The cane or hook shaped tools have been our favorites for a long time. They are very precise in having the ability to target specific muscle knots. Most of all, they aren’t that hard to use or figure out. Hold, press into a muscle knot and pull or push to dig in deeper.
Their precision is offset by their lack of versatility when you put it up against some of the other tools. However, they do come in second and will probably be difficulty to beat when it comes to ease of use.
All muscle tools are effective in their own way. The question is, will these tools be right for you? If you have specific muscle knots that need pinpoint pressure, then the cane shaped tools are at the top of the list, coming second to the Muscle Wizard.
The tools are not as effective for a stripping type of massage. If you’re an athlete or someone that is active, you may want to hit larger body parts and ‘strip’ over them. You can’t do that with the cane shaped tools.
Great for specific trigger points :
They can really pin point the trigger points. If you have muscle knots and trigger points, THESE are a god send! I’ve used a couple of different ones (back knobber and the theracane) for well over a year now. I’ve been able to pin point the trigger points and hold them to relieve them. They work great for the upper shoulders and the mid back. Once you get used to how to hold it and keep it steady, you can target smaller areas like the back of the head (source of muscle tension headaches).
Reputable products from reputable companies:
One of the things I look for in a company is whether they have been in business for awhile and whether they are reputable. The companies that produce these products have both going for them. They produce several different types of massage products and have been in business for awhile. You aren’t going to buy a product to find that they have closed their doors and there is no support or ability to return a product.
If the number 1 recommended product wasn’t around, I really wouldn’t complain about these tools. However, there are a few cons to them. For one, it does get tiring holding onto the tool for a longer period of time. If you got a muscle knot that needs to be held for a minute or two, the arms do get tired. Its even harder with the low back. I find that I’m almost straining my upper body (some call this working out!). If I want to workout, Ill do that at the gym.
The other con is portability. Its not easy to carry around. You can’t just carry them in your bag everywhere you go. (Unless of course it’s a large foam roller. For some reason its ‘cool’ to carry those around now!) The closest that comes to something portable is the back knobber. It breaks up into pieces that you can put in your bag. But you’re still limited since the pieces are still large enough not to fit in some smaller bags.
***UPDATE*** the Theracane also now comes with a model that you can break up and carry with you** The other con is that you can only hit one muscle knot at a time. If you got quite a few of them, its not as easy to work them all out. If you do have a few, your arms are going to get tired pretty quick.
Versatility is also lacking. Hitting trigger points is great with this product. However, some may want to do stripping or deep massage of the areas. That’s not something the cane shaped tools can do.
The Bottom Line
The Cane / Hook Shaped tools are some of our favorites. If you are looking at only digging into trigger points or muscle knots, then these products should be the right fit. However, we’re also finding that you need to hold into these knots for a lot longer. The hands can get tired if you have to do this for any length of time. Otherwise, always a solid product.