’s reputation and trustworthiness among massage gun enthusiasts like us. They have sold thousands of their devices.
We have used Ekrin B37 for a whole year now and it has shown no signs of slowing down. We suspect that is why Ekrin has a lifetime warranty for all their products – they have total confidence in their guns.
We also like the excellent build – the device feels premium in hand. Ekrin does not compromise on the quality of materials used. We’d say it gives Theraguns a run for their money.
Great Battery Life
This is one of the few guns with an incredibly powerful battery. With a single charge it can go for a full week – even when using high speeds and applying some pressure.
4 Attachments Included – Good Variety and High Quality
It has a ball and flat attachments that will be perfect for massaging the lower back. The fork attachment is perfect for the spine area, and the bullet head can get rid of muscle knots.
Quiet Massage Gun
Even at the highest speed, this gun is pretty quiet. It will not disturb a normal conversation.
It costs $229.99 if you buy it normally. However, you can apply the coupon MGA20 and get 20% off the normal price – $46 off! Buy it cheaper at ekrinathletics.com
Read More Read our hands-on Ekrin B37 review for more information and close-up photos.
Achedaway Pro – A High Amplitude Option
Having used Achedaway’s products, we can attest to their primary focus on pain management. Their name is derived from two words, “ached” and “away” – Ached-away!
For starters, it’s slightly more expensive and has Theragun-like characteristics. If you are a demanding athlete or have huge muscles, or don’t mind a punchy gun, this is your type of device for lower back pain.
But what are we looking at in terms of power here? Well, Achedaway Pro is slightly more powerful than our Ekrin B37 gun. In addition to a 16mm amplitude, it has a 60lbs. stall force – that’s on par with Theragun Pro.
It has a percussion range of 1700-2800 – slightly lower than Ekrin B7, but that’s because of the long stroke length.
We also love the 3200mAh capacity battery. However, it drains faster than the battery on Ekrin B37. You will get 2-4 hours for a continuous massage depending on the speed and pressure applied. If you plan to use it extensively, then you might consider getting one with a spare battery – you can charge one as you use the other.
It comes with 4 nice attachments. Two of them are coated with aluminum and feel really comfortable on the skin. The fork attachment is also good for the spine area.
Achedaway Pro is a large device and weighs 2.6 pounds. It comes with a 2-year warranty, which isn’t better than Ekrin’s lifetime but certainly better than Hypervolt and Theragun’s.
It will normally cost you $299 to buy it, but with the MGA60 coupon, you can get $60 discount and get it for $239. That makes it slightly more expensive than Ekrin B37, but it’s way cheaper than its counterpart – Theragun Pro.
Read More Read our hands-on Achedaway Pro Review for further details.
Bob and Brad D6 Pro – Top Ergonomics
Why do we feature this massager here? Ergonomics – that’s what sets this Bob and Brad as our recommendation for those dealing with back issues.
The D6 Pro boasts multiple grip and adjustable arm options, a standout features for targeting hard-to-reach areas like your lower and upper back. This multi-grip design means you can adjust your hold for maximum comfort and effectiveness, ensuring that no spot on your back is left untreated.
In terms of specs, the D6 Pro impresses with its 16mm amplitude. This means it can dig deep into your muscles, providing that much-needed relief to your back. As for stall force, especially at lower gears, it is ideal for intense back massage without losing power.
The D6 Pro also comes with a set of 7 attachments, each designed for different massage needs. They are perfectly tailored to target effectively.
In summary, the Bob and Brad D6 Pro is a fantastic option for those struggling with back pain, offering high-end features without the high-end price tag.
It’s priced reasonably at $249 at Amazon.com. But with the added bonus of our exclusive discount code MGAD6PRO, it’s an even more attractive choice. Buy it here at Amazon.com
Read More Detailed Bob and Brad D6 Pro review here.
Urikar Pro 2 – Heated and Most Affordable Option
After extensive testing, we’ve found that the Urikar Pro 2 stands out with its unique design.
It has a rotating arm which we found quite useful when massaging the back. It’s a large gun, so there’s no confusing it with a mini massage gun.
But here’s why we picked it:
Urikar Pro introduces something that many massage guns do not have – heated therapy. Heat is proved to calm painful muscle spasms and speeds up the healing process. We talked about it in our post about heated massage gun recommendations.
So how does the heating work? The Urikar Pro 2 has a special ceramic-coated attachment that can be heated. It can warm up to 104-113 degrees Fahrenheit. We measured the temperature, and it was within the specified range.
How does the gun perform, though? Well, it has a 12mm amplitude, which is right within the “sweet spot” range. Urikar advertises it as 15mm, but our measurements gave us 12mm. That is a good stroke length if paired with enough stall force.
But the stall force is also overstated here. While Urikar advertises up to 50lbs. of stall force, our tests proved something different – it’s probably about half the advertised value. It doesn’t match what Ekrin B37 has to offer and certainly lags behind Achedaway Pro.
That said, this is still a worthy consideration given the heating element it offers.
It weighs about 2.2 pounds and comes with 8 attachments. Seven are regular, while one is the special heated one.
It’s advertised to rev up to 3600RPM. However, our measurement gave us a range of 1040-2050RPM. That is still acceptable (given the longer stroke length) but still doesn’t match Ekrin B37’s 3200RPM.
It’s not the quietest gun out there because it makes a creaking sound when pressed against the body – but you shouldn’t expect anything more given how much it costs.
The materials used aren’t as high-quality as Ekrin B37’s. You will have to do with a 1-year warranty.
To buy it, you will part with $169.99 or use PRO2 and get it for $93.5, – a whopping 55% discount. Get it in Urikar’s store here
Read More Read our in-depth Urikar Pro 2 review.
Ekrin Bantam – Best Mini Massager for Back Pain
After extensive testing, we’re confident in naming the Ekrin Bantam as the best mini massage gun for back pain. It’s also probably the best mini on the market today. If you want a portable device on the go, this is it.
On our recent hiking trips, the Ekrin Bantam was our go-to massage gun, providing much-needed relief. Bantam came to the rescue after carrying heavy backpacks for 12 hours or more. We would do one long session in the evening and sometime during the day to help with muscle fatigue. It always worked for us.
What Makes Bantam Great?
Bantam is a tiny massage gun that weighs about 1.1 pounds – it can easily fit in your jeans pocket. It’s also surprisingly powerful for such a tiny gun. It has a stall force of 35lbs. and a 10mm amplitude..
Theragun Prime may have a 16mm amplitude, but the Bantam has more stall force and more power. It’s also twice more powerful than the overhyped Hypervolt Go.
It has a decent percussion range of 2000-3200RPM. That is similar to what you get with Ekrin B37. You can press this tiny gun on your skin and it won’t easily stall.
The Bantam has the same angled handle as the parent device Ekrin B37, which is very comfortable to hold. It’s a slim handle, making it easy to hold for folks with small hands.
It’s also made with great materials and has been with us for a year now. You can expect 4 excellent attachments, including a large soft ball head.
It’s also very quiet and produces no creaking sounds. This, in our opinion, is perhaps the only mini gun that can rival Theragun mini.
It comes with a lifetime warranty and if you use the coupon MGA20, you can get it for $119 – 20% off. Buy it at ekrinathletics.com
Read More Check out our Ekrin Bantam review to find out more.
Theragun for Back Pain – But Which One?
Having been in the massage gun space for a while, we recognize Theragun’s pioneering role in shaping the percussion massager industry.
Theraguns are high amplitude devices. All the full-sized devices have a 16mm amplitude – the highest in the business. That makes them the sure bet for deep percussion therapy – same as Achedaway Pro or Bob and Brad D6 Pro.
Read on to find out which Theragun we recommend for the back pain problems.
Theragun mini – The Best Theragun For Upper Back
Our testing impressions:
- 12mm amplitude
- High-end build & sleek design
- Bluetooth & Mobile App features
- Expensive option
Our review score:
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It’s also the mini gun with the longest amplitude in the business. 12mm can do more than just vibrate over your upper back. For those who want a deep percussive massage on their upper back, it will do the job.
Theragun mini doesn’t have much stall force – it will stall when 15-20lbs. of pressure are applied. That doesn’t match what Ekrin Bantam can withstand. However, you can still use it on your upper back because you don’t need to press it too hard against that part.
It’s also the most portable Theragun weighing just 1.43 pounds. However, it comes with just one attachment – a ball head. You’ll have to purchase others separately if you want.
Theragan mini cost $199 and you can get it directly at therabody.com
Read More Check our in-depth Theragun mini review.
Theragun Elite – For Lower Back Pain Treatment
We recommend opting for full-sized Theraguns, such as the Prime, or better yet, the Elite.
Here’s why the Elite stands out:
- It boasts a 40lb stall force, surpassing both the Prime and the Mini. The Elite is particularly suitable for massaging large muscles around the lower back (hips, legs, and buttocks), and it performs better for those with a heavier build.
- The Elite also features a pressure indicator (sensor), which proves useful when massaging a friend or partner.
- Additionally, it can connect via Bluetooth to the Therabody app, offering guided routines for massaging the lower back.
The biggest drawback is the steep price – $399. At this price point, there are better alternatives, notably the Bob and Brad D6 Pro.
Elite is available for purchase at therabody.com.
Read More Here you can read our very own Theragun Elite review.
So, Should you Choose Theragun?
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In our opinion, Theraguns still work great. However, they are no longer the big kahunas they were 3 years ago when massage guns were just starting.
They are also quite expensive for ordinary folks. For perspective, the entry-level Prime is more expensive than Achedaway Pro or Bob and Brad D6 Pro – both way more powerful and better equipted massagers.
The 4th generation devices (Prime and Elite) are noisy devices – they make a rattling sound that sounds rough and loud. However, this might change this year if they release new, 2023 versions, just like they did with Theragun Pro and Mini, both of which became much quieter than before.
Then, even though they are expensive, they only come with a 1-year warranty. Only Theragun Pro has a 2-year warranty but costs a fortune.
Which Hypervolt Works Best for Back Pain?
Hyperice is another industry giant contributing so much to the massage gun space. They try to rival Theraguns with what they unveil now and then.
They recently unveiled new devices – Hypervolt 2, Hypervolt 2 Pro, and Hypervolt Go.
Hypervolt 2 – Our Choice for Upper Back
Hypervolt 2 is not the strongest Hypervolt, let alone the strongest gun out there. It’s probably the same as Urikar Pro 2 in terms of power.
However, it has just enough to be the perfect Hypervolt for the upper back.
It has a 12mm amplitude – the sweet spot – and about 28lbs. of stall force. That is about enough to do the job.
It doesn’t have the perfect ergonomics compared to what Theraguns have to offer.
However, Hyperice changed how they make the handles. Instead of the rounded shape, they recently opted for the pill-shaped handle.
However, it’s still the same T-shaped gun.
You can buy it here at hyperice.com
Read More Check our detailed Hypervolt 2 review.
Hypervolt 2 Pro – Hypervolt for Lower Back
Hypervolt 2 Pro has a better amplitude than Hypervolt 2 – 14mm. That makes it reasonably punchy but not as hard-hitting as the 16mm Theraguns or Achedaway Pro.
It’s also reasonably powerful with close to 40lbs. of stall force (the upper 30s).
The handle is slightly extended – about an inch longer than Hypervolt 2’s.
It’s a decent device but very expensive. You’ll have to part with $329. Our Ekrin B37 is half that price and may offer better performance.
You can buy it here at hyperice.com
Read More Hypervolt 2 Pro review here.
What About Hypervolt Go?
Hypervolt Go 2 is a good option for the upper back. It has a 10mm amplitude which might be good enough to glide over the upper back and the shoulder area.
However, it fails miserably in terms of stall force. It’s probably the weakest massage gun on our list today. It won’t work on large muscles – the slightest pressure may stall it.
But, Are Hypervolts Worth It?
After testing all models, we can say the two new Hypervolts are decent devices but not very unique. They don’t add so much even though they cost a lot of money. Also, you only get a 1-year warranty with Hypervolts.
You will have to part with $299 for Hypervolt 2 and $399 for Hypervolt 2 Pro (without a discount). Hypervolt Go cannot even rival Ekrin Bantam – the $199 price tag feels like a rip-off.
Key Aspects of a Massage Gun Important for Back Pain
Having experienced back pain ourselves, we know how crucial it is to find relief. While there may be many reasons for the discomfort, massage guns are a worthy choice for muscular problems that cause back pain.
But you have to choose the right device with the right features for your problem.
From our personal experience, when targeting large muscle groups with massage guns, we typically pay attention to stroke length (amplitude), stall force, and percussions. But, for back pain, power doesn’t necessarily have to come first.
In this case, you need a massage gun with good ergonomics, easy to use, and then how much power you can get from it.
So let’s look at these aspects in detail.
Ergonomics is Key
In our hands-on tests, the length of the handle proved crucial for effective back massages.
The most notorious back problems affect the lower back. You want to get a massage gun that you can comfortably use on your back.
We also understand that some people (those with large body mass and the elderly) may find it hard to easily use a massage gun on their backs. For this reason, we don’t believe the regular T-shaped massage guns are suitable for back pain.
Those are no longer the only guns available. Over the past 2 years, we have seen brands reinvent the shape of a massage gun.
From our extensive testing, we’ve handpicked devices that have innovatively redesigned the conventional straight handle for better ergonomics.
Some of these include the multi-grip approach used by Theragun and Bob and Brad, Ekrin’s angled handle (Ekrin B37), and the smart 180-degree rotation on the Urikar Pro 2.
In the same line of trying to reach all areas of your back, it’s important to watch how much the device weighs. Trying to maneuver 3lbs. of a power-drill-like machine on your back isn’t going to be comfortable.
For that reason, we made sure only to include light devices – ideally 2.2-2.3 pounds or lower.
Achedaway Pro might be heavier than that but there’s a good reason we included it. We talked about that above.
Power Also Matters
From our trials, a massage gun needs to be powerful enough to tackle all body parts – even large muscle groups. Like we have said, you probably won’t need that much power to massage away your back pain.
However, massage guns are not cheap, and it’s worth investing in one that is versatile enough to be used on the rest of your body as well.
There is also the case of lower back pain – in particular when massaging the lumbar spine. Therapists recommend massaging the hip area and the upper leg muscles like the hamstring. You will need more power to massage those areas effectively.
We often define massage gun power using stroke length/amplitude, stall force, and percussions per minute. Here’s what they mean and what you should take into consideration.
Stroke Length / Amplitude
Stroke length is the distance the massage gun head travels as it percusses.
Here, there are two main approaches:
- High amplitude devices: These devices are known for their high amplitude (often 14-16mm long). They offer more muscle penetration. Their intensity comes from the hard hits rather than the percussions. They percuss slower and have a small percussion range. They include Theragun devices and Hypervolt 2 Pro.
- Low amplitude devices: These are more vibrational than percussive. Their strength comes from the many percussions per minute. They have a wide percussion range but a short amplitude (often less than 10mm). This include devices such as Ekrin Bantam. In the same category, we can also mention medium amplitude devices in this category. They are somewhere in between, with 10-13mm amplitude. They include Ekrin devices, Hypervolt 1 and Hypervolt 2.
Stroke Length Comparison of Our Recommended Devices
Note that all values are actual and have been measured by us.
When treating back pain, does the amplitude of a device matter? Not entirely. All categories can do the job just fine. Muscles in your back aren’t as big as the muscles in your upper legs – hamstrings and glutes.
However, not that different devices will feel different on your skin when you are massaging. It’s very important to know this before deciding what category of devices to go with.
Some people prefer deep hits, while others prefer shallow but fast hits. Sometimes it comes down to personal preference.
If you’re not sure, go for something with a medium amplitude. We often refer to this as the “sweet spot.” That means the hits won’t be too hard or too weak. That is why we have Ekrin B37 as our top recommendation. It’s perfectly balanced; the same goes for Urikar Pro 2.
If you’d rather have harder hits – Theragun-like approach, we advise going for something slightly more affordable like Achedaway Pro – our second pick. It’s a high amplitude device, just like Theragun and Hypervolt 2 Pro, but way more affordable.
Stall force is the amount of pressure a device can withstand when pressed against the body.
Enough stall force in a device allows for deeper muscle penetration as you massage. But do you need a lot of stall force for the upper and lower back?
The mid-back and the upper back do not have large muscle groups. For this reason, you probably won’t have to press the device hard against the skin. These areas often only require you to glide the massage gun over – the massage should be delicate, especially around the spine.
However, for the lower back, where you also have to treat adjacent muscles (in the case of sciatica), like the hip area, hamstrings and down to the calves and foot, you will need stall force. You should probably get a device that isn’t easy to stall for the lower back massage.
Because you will need to massage your lower back – including adjacent large muscle groups – we recommend getting a versatile gun. One that won’t stall easily when massaging those large muscle group areas. Get a device that can withstand up to 30-40lbs. of stall force.
However, keep in mind that a device with 40lbs. of stall force will only be that powerful at top speed. Lower speed gears have a low stall force as well. That is why you have to stay away from cheap devices that don’t have much power.
A gun with enough stall force will work better than a weak gun when you want a slow but percussive massage. That is why we picked only the best guns in terms of power for our post.
Stall Force Comparison of Our Best Picks
We estimate stall force by comparing every device we test to 2-3 benchmark devices.
Percussions and Speeds
From our experience, most high amplitude devices only rev up to 2300RPM or 2700RPM. For lower amplitude devices, the percussion range is often 1800-3200. That is the typical range for devices from top brands that manufacture top-quality devices.
However, we have seen some good devices that can rev up to 4600RPM. The only thing is that these are highly vibrational. In other words, you are getting a device with an amplitude lower than 10mm.
Apart from such devices, many devices that go beyond 3400RPM either have very low amplitude or the manufacturer overstated the percussion range. In our experience, a device is either high amplitude or high frequency and rarely both.
In terms of the speed gears setup, many good devices have 3 to 6 speeds. The optimal setup is often 4-5 speeds. However, we’ve seen good devices that have over 9 speeds (like Lifepro DynaFlex, for instance).
But there are devices with 20-30 speeds. That’s way too many for anyone’s liking.
Some devices have pre-programmed speeds for massaging certain areas – including the upper and lower back. This kind of setup is awesome to expedite the learning curve but probably not a must-have feature.
We also look at other features, including:
- Noise: Nobody wants an extremely noisy device, especially when massaging your upper back that’s close to your head. Most massage guns are quiet, especially at lower speeds. However, some are quieter than others – we gave priority to the more hushed ones.
- Number of attachments: We believe 4 or 5 attachments are enough for massaging the whole body. There are special attachments to massage the lower back and sensitive or painful areas like the cushioned or super-soft attachments. Some devices promise up to 20 attachments. From our experience, this is more of a marketing ploy than anything useful. Most of those are repeated attachments with minor alterations that don’t make a difference.
- Battery capacity and time on battery: Many guns today can keep the charge for 1-2 weeks depending on how you use them. Bigger batteries only increase the overall weight of the device, which could affect maneuverability.
- Warranty offered: Most cheap brands offer a 1-year warranty or nothing at all. We love brands that can stand behind their products with a lifetime warranty.
- Special features: We love brands that include special attachments like heated and cold therapy attachments.
- Overall value for the money: Why overpay when you can get something similar or better at a better price.
So, that concludes our list of the best massage guns for back pain. However, there are a few key takeaways from this.
Massage guns can help alleviate back pain and are very effective if the pain is muscle-related. But before choosing the right device, you need to:
- Pay attention to ergonomics – you want something that can easily reach your back.
- Power isn’t always what matters especially when treating the upper back. However, you will need a massage gun with decent stall force for the lower back.
- Buy something versatile that you can use to massage the entire body.
- Check out what we have recommended here. They are all different but very effective if you know what you are getting.
- Theraguns and Hypervolts are great products to alleviate back pain, but only if you can afford them. Otherwise, we believe our picks offer the best value for your money, and Ekrin B37 is still the most versatile device on the market – best massage gun for back pain and beyond.
Feel free to ask us more questions or just drop a comment below. Take care!
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Post Update History
Here's a quick rundown of all the tweaks and edits we've made to this article to keep it accurate and up-to-date!
Current version last updated on:
November 13, 2023 Post Update: Refined for better clarity and readability, now recommending the versatile Bob and Brad D6 Pro. (Author: Greg)
August 18, 2023New, revised introduction, plus more information from our hands-on testing (Author: Luke)
April 23, 2023Added a comparison table to make comparing specs and features easier. (Author: Greg)
February 28, 2023Added new photos of Theraguns, Hypervolts, Ekrin. (Author: Greg)
October 19, 2022Added Urikar Pro 2 to the list, following our hands-on review. (Author: Greg)
August 13, 2022Added stall force and amplitude charts. (Author: Greg)
June 20, 2022Added Lyric to the list of recommendations.(Author: Greg)
April 21, 2022 Medically reviewed by Dr. Gary Tanchak, D.C.
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