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Sore muscles? Relieve pain with these top-rated recovery tools: 'Killer in a good way'

foam roller, massage ball, massage stick
Using a foam roller or a massage ball daily can make long-standing aches and pains evaporate. (Photo: Amazon)

Everyone loves a great massage, but the price of one is sometimes not enough to justify the monthly expense. However, a foam roller is the next best thing, delivering a "hurts so good" sensation as it releases muscles and fascia.

Though simple in aesthetics, if used correctly foam rollers can provide a host of benefits. According to Heathline, foam rolling can "help relieve muscle tightness, soreness and inflammation, and increase your joint range of motion." Over time, it can also prevent the emergence of future aches. Healthline adds that foam rolling should be done for at least 20 minutes immediately after a workout, then again within 48 hours of said exercise. Besides benefiting joints, it also helps alleviate chronic tension.

Foam rollers come in all shapes and sizes, and choosing which one is right for you can be slightly overwhelming. A cylinder roller is most popular, but spherical rollers or those that resemble a rolling pin can be better for some folks. At Amazon we spotted various types by the popular brand TriggerPoint. Here are four guaranteed winners. Grab the one that speaks to you.

Trigger Point Grid Foam Roller

With varied ridges and nooks, it's easy to find relief.
$27 at Amazon

This popular foam roller is great for newbies because it comes with free access to instructional videos; you'll learn from certified trainers how to effectively roll, and how to target specific body parts. Said one of the 2,800+ reviewers: "I have been suffering from lower back pain for years now. I use this every day in the morning and sometimes in the evening. I found it really makes a difference. I am able to stretch without discomfort."

Trigger Point Performance Grid X Massage Ball

Trigger Point Performance
This ball is clutch for difficult-to-reach places such as shoulders, traps and hips.
$30 at Amazon

The Trigger Point Performance Grid X Massage Ball has a grid pattern that provides relief through pressure and by increasing the flow of blood and oxygen to muscles. "Best investment ever. I have tried rollers, baseballs softballs tennis balls...anything to get the knots out of my shoulder blades.... This thing has just enough give to make the process only slightly uncomfortable (really needed the firmness to make any progress) and to actually get knots out [that] I have dealt with for years," wrote one fan.

TriggerPoint Vibrating Massage Ball

The outer layer is a high-density silicone that gently grips skin for enhanced myofascial release.
$89 at Amazon

This Amazon's Choice product adds another dimension to relief and recovery. It vibrates, at three different speeds, to release tightness even more effectively. It's easy to wipe clean, so go ahead and use. it right after a workout. Wrote one satisfied customer: "This thing is a killer in a good way. It really goes deep with the different vibrating settings. It is a powerful ball! Easy to use. I got it for my shoulder, but husband uses it for sore muscles as well."

TriggerPoint Handheld Massage Stick

Trigger Point Performance
Its ergonomic handles simulate the pressure of a massage therapist's thumb — so your hands get some treatment too.
$42 at Amazon

The operates like a rolling pin, which makes it easy to release quads, calves and hamstrings. Wrote one satisfied customer: "I’ve gone through several different myofascial release tools, and this is by far the best one for me. It’s easy to grip, and the way the handles are shaped makes it comfortable to use. The bumps on the main portion work so well to break up adhesions, myofascial tensions, etc. Great for massaging after a workout as well! This one is a keeper."

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.

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