Pain and I have a little game we play: It strikes, I retaliate, it retreats (for a little while). Through years of trial and error I've accumulated a few therapeutic tools that can quickly relieve my recurring aches, and the devices keep getting better and better. This knot-melting Liba Massager, currently $18 at Amazon, is my MVP right now! With this ergonomic tool, massaging my own back is as easy as pie. Let's just say I'm obsessed.
The back story
I'm a very knotty gal. Because I'm hypermobile and have a connective tissue disorder, my muscles overcompensate by gripping, especially in my back, shoulders, neck and hips. If you've read this far, you're probably pretty knotty too. Trust me: This massage cane can help.
Simply hook it around yourself and very lightly pull to apply counterpressure. This stimulates blood circulation, allowing more oxygen in for quick muscle relief and recovery. You can shift the position, intensity and duration with minimal effort, releasing muscles in spasm and hitting trigger points ergonomically anywhere on your body.
I've long loved my Thera Cane (a similar, pricier massage cane), but my husband keeps stealing it for his new foot pain issue. That's OK. When I picked up this Liba self-massager and found out just how awesome it is, I told him he can have my old Thera Cane, but hands (and feet) off my Liba!
Side by side
The Liba has slightly different (better!) features than my Thera Cane. The two knobs just under the top, for example, work well to release the muscles in my neck, hips, feet and the backs of my thighs. Also, Liba's curved handles make it easier to rock the cane into prime position than Thera's straight handles do. Several ways to use the Liba are illustrated in the free accompanying guide and videos, but you'll find your own ways as well.
The Liba is also sturdier than the Thera Cane, which I love. This makes it slightly heavier (1.34 pounds vs. 1.05 pounds, respectively), but the ergonomic design of the canes makes this slight weight difference a nonissue.
Both designs have their upsides. I had grown fond of the sleek, rounded feel of the Thera Cane's body, but the grip on the Liba is better, thanks to indentations on the flat surface that keep my fingers from slipping.
Budget-wise, the Liba is a no-brainer. At just $18 (down from $40) the Liba is a much better deal than the $40 (was $50) Thera Cane. And as indicated by the Amazon ratings, the affordable Liba (boasting nearly 24,000 five-star reviews) is twice as popular as the Thera Cane (with an also-impressive 12,000 five-star reviews).
One minor disappointment: Because the Liba arrived in two pieces, I got excited thinking the 23.5-inch cane might easily split into two for travel. Alas, since snapping it together ,I have yet to succeed in splitting it back apart, and it doesn't fit in my carry-on. Some reviewers claim the Liba easily breaks down for travel, but there is no mention of this capability from the seller on Amazon. On the bright side, the fact that it doesn't split is a testament to its sturdiness. (Note: Thera Cane is a bit longer at 24 inches and doesn't break down at all.)
My go-to massager
My Liba now lives at my desk. I thank you, dear Thera Cane, for your service — the Liba just happens to do it better and at a better price point. So I'm planning to lean on my Liba from here on out, but I will never turn my back on the Thera Cane completely.
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