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Pain Relief with Dr. Ritter's Real-Ease Neck and Shoulder Relaxer

Updated on March 12, 2014

My Experience with This Strangely Effective Neck and Shoulder Relaxer

One of my favorite techniques for easing neck and shoulder stress is to place all of my finger tips along the base of the occipital ridge while the person I am working on is on his back with his head at the edge of the massage table. I call this ridge the “Canyon of stress” because it contains multiple points that get tight, fatigued and stressed. If this area stays stressed, you get grumpy, irritable and generally can guarantee that you’ll have a moody day.

Here’s what I do, to make it all better in a relatively short amount of time. I apply light pressure along this area and stretch the neck slightly (by leaning back) to allow my fingers to melt into the muscle attachments along this frequently stressed area. After about a minute of holding this spot, the stress and discomfort begins to disappear.

I love use the hands-on technique. But what happens when you're hurting but have no one around to massage away the pain?

Tennis balls works for some, or laying flat on the floor to try reset the neck muscles that you’ve angered via lazy posture or too much time staring at a computer screen.

But in 2010 I learned about this weird looking plastic and foam device that is designed to replicate the technique my clients and I so cherish. It's called Dr. Riter's Real-Ease Neck and Shoulder Relaxer. Apparently, this device was originally designed by an orthopedic as a way for users to relax stressed muscles of the jaw, neck, and shoulders.

I try to keep an open mind when it comes to pain relief. I love tools and devices that make people feel better. I still think hands and elbows and forearms produce the best results, but eventually we get tired. So, if a device can at least contribute to the search for pain relief, the why not?

Intrigued, I ordered one off of Amazon. I figured I could test it on my wife, who suffers from chronic neck, back and shoulder pain. If it worked on her, I would recommend it to clients too.

Dr. Riter's Real-Ease Neck and Shoulder Relaxer works on the premise that your surrender the weight of your head into the contours of the device much as you would rest your head into the hands of a skilled touch therapist, polarity therapist, Reiki master or massage practitioner.

You can use it daily. It’s designed to leverage the power of gravity. The design is meant to align your spinal column, especially your top cervical vertebras. You just let your head lay like dead weight and let gravity and the uniquely designed headrest relieve your pent up stress.

I’m impressed at the versatility of Dr. Riter's Real-Ease Neck and Shoulder Relaxer. Although my wife and I have used it laying down on the floor, on the bed and on the massage table, you can also use the Real-Ease while you watch TV, work at a computer, or sit on a plane. That means you can stay productive AND get pain relief at the same time. Very sweet! At the recommendation of other users I am also going to try this pain relief tool during yoga and meditation.

The first time I tried it personally, I was a bit uncomfortable. It hit the right trigger points, but I was actually a little sore afterward . Within an hour though, that soreness went away and my neck and shoulder felt noticeably less tight. I had greater range of motion and I didn’t have to stop and massage my own shoulders while I worked on the computer.

In hindsight I realize that since it’s designed to return the neck to a state of proper alignment that my muscles were protesting having to give up their state on non alignment, hence the initial discomfort.

My wife also gave Dr. Riter's Real-Ease Neck and Shoulder Relaxer two thumbs up. Although she still prefers my hands, she is happy to use it if I’m not available. Considering how much daily professional massages can cost, this was a good investment overall.

We use it when no one is around for a quick neck and shoulder massage. And, based on my own experiences with this device, I am comfortable recommending it to my clients and to my readers.

As with anything, use common sense. Start out using in 2 to 5 minute increments to give your neck muscles time to adjust the shape and pressure points accessed. Other than the initial discomfort, I have yet to read of or experience any negative side effects. If it starts to hurt, stop using it for awhile.

I’ve read about people with degenerative disc disease finding some relief using this product. It had also been used to give relief for those with TMJ (temporomandibular joint) Disorder. Let your doctor or therapist know if you are adding Dr. Riter's Real-Ease Neck and Shoulder Relaxer to your pain management regimen and they might have additional recommendations for you.

The only caveat I can think of is that due to hygiene issues, this product is non-returnable!

Let me know if you have success with this weird but effective pain relief device! I've included some pictures below as well.

You can find more of my recommendations at

Here's an aerial view :)
Here's an aerial view :) | Source
Here's a side view...
Here's a side view... | Source
light weight and very portable
light weight and very portable | Source
Me demonstrating this cool pain relief device
Me demonstrating this cool pain relief device | Source


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    • Zubair Ahmed profile image

      Zubair Ahmed 4 years ago


      Thank you for sharing this info, very handy for me

    • profile image

      jean nix 5 years ago

      ecellent device. have one.

    • PainReliefGuy profile image

      PainReliefGuy 6 years ago

      My pleasure Golfgal.

    • Golfgal profile image

      Golfgal 6 years ago from McKinney, Texas

      Wow, I suffer from a constant muscvle spasm of the neck and shoulder. I have been to message and PT and Chiro. Everything works for a while, but nothing works long term. I will try it and let you know how I like it. Thanks for the tip.