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You don’t need an appointment, a spa or even another person to reap the benefits of a massage. “When it’s not possible to get a professional treatment, you can relieve everyday aches and tension on your own,” explains Elizabeth Bryan Bragg, a licensed massage therapist at Shift PT in New York City.

“Massage assistance equipment such as Theracane, Backnobber and foam rollers are great tools to use for myofascial release and relaxation of tired, knotted muscles,” adds Scott Danberg, director of fitness at the Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa in Miami. However, often all you really need are your own hands and in some cases, a tennis ball, to help release the pain in your neck, shoulders and back. “Just note that you should never put direct pressure on your spine,” adds Bragg.

Try these five self-massage techniques to beat neck and back pain.

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