The 11 Best Myofascial Release Tools of 2021

Move more with less pain

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Our Top Picks
Best High-Density Foam Roller:
LuxFit Premium High-Density Foam Roller at Amazon
Great for massaging the major muscle groups in your lower body, it applies all the needed pressure without compromising its shape.
Best Multi-Density Foam Roller:
Trigger Point Performance GRID at Amazon
A solid choice if you prioritize versatility, the grid pattern is designed to channel blood and oxygen to repair your muscles.
A solid home alternative for myofascial release, the lightweight massage gun helps to relieve muscle soreness more quickly.
Upgrade your myofascial release session with this pick, which combines the therapeutic effects of a massage gun with foam rolling.
Best Massage Stick:
The Stick Original at Amazon
Complete with 15 rotating spindles that roll independently, its portable size makes it easy to use no matter where you are.
Best Trigger Point Wand:
Thera Cane Massager at Amazon
A tool that focuses specifically on relieving trigger point pain, it enables you to easily reach any point on your back.
If you prefer the TENS relief method, this pick features 24 different massage modes with 20 levels of adjustable intensity.
This ball gives you all you need for sore muscle recovery, especially when you can’t access trigger points with a roller or stick.
Those with plantar fasciitis will appreciate the two independent rollers, allowing you to massage both feet at the same time.
Cryotherapy is especially beneficial for painful muscles, and this option does just that, combining ice with myofascial release.

Did you wake up feeling extra tight, stiff, or sore this morning? Your muscles and connective tissue might benefit from a little TLC with myofascial release.

Myofascial release is a physical therapy technique that addresses sensitivity in the connective tissue called fascia that surrounds and supports every muscle in your body. By addressing specific trigger points within the fascia where the pain originates, you can help reduce that pain and ease the amount of tension you feel.

Luckily, you can employ similar techniques on your own at home with the right tools. And by making broader, sweeping motions across your major muscle groups, you can effectively reach those trigger points and benefit from more comprehensive stretches simultaneously. 

Here are the best myofascial release tools on the market.

Best High-Density Foam Roller: LuxFit Premium High-Density Foam Roller

This classic active recovery tool covers a lot of ground at an affordable price. A high-density foam roller, it gives you the ability to apply as much pressure as you need without compromising its shape, even after heavy use. Great for massaging the major muscle groups in your legs and your back, this smooth roller uses molded polypropylene foam technology and is water-repellent.

It’s safe to use the roller often both before and after exercise to relieve excess muscle tension and tightness. The foam roller is also made in the United States and backed by a full one-year warranty. 

Best Multi-Density Foam Roller: Trigger Point Performance GRID Foam Roller

Trigger Point Performance GRID Foam Roller

If you want a foam roller with a little more versatility, consider this multi-density design from Trigger Point Performance. The varied surface of this EVA foam roller uses unique technology to help give your muscles a more targeted massage experience. The result? Lasting relief from post-exercise aches and pains. Regular sessions with a multi-density foam roller can also better prepare your muscles to stave off injuries.

Made with high-quality materials, this foam roller is built to last and hold its shape over its lifetime. It also comes with a one-year warranty.

What Experts Say

"Myofascial release can help people reach their fitness goals by reducing tissue restrictions that limit motion so that more mobility can be achieved when exercising or training and it can help reduce post-exercise soreness. Start slow and put the body part being treated in a position of relaxation. Apply only enough pressure for mild discomfort at most and see how you feel. You can do more or less once you see how you respond.”Erin DiGangi, PT, physical therapist in La Grange Park, IL

Best Massage Gun: TIMTAM Power Massager

TIMTAM Power Massager

If you typically opt for deep tissue massages when meeting with a professional, this device is a great home alternative for myofascial release. The massage gun is lightweight, surprisingly quiet, and powerful, helping to relieve muscle soreness more quickly.

It also features a unique, auto-heating tip and a vibration attachment, giving you two more soothing elements to try. Simply hold the device against the targeted area, gently moving in a circular motion for no more than a minute or two before moving on to your next muscle in need. And be mindful to avoid bones, joints, tendons, and the trunk of your neck, as you can easily damage these tissues with percussive therapy devices.

Best Vibrating Foam Roller: Hyperice Vyper 2 High-Intensity Vibrating Foam Roller

vibrating roller

Ready to take your foam rolling sessions to the next level? This device combines the powerful therapeutic effects of a massage gun with the always-effective foam roller. With three different vibration settings, the foam roller allows you to tailor your myofascial release session exactly the way you need across the larger muscle groups in your body, reducing the amount of soreness you’re experiencing and improving both your flexibility and circulation.

Its compact, cordless design and two-hour battery life makes it easy to use virtually anywhere. It also features both smooth and grooved sections, giving you an all-in-one foam rolling experience.

Best Massage Stick: The Stick Original

The Stick Original

A cult favorite of endurance athletes worldwide, The Stick Original is an excellent myofascial release tool worth adding to your collection. It features 15 rotating spindles that roll independently on the flexible center rod over the muscle area your targeting. This design allows you to reach the entire area comfortably and release painful trigger points effectively.

The stick helps prepare muscles for physical activity and enhances muscle recovery after exercise. Not to mention, it’s incredibly lightweight and easy to use no matter where you are. Fun fact: The Stick Original has won seven awards for how well it treats muscle pain and trigger points. 

Best Trigger Point Wand: Thera Cane Massager

Thera Cane Massager

If you’re looking for a tool that focuses specifically on relieving trigger point pain as opposed to massaging larger muscles, consider the Thera Cane. Ergonomically designed with six treatment balls along the length of the cane, it enables you to reach any point on your back and underneath your shoulder blades easily.

What’s more, you are in entire control of the amount of pressure you use, so the myofascial release can be as gentle or as deep as you need. You can use the Thera Cane Massager from both seated and standing positions. People with limited range of motion in their arms especially appreciate the reach it provides.

Best TENS Unit: TechCare Pro TENS Portable Massager

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a pain relief method that sends a mild electrical current into connected electrode pads that stick directly on the skin above the muscle you’re trying to soothe. Used by doctors and physical therapists worldwide, these devices contract and release the muscle to assist with injury recovery and persistent knots.

This TENS unite from TechCare is an excellent option for home use. It features 24 different massage modes with 20 levels of adjustable intensity strength so you can customize the therapy you give to your muscles in need. Two electrode pads allow you to cover a larger area at the same time, and the rechargeable battery lasts up to 20 hours between charges.

Best Massage Ball: 4KOR Fitness Ultimate Massage Ball Set

4KOR Fitness Ultimate Massage Ball Set

Sometimes it’s easiest to access trigger points with a ball, and this three-piece set from 4KOR gives you all the options you need for optimum sore muscle recovery. It includes two sizes of the 4KOR FIREBALL, which features a grip-strong TPR tread and a unique groove pattern for effective deep tissue therapy.

It also includes a lacrosse ball, a popular choice of physical therapists targeting everything from hard-to-reach areas on the back to hands in need of carpal tunnel relief. When you can’t seem to access the painful trigger point with a foam roller or a massage stick, reach for a massage ball next.

Best for Feet: TheraFlow Foot Massage Roller

TheraFlow Foot Massager Roller

If you struggle with plantar fasciitis, give this foot massager from TheraFlow a try. It uses two independent rollers so you can massage both of your feet at the same time, and its unique nubs and ridges are specifically designed to help knead, stimulate, and relax the soft tissue in your feet.

It’s particularly effective in relieving tension felt in your arches and toward your heels. The massager is also lightweight, making it easy to relocate throughout your home depending on where you want to use it, and it fits easily in a backpack for when you want to take it with you on the go.

Best Cryotherapy Tool: Recoup Fitness Cryosphere Cold Massage Roller

Recoup Fitness Cryosphere Cold Massage Roller

Particularly painful muscles and trigger points can benefit from cryotherapy, which is the use of cold temperatures to reduce inflammation and minimize the sensitivity of the area. So why not combine ice with myofascial release? The Cryosphere is frozen and ready to use in just two hours, remaining ice-cold for up to six hours.

The free-rolling ball in the center of the device makes it easy to use trigger point myofascial release on any part of your body that needs relief, and the cold massage therapy helps encourage both blood circulation and lymphatic drainage. Plus, the grip on the handheld component makes it easy to maintain control of the device as you massage your neck, shoulders, legs, and more.

Best Muscle Roller: URBNFit Muscle Roller

URBNFit Muscle Roller

When you aren't finding relief from a standard foam roller, it might be time to turn to a massage tool that can alleviate pressure and tension in a deeper way. If you don't want to spend the money on an expensive massage gun, this muscle roller deserves a spot in your recovery routine.

What sets this lightweight tool apart is the slim design: sandwiched between the ergonomic, non-slip handles are three trigger-point grids that rotate around the axle-like rod. The rollers are made of plastic but have an almost rubbery feel, so they aren't too firm or too soft.

What Our Editors Say

"While I like traditional foam rollers for general recovery, this muscle roller helps me target my muscles more deeply. I use it mostly on my calves and hamstrings. The handles let me control the amount of pressure I'm applying with the rollers. I've found it especially helpful at relieving the occasional charley horse cramps." Ashleigh Morley, Commerce Editorial Director

Final Verdict

At the end of the day, the best myofascial release tool is the one that feels best for your body. But if we had to choose three tools from this list to create our ultimate myofascial release kit, we’d go with The Stick Original, the 4KOR Fitness Ultimate Massage Balls Set, and the Recoup Fitness Cryosphere Cold Massage Roller. Each fills its own unique piece of the trigger point and sore muscle relief puzzle, and each is reasonably priced for the benefits they provide.

What to Look for in a Myofascial Release Tool

Versatility

Since you have both muscle tissue and connective tissue throughout your entire body, it’s important to equip yourself with a set of tools that can safely and effectively address tightness, stiffness, and soreness in each area. For instance, foam rollers are a great starting point, but they can’t do it all.

Intensity

In your myofascial release toolkit, you want the ability to vary intensity based on the area of the body you’re working on and your existing tolerance levels for myofascial release therapies. It’s a good idea to have mild, mid-level, and more aggressive options to choose from so you always have what you need right when you need it.

Ease of Use

Since you’ll likely be using these tools solo, it’s important that you feel comfortable and confident in operating them correctly. If one feels burdensome to hold or use, it’s probably not the right tool for you. You want to feel like you have control of the tool during a myofascial release session so you can successfully, and safely, address your problematic trigger points.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

As a former personal trainer, seasoned health writer, and avid exerciser, Alena Hall understands how important it is to pick the right workout tools and accessories for you. She is always exploring the latest and greatest wellness tools, machines, and gadgets, but more importantly, Alena carefully considers the quality and various features that make these fitness products worthwhile investments. 

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2 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Castro-Sánchez AM, Matarán-Peñarrocha GA, Granero-Molina J, et al. Benefits of massage-myofascial release therapy on pain, anxiety, quality of sleep, depression, and quality of life in patients with fibromyalgiaEvidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2011;2011:1-9. doi:10.1155/2011/561753

  2. Wiewelhove T, Döweling A, Schneider C, et al. A meta-analysis of the effects of foam rolling on performance and recoveryFront Physiol. 2019;10:376. Published 2019 Apr 9. doi:10.3389/fphys.2019.00376