What Is it: A uniquely shaped massage ball that is the perfect tool for easing chronic muscle tension and acute muscle pain brought on by the discomforts of travel.
Price and Where to Buy: $19.97 from Amazon.com.
Pros: It may not look like much—and at first blush, it definitely doesn’t look like it’s worth the $20 to $25 retail price—but this little massage ball packs a powerful punch. I’ve long relied on inexpensive tennis balls, lacrosse balls, and even high-bounce rubber balls for self-massaging sore and tired muscles on the go—at the airport, in my hotel room, etc. What sets this massage ball apart, though, is its shape.
The trigger point massage ball isn’t perfectly round—it has a slightly pointed tip, more like an egg than a ball—and that makes all the difference in getting at the tender points in your back, shoulders, and neck. It’s the difference between a surface-level massage and a deep-tissue massage. The pointed tip feels like someone’s thumb pressing deeply into your sore muscles and rubbing away the tension. It’s the perfect antidote to a long, cramped flight in coach.
Its size is another bonus: The massage ball is small enough to fit in any carry-on bag or personal item; you could even keep it in your jacket pocket.
Cons: At $20 to $25, it’s expensive. Too expensive, honestly—no one should have to pay that much for a ball. And yet, I’m glad I did. This massage ball has made the difference between a good trip and a bad one on more than one occasion. If you suffer from chronic muscle tension, or you’re prone to acute muscle pain after sitting in the cramped confines of a middle seat for eight hours at a time, $20 is a small price to pay for immediate relief.
How it Rates:
- Usefulness: 10/10. The pointed tip makes it better than an ordinary ball at easing tense muscles.
- Portability: 10/10. It fits in your pocket, purse, carry-on, etc.
- Value: 5/10. It’s hard to objectively justify the retail price of $24.99. Amazon usually sells it for under $20, though, and while that’s still a bit high for what you get, it’s still cheaper than paying for a real massage.
- Durability: 8/10. It’s a sturdy massage ball, but over time—say, after a year of steady use—the insides can get a little squishy. You might find yourself buying a new one at some point down the road.
- Cool Factor: 5/10. You won’t look cool using this. In fact, you’ll probably want to go somewhere private to use it.
Final Verdict: This is an essential little tool for travelers who deal with muscle tension. I make sure to pack it in my carry-on bag every time I fly.
Editor’s Note: Reviews are based on usefulness, portability, durability, value, and “cool factor.” Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product. If you have any questions or comments concerning our reviews, or would like to suggest a product for review, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Photo Credit: Amazon.com)