Help Ease the Pain of Your Tech Neck With Therabody’s Wave Series

Help Ease the Pain of Your Tech Neck With Therabody’s Wave Series
At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.

By this point, I’m sure we are all aware of what a Theragun is. We’re especially aware of how effective it is in helping ease muscle pain. Well, the brand behind Theragun, Therabody, has now also released its Wave Series which uses percussive massage therapy to help ease the aches and pains that daily life brings.

If you’re unsure what Therabody is, the company was founded by Dr Jason Wersland after he suffered traumatic injuries from a motorcycle accident and found there weren’t many ways to manage his discomfort.

From there, he started working on what is now Therabody’s hero product Theragun, which we’ve reviewed already, that uses percussive therapy to reach a certain depth and speed that’s effective enough to ease pain in atrophying muscles.

Now, Therabody is leading the way with dozens of therapy products aimed at helping ease muscle aches for all types of people like the Wave Series, RecoveryAir and the PowerDot.

The products from Therabody’s Wave Series are different from the Theragun, but they still focus on easing muscle pain, increasing mobility and enhancing relaxation with vibration therapy.

With three distinct shapes and purposes, Therabody’s Wave Series rollers use smart connectivity and innovative wave texture to adapt powerful vibration and pressure to your body’s unique physiology.

The good people over at Therabody were kind enough to send me not one, but all three of their Wave Series products to test out and review. So let’s dive right in.

Therabody Wave Roller review

Therabody Wave Series
Image: Lifehacker Australia/Ky Stewart

According to the Therabody website, The Wave Roller combines powerful vibration therapy with an innovative wave texture to help deliver a powerful full-body rolling experience.

The Wave Roller, like all the products, has Bluetooth connectivity where you can hook it up to the Therabody app to create personalised recovery routines.

The Wave Roller costs $249.

What’s good

What I like most about the Wave Roller is the fact that it vibrates. I know that’s the whole point of this product but it’s a welcome change to the standard foam rollers you can currently get.

I like that it vibrates because when I use a foam roller, I don’t know how much pressure I’m meant to be using and I never know if I’m using it properly.

With the vibration, however, I can actually feel the Roller working its way into my muscles without me having to do too much.

There are 5 different vibration settings so you can target the larger muscle groups with a different level of force that feels right for you.

I recently started getting back into the gym after a COVID hiatus so it’s safe to say my muscles had a rude awakening the first few weeks back.

My thighs and calves were not very happy that I had started working them out again and I was in a decent amount of pain (gotta love the DOMS, am I right?).

When I used the Wave Roller on my legs it was almost like a euphoric feeling. Not only because the physical act of rolling out my muscles felt like painful heaven, but because the vibration also gave my tired muscles a deep massage at the same time.

Even after using the Wave Roller once, my thighs and calves had more mobility and I wasn’t in as much pain. Cut to now where it’s a regular part of my post-gym recovery.

It’s also pretty good at cracking my joints and easing out muscle tension in my back and hips.

With around 3 hours of battery life, it’s got plenty of power in it before you have to charge it.

The foam roller is also a massive help with the shin splints that I get when I make the ill-informed decision to run.

What’s not so good

I like the Wave Roller a lot but it didn’t feel entirely revolutionary. What I mean by that is that it didn’t do a whole lot more than I was expecting it to.

Being a roller, it isn’t the most targeted way of addressing muscle aches so I found myself going to the other Wave Series products to single out any discomfort I was having.

I found that my use of it was quite limited. I mostly just used it for my calves and thighs and this was only after going to the gym. I didn’t find myself needing it much for everyday life.

I’m pretty tall (around 195 cm) and the Wave Roller is 30 cm x 13 cm so it only just makes it the width of my back. This isn’t a massive issue but I do feel like I’m going to roll off sometimes. Maybe that’s more of a personal problem, but I still wanted to make note of that.

This thing is also super heavy so it’s not the most transportable, but then again, I’m not sure how many of you would just whip out a vibrating roller in the middle of your office or on public transport.

You do get a handy carry bag, so you don’t have to shove it into your own bag, which is useful given that it weighs 1.5 kg.

One really weird and random problem I have with the texture of the Wave Series products is that when I use them on areas where I have body hair, I find the products will pull/rip my hair out. It’s nothing too painful but it is a bit annoying.

I’m also not a super hairy person but the hair on my legs does seem to get caught when I’m rolling the products around my skin.

The verdict: Therabody Wave Roller

Overall, I really enjoyed Therabody’s Wave Roller but if I wasn’t going to the gym/running/cycling, I probably wouldn’t use it much.

It’s obviously a lot more expensive than a standard foam roller but those don’t have built-in vibration therapy so the price-point makes sense to me.

If helping ease general calf, thigh, shin, hip and back muscle pain if what you want, then the Wave Roller is perfect for you.

I think the Wave Roller is fantastic for regular gym-goers and those who might get calf/thigh strain from running.

Therabody Wave Solo review

Therabody Wave Series
Image: Lifehacker Australia/Ky Stewart

The Wave Solo is Therabody’s take on the traditional lacrosse ball massage. By using vibration therapy, the Wave Solo aims to lessen the pain that is typically felt when digging deep into the muscle.

Being spherical in shape and pretty small in size, the Wave Solo is perfect for pinpointing areas of discomfort that need more focus than what the Wave Roller offers.

The Wave Solo also uses QuietRoll Technology (innovated and trademarked by Therabody) which basically mutes any reverberation to your surroundings.

Much like the Wave Roller, the Wave Solo has three vibration frequencies and an innovative wave texture that allows you to work it deep into areas that are a bit trickier to reach.

The Wave Solo costs $129.

What’s good

This beautiful little ball is everything I could ask for and more.

I know that’s a strong way to start, but I have so many good things to say about the Wave Solo.

Being that it is so small and lightweight, it is perfectly designed for you to take anywhere, even the office. It is also incredibly useful in pinpointing direct and specific areas of pain.

The three vibration levels are strong enough that you aren’t wanting anything more than the strongest level and the softest level is enough for you to still enjoy some deep tissue massaging.

As I said earlier, after I recently began getting back into the gym on a regular basis, my muscles have been in agony. There have been times I could hardly move my arms above my head.

The Wave Solo is exactly what my body has needed because its shape and strength allows me to really get into those aches and within a few solid minutes of massaging, the tension eases.

Where I found it the most useful were my shoulders, biceps, glutes, neck, hips and thighs. Oh, how could I forget about my feet? Yes, my feet.

I know it seems a bit weird, but hear me out. When I read on Therabody’s website that putting your foot on the Wave Solo and putting the pressure of your body weight against the device, the vibration works deep into your muscle and releases tension.

And release my tension it did. I didn’t know how much my feet needed to be massaged until I used the Wave Solo on them.

One great thing I love about the Wave Solo is that it texture of the ball allows you to massage the more delicate parts of your body where a Theragun might hurt – like your collarbones, armpits, underarms and groin area.

Unlike the Wave Roller, where it’s a more general massage, the Wave Solo allows you to really get into your tender points and deeply massages you in ways you thought were only possible from a professional.

To make things even better, the Wave Solo charges with a USB cable which means you can take it with you to work and discreetly charge that baby.

What’s not so good

There actually isn’t much to say against the Wave Solo besides some minor comments.

The first issue is the battery. With only 120 minutes of battery life, you will find yourself charging this one a bit more than you would the Wave Roller.

It’s not a massive issue though because I doubt most of us are spending 120 minutes deeply massaging ourselves.

The next issue is that because you do have to target a specific spot with a bit more pressure, it does become tiresome on your hands and can feel a bit like a workout when digging into your muscles.

As a result, I’ve found myself only using the Wave Solo to treat certain tight areas, rather than using it to do work on my full body.

Another point to note is that I experienced the same thing that happened with the Wave Roller and my body hair while using the Wave Solo. Maybe even more so because I’m putting more pressure on my skin and rolling it around, which pulls more hairs.

The verdict: Therabody Wave Solo

As you can probably tell, I can’t speak more highly about the Wave Solo. It is the perfect vibrating massage ball that is fit to help ease the muscle pain you’ll experience during everyday life.

With the powerful vibration frequencies, you can target any sore points you have in any part of your body and, the best part, The Wave Solo is the cheapest product of the bunch.

For me, it’s definitely worth the $129 price point.

Therabody Wave Duo review

Therabody Wave Series
Image: Lifehacker Australia/Ky Stewart

Next comes the Wave Solo’s cousin, the Wave Duo.

The Wave Duo is ergonomically contoured to the back, spine and neck to create a vibrating massage in hard to reach areas.

Like the Wave Solo, it is a portable smart vibrating roller with five powerful frequencies and high-traction wave grooves that help hit all the right angles of pressure that you need.

The Duo is designed to allow for the muscles on either side of your spine to be targeted without putting any extra pressure on the spine itself.

It kind of reminds me of a peanut. A vibrating massage peanut.

The Wave Duo is pretty ingenious in its design because it fills the void left by other products that aren’t able to reach your spine and neck without help from other people.

The Wave Duo costs $169.

What’s good

As someone who suffers from pretty bad neck pain all the time, Therabody’s Wave Duo has completely changed my life.

That may seem dramatic, but using the Wave Duo has really helped ease some of the tension in my neck which has lessened my overall pain.

It puts just the right amount of pressure on my muscles and joints without being too forceful. The silicone texture makes it perfect to use on the more delicate parts of your body like your neck, head and spine without it feeling like your bones are about to break.

While the Wave Duo is perfect for neck and back discomfort, the design also works perfectly for your elbows/forearms as well as your shins/calves.

Basically, it’s really good for digging into places that you normally would find hard to get to and didn’t know needed to be massaged.

It has a 200-minute battery life which is better than the Solo but still much less than the Wave Roller. That’s not too much of an issue though because the Wave Duo is charged with a USB cable, so it’s easy to plug her in anywhere.

One of the things I love most about the Wave Duo is that you can create your very own massage chair. All you have to do is pop the Duo on the back of your chair, lean back into it and move your body around as it works its magic.

I probably wouldn’t do this in the office as it looks a little strange, but it’s perfect to use at home.

What’s not

I really don’t have many bad things to say about the Wave Duo at all.

The only feedback I have is that when it came to areas that weren’t my neck and back, I found the Wave Solo does a better job at managing tension.

That’s not to say the Duo can’t be used in other areas, just that the Solo may be a little better placed for them.

The verdict: Therabody Wave Duo

At $169, the Duo does feel a little expensive (especially when you could get the Wave Solo for $40 cheaper) but for me, the way this massager is designed to specifically focus on your neck and back makes it worth the cost.

I really recommend using the Wave Duo if you’re like me and suffer from constant neck and lower back pain.

Helping tech neck, wrists and back

If you work in an office and have to sit at a desk all day, you’re probably very familiar with tech neck and lower back pains. These troubles come from being slightly hunched and looking down at your computer as well as sitting awkwardly in your desk chair.

One of the things that stood out the most when using all three of Therabody’s Wave Series products is how effective they were in easing my tech neck pain as well as the strain that comes from sitting down all day.

Not only did they help ease muscle aches after a long day at work, but they were also pretty good at minimising the pain I felt during the day too.

Another random benefit I got from using the Wave Series products was that I was finally able to massage my wrists. The soft silicone exterior on the products means that they are soft enough to work your wrists without causing any tenderness or friction.

I also used the Wave Solo on the palms of my hands and it relieved so much tension that my hands and fingers built up from typing all day.

The overall verdict: Therabody Wave Series

Image: Lifehacker Australia/Ky Stewart

I could not be more pleased with Therabody’s Wave Series. The products did everything they claimed to, and then some.

You don’t need to get all three products, but there’s a good chance you’ll find one that’s suitable for you and your body.

You can check out the full Therabody range, including the Wave Series here.

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At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


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