Ultrasonic massage is a time-honored technique in use by physical and occupational therapists all over the world to reduce pain and promote healing. Today, you can buy these professional-caliber machines to have the benefits of ultrasonic massage in your own home. Here are our picks for the best ultrasonic massager for pain relief.
If you suffer from deep muscular pain, our top pick is the Ultra Care Pro for Pain Relief for Home Use by Sonicpulse. This ultrasonic massager comes with two transducers, so you can use a broad head for large body areas, or the finger shape for pinpointing problem areas. The 1 MHz frequency offers deeper, more penetrating heat and stimulation for greater pain relief. It has a wide range of settings, is simple to use, and comes with two power cords for use in the US or abroad.
Editor’s Pick: Best Ultrasonic Massager for Pain Relief
Ultrasonic Massager for Pain Relief Buying Guide
Ultrasonic massage is a medical technique that has been in use for decades. The devices vibrate on a frequency that penetrates deep into the body, stimulating cells and tissues to heal, relax, and relieve pain.
Because these are medical devices, they are designed to be used by trained physical therapists and professionals who understand the correct timing, intensity, and use of the machine for the best results. Even with a manual, they are not typically designed for a person to administer on themselves with little training or information.
For that reason, the best way to use an ultrasonic massager for pain relief is if it has been recommended by a physical therapist or medical professional. If you are receiving ultrasonic therapy from a physician, they can explain to you how the device works, what your optimal course of treatment may be, and even how to properly use the machine.
For those who are currently in physical therapy for pain, a home ultrasonic machine can save time in waiting rooms and the cost of co-pays, and is available 7 days a week, but these devices should be used under medical supervision.
Optimal Frequency in an Ultrasonic Massager
Most medical ultrasonic massagers operate at either 1 MHz or 3 Mhz. The frequency of the sonic waves is what penetrates the skin, carrying heat and stimulating the cells inside the body. Frequencies of 1 MHz penetrate more deeply, to depths of 2.5 cm or more below the skin surface; 3 MHz units penetrate less, to depths of about 1.6 cm.
Physical therapists choose the correct frequency for the condition they are trying to treat. Ultrasonic waves will not penetrate bone, but will heat the bone and make it uncomfortable; the massager should always be in motion and never kept still. Sessions are typically 3-5 minute long, and should not exceed 15 minutes.
The size and shape of a transducer correlate to how broad or narrow the treatment area should be. A smaller, narrower head will have a more specific, focused effect, while a bigger, broader head will have a more general effect.
4 Ultrasonic Massagers Review
1. Joint Muscle Back Body Pain Stiffness Relieve Relief Therapy for Home Use
The WS4U Ultrasonic Massager is one of the best-selling ultrasonic massage machines in the world. It has a digital display with preset programs, that run for 0-60 minutes, and have pulsed or continuous power. It provides deep heat for healing and relaxation at the cellular level.
This ultrasonic massager has 3 MHz output, and comes with power cords suitable for North American or international voltage, as well as an instruction manual.
As a 3 MHz frequency massager, the Joint Muscle Back Body Pain Stiffness Relieve Relief Therapy for Home Use is best for treating more superficial sites of pain, penetrating the body to a depth of about 1.6 cm. With the broad transducer and shallower frequency, it is great for use on large parts of the body that need less sonic penetration.
2. Ultra Care Pro for Pain Relief for Home Use
This Ultra Care Pro for Pain Relief for Home Use by Sonicpulse comes with two transducers. The broad-tipped transducer is for treating wider areas, and the finger transducer is for targeting specific areas. It has a 1 MHz frequency, and is controlled by a microprocessor.
The controls on the Sonicpulse Ultra Care Pro allow you to set treatment time from 0-60 minutes, intensity, and select continuous or pulsing modes. LED lights indicate your settings. It can operate at 110 or 220 volts, for use in North America or in other countries.
This Ultra Care Pro for Pain Relief for Home Use has a 1 MHz output, so the ultrasonic waves penetrate more deeply, delivering heat and stimulation into tissues 2.5 cm or deeper into the body. With the two transducers, including the finger style wand, it is great for narrowly targeting deep sites of pain or soreness.
3. Pain Relief Machine for Muscle, Joint, Soreness & Arthritis Pain by WS4U
The Pain Relief Machine for Muscle, Joint, Soreness & Arthritis Pain by WS4U is a digital unit. You can control the time, pulse rate or continuous, and control intensity with a convenient dial. It is simple and easy to use, and can deliver therapy for 0-60 minutes at a time.
This 1Mhz ultrasonic massager has a slightly smaller transducer than other massagers, but that may be helpful for specifically targeting areas of the body.
It is a great choice for people with arthritis or mobility issues in their hands and helps reduce inflammation.
4. Table Top Professional Ultrasonic Ultrasound USA Salon and Spa USA-F-801C
The Table Top Professional Ultrasonic Ultrasound by USA Salon and Spa is a compact, easy-to-use ultrasonic machine. It comes with three transducers, with different shapes optimized for use on the face and the body. This digital unit operates at 50Hz or 60Hz, and warms the skin to promote blood flow and rejuvenate the face.
It is compact, at just 14.5 x 14.5 x 7.5, and weighs 11 pounds. It comes fully assembled.
The Table Top Professional Ultrasonic Ultrasound USA Salon and Spa USA-F-801C is designed for use in salons and spas, where light ultrasonic stimulation may improve the skin tone and texture. With just 50-60Hz of frequency, it is gentle enough to use on the face, but it doesn't have the power to alleviate pain.
Q: How often can you use ultrasound therapy?
The answer really depends on what kind of condition you are treating, and what your physician has advised. Most medical professionals recommend ultrasound therapy about 3 times a week, depending on the patient’s condition.
Q: Is ultrasound therapy painful?
If the sessions are 3-5 minutes long, used on the appropriate body parts, and the transducer is constantly in motion, an ultrasonic massage should never be painful.
Ultrasonic massage is a widespread technique for treating pain and soreness, and these machines can give you the convenience of accessing these treatments at home. If your pain is a deep, penetrating pain, we recommend the 1 MHz Ultra Care Pro for Pain Relief for Home Use.
If you have a shallower pain or injury site, the 3 MHz Joint Muscle Back Body Pain Stiffness Relieve Relief Therapy for Home Use is a great choice. If you want to use ultrasonic massage on your face, opt for the gentle, 50 Hz Table Top Professional Ultrasonic Ultrasound USA Salon and Spa USA-F-801C.