Massage Guns Main Image

Massage guns, also known as percussive therapy devices, have gained significant popularity in the wellness and fitness industry. These handheld devices offer a unique approach to muscle therapy, combining the principles of traditional massage with modern technology to provide users with a convenient and effective way to relieve muscle tension and improve recovery.

The core function of a massage gun is to deliver rapid bursts of pressure into the body’s muscle tissue. This percussive or vibrational therapy helps in easing muscle stiffness and reducing soreness post-workout. The high-speed pounding that massage guns provide penetrates deep into the muscle tissue, promoting blood flow and oxygen circulation, which are crucial for muscle repair and recovery. This improved circulation not only speeds up the recovery process but also enhances overall muscle function and health.

One of the primary uses of massage guns is to alleviate the symptoms of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), which is common after intense physical activity. By using a massage gun, athletes and fitness enthusiasts can significantly reduce their recovery time. Moreover, these devices are also beneficial for individuals with chronic muscle pain, offering a form of relief that can be conveniently accessed at home.

The top 6 Massage guns

Product name Image Rating Pros Cons Best Price More information

TOP PICK
TheraGun Prime Quiet Deep Tissue Therapy Massage Gun

TheraGun Prime Quiet Deep Tissue Therapy Massage Gun 5 star review
  • Offers a range of attachments for specific muscle groups
  • Features Bluetooth control for personalized treatment via an app
  • QuietForce technology for quieter operation
  • Not suitable for deep tissue soreness
  • Lower stall force, may not be effective for intense pressure needs
Coming Soon!

PREMIUM PICK
TheraGun Pro Plus 6-in-1 Deep Tissue Percussion Massage Gun

TheraGun Pro Plus 6-in-1 Deep Tissue Percussion Massage Gun
  • Six different head attachments for targeted treatment
  • High stall force and stroke length for deep tissue massage
  • Features Bluetooth control via Theragun's app
  • Lower battery life compared to some others
  • More expensive than other options
Coming Soon!

BUDGET PICK
Mebak 3 Massage Gun

Mebak 3 Massage Gun
  • Highly portable with a lightweight design and carrying case
  • Offers several hours of continuous use on a single charge
  • Has multiple speed options for varied intensity
  • Some users report a problem with the battery charging after about a year
  • Some users report a long charge time for a small use time
Coming Soon!

Bob and Brad D6 Pro

BOB AND BRAD D6 Pro Massage Gun Deep Tissue
  • Offers a Theragun-like experience at a better value
  • Delivers powerful, deep-tissue relief
  • Designed with a top-notch build quality
  • Some users reported the motor stopped working after a while
  • Some users reported their unit doesnt come with a charger
Coming Soon!

Achedaway Pro 16mm Amplitude Massage Gun

Achedaway Pro 16mm Amplitude Massage Gun
  • Known for its powerful performance and high amplitude
  • Ideal for users needing deep tissue massage
  • Durable and reliable build
  • Some users report the machine abruptly cutting off
  • Some users report the machine randomly changing speeds
Coming Soon!

Ekrin Athletics B37 Massage Gun

Ekrin Athletics B37 Massage Gun
  • Hard to stall with a fast percussing action
  • Only massage gun on the list with a lifetime warranty
  • Well-regarded for its overall performance and durability
  • Some users report it being too loud
  • Some users the massage gun not working after about a year
Coming Soon!

The History of Massage guns

Initially, methods like Tapotement, developed in 1868, laid the foundation for modern percussive therapy. Tapotement, involving rhythmic tapping, was renowned for improving blood circulation and muscle tone and is a precursor to the technology used in today’s massage guns.

The first significant leap towards modern massage guns occurred in 1974 with the creation of the first percussive massager, designed primarily for chiropractic patients to relieve muscle tension. This device, however, was bulky and costly, limiting its accessibility.

A pivotal moment came in 2007 when chiropractor Dr. Jason Werseland, following a motorcycle accident, sought a solution for his pain and atrophy. His invention, the Theragun, combined recovery and ease of use, setting the stage for the massage guns we know today. It offered deep tissue treatment, enhancing muscle recovery and blood circulation.

The early 21st century witnessed a surge in self-massaging tools, with convenience becoming a key factor. The Theragun, launched in 2016 as the G1, stood out by offering quick muscle recovery, a more efficient alternative to traditional foam rollers. Its effectiveness in muscle recovery and relaxation soon made it a popular choice among athletes and fitness enthusiasts.

Following Theragun’s success, various companies like TimTam and Hyperice entered the market, evolving and diversifying the massage gun options. Hyperice's Hypervolt, for instance, was noted for its quieter operation compared to previous models, thanks to its Quiet Glide technology.

Today, massage guns are popular among a broad audience, not just athletes, due to their versatility and effectiveness in muscle recovery, pain relief, and relaxation. Their compact design and ease of use have made them a staple in many people’s fitness and recovery routines.

Who should use Massage guns

Massage guns can be beneficial for a variety of individuals, particularly in the following categories:
  • Athletes and Fitness Enthusiasts: Regular physical activity can lead to muscle soreness and tightness. Athletes use massage guns for pre-workout warm-ups and post-workout recovery to alleviate muscle stiffness and soreness.
  • People with Muscle Soreness or Stiffness: Individuals who experience muscle soreness or stiffness, whether due to exercise, physical work, or daily activities, can find relief through the use of massage guns.
  • Individuals with Limited Mobility: Those who have limited mobility or difficulty accessing professional massage therapy can use massage guns for self-administered relief from muscle tightness.
  • Office Workers or People with Sedentary Lifestyles: Sedentary individuals or those who work in office settings and experience tension in the neck, shoulders, or back can benefit from the localized treatment provided by massage guns.
  • Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy Patients: Under professional guidance, massage guns can be used as part of a rehabilitation program for individuals recovering from injuries or surgeries.
  • Chronic Pain Sufferers: People with conditions like fibromyalgia or chronic back pain may find temporary relief from symptoms through the use of massage guns.
  • Fitness Coaches and Physical Therapists: Professionals in fitness and therapy often use massage guns as a tool to aid their clients in recovery and muscle relaxation.

Who should NOT use Massage guns

Massage guns, while beneficial for many, are not suitable for everyone. Certain individuals should avoid using them or use them with caution:
  • People with Certain Medical Conditions: Individuals with conditions like deep vein thrombosis, thrombophlebitis, or severe varicose veins should avoid using massage guns as they can dislodge blood clots.
  • Those with Acute Injuries: People with recent or acute injuries, such as muscle tears, sprains, or fractures, should not use massage guns on the affected areas.
  • Individuals with Skin Conditions: Those with skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, or open wounds should avoid using massage guns in the affected areas to prevent irritation or infection.
  • Pregnant Women: Pregnant women should consult with a healthcare provider before using a massage gun, particularly in areas near the abdomen.
  • People with Neurological Disorders: Individuals with conditions like multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease should consult a healthcare professional before using massage guns, as the intense vibrations may affect their condition.
  • Those with Severe Osteoporosis: Individuals with severe osteoporosis or bone fragility should avoid using massage guns due to the risk of fractures.
  • People with Pacemakers or Other Medical Devices: Those with implanted medical devices like pacemakers should avoid using massage guns near these devices.
  • People Taking Blood Thinners: Individuals on blood-thinning medication should consult their doctor before using massage guns due to the increased risk of bruising or internal bleeding.
It's essential to use massage guns correctly and seek medical advice if unsure about their suitability for your health condition.

Pros and Cons of Massage guns

Pros

  • Muscle Recovery and Relaxation: They help in relieving muscle stiffness and soreness, enhancing recovery after workouts​​​​.
  • Enhances Blood Flow: Massage guns stimulate blood flow to the muscles, aiding in recovery and reducing muscle fatigue​​​​.
  • Convenience: Portable and easy to use, allowing for self-massage without the need for a therapist​​​​.
  • Versatility: Suitable for use on many parts of the body and beneficial for people with different fitness levels and needs​​​​.
  • Adjustable Intensity: Most come with adjustable speed and pressure settings to suit individual preferences and needs​​​​.
  • Promotes Flexibility and Range of Motion: Regular use can help improve flexibility and range of motion​​.
  • Pre-Workout Warm-up: Can be used as part of a pre-workout routine to warm up the muscles and prevent injuries​​.
  • Post-Workout Recovery: Effective in reducing delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and enhancing post-workout recovery​​​​.

Cons

  • Potential for Misuse: Incorrect usage can lead to injuries or worsen existing conditions​​.
  • Noise Level: Some models can be quite noisy, which might be a disturbance to users or those around them​​.
  • Not a Substitute for Professional Care: They cannot replace the expertise of a professional massage therapist, especially for complex muscular issues​​​​.
  • Cost: High-quality massage guns can be expensive, making them less accessible to some users​​​​.
  • Not Suitable for Everyone: Individuals with certain health conditions should avoid using them​​.
  • Limited Deep Tissue Capability: May not reach as deep as a manual deep tissue massage for more profound muscular issues​​.
  • Battery Life: Frequent recharging may be required, depending on the model and usage frequency​​.
  • Overuse Risks: Overusing or applying too much pressure can lead to muscle damage or bruising​​.

Studies regarding the benefits of Massage guns

1. Title: The Effectiveness of Percussion Massage for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS): A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis [Systematic reviews offer a broader analysis of existing research]

Summary: This review analyzed multiple trials and assessed the effectiveness of percussion massage (like massage guns) for DOMS (muscle soreness after exercise). The results suggested some beneficial effects of massage guns in reducing DOMS, but more high-quality studies were needed.

2. Title: Effects of Percussion Massage on Muscle Blood Flow and Recovery Following Resistance Exercise: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Summary: This study investigated the impact of massage guns on muscle blood flow and recovery after resistance training. It showed potential benefits of massage guns in increasing blood flow, but the impact on overall recovery was inconclusive.

3. Title: The Acute Effects of Self-Directed Percussion Massage on Range of Motion of the Ankle Joint

Summary: This research explored the impact of self-administered massage guns on ankle joint range of motion. It suggested that massage guns might improve ankle mobility in the short term.

Frequently Asked Questions about Massage Guns

What is a massage gun and how does it work?

A massage gun is a handheld device that delivers rapid and repetitive percussive therapy (also known as vibration therapy) to muscles. It works by providing short bursts of pressure into the muscle tissues, which helps to increase blood flow, reduce muscle tension, and promote recovery. The device typically comes with various attachments designed for different muscle groups and types of massage.

What are the benefits of using a massage gun?

Massage guns offer numerous benefits, including:

  • Muscle Recovery: Speeds up the recovery process after workouts by reducing muscle soreness and stiffness.
  • Improved Blood Circulation: Enhances blood flow to targeted areas, aiding in healing and nutrient delivery.
  • Pain Relief: Helps alleviate muscle pain and discomfort from injuries or chronic conditions.
  • Increased Range of Motion: Loosens tight muscles, improving flexibility and range of motion.
  • Relaxation: Reduces stress and promotes relaxation by relieving muscle tension.

How often should I use a massage gun?

The frequency of use depends on individual needs and goals. Generally, it’s safe to use a massage gun daily, but it’s important not to overdo it. A typical session can last from 10 to 20 minutes per muscle group. It’s best to start with shorter sessions and gradually increase the duration as your body adapts. Always listen to your body and avoid using the device on the same area for extended periods.

Are massage guns safe to use?

Massage guns are generally safe when used correctly. However, there are some precautions to consider:

  • Avoid Bony Areas: Do not use the device on bones, joints, or sensitive areas.
  • Monitor Pressure: Avoid applying too much pressure, which can cause bruising or injury.
  • Consult a Professional: If you have any medical conditions, such as osteoporosis, thrombosis, or are pregnant, consult a healthcare professional before use.
  • Follow Instructions: Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and start with lower speed settings.

Can massage guns help with muscle soreness?

Yes, massage guns can help alleviate muscle soreness, especially post-exercise soreness (DOMS – Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). The percussive therapy provided by massage guns increases blood flow to the affected muscles, reduces inflammation, and helps to break up lactic acid build-up, all of which contribute to reducing soreness and speeding up recovery.

How do I choose the right massage gun for me?

When choosing a massage gun, consider the following factors:

  • Power and Speed Settings: Look for a device with adjustable speed settings to customize the intensity of the massage.
  • Battery Life: Ensure the device has a long battery life for convenience.
  • Noise Level: Choose a quieter model if noise is a concern.
  • Attachments: Look for a device with multiple attachments to target different muscle groups.
  • Portability: Consider the weight and size if you need a portable option.
  • Price: Balance your budget with the features you need.

 

Our top pick, factored all of these points into a final pick for the overall best massage gun, period.

Can I use a massage gun on any part of my body?

Massage guns can be used on most muscle groups, including the legs, back, shoulders, arms, and glutes. However, avoid using them on:

  • Bones and Joints: Can cause discomfort or injury.
  • Neck and Spine: These areas are sensitive and require caution.
  • Injured Areas: Avoid using on open wounds, bruises, or swollen areas. Always move the device slowly and avoid staying on one spot for too long.

Are there any side effects of using a massage gun?

While generally safe, improper use of a massage gun can cause side effects such as:

  • Bruising: From excessive pressure or prolonged use on one area.
  • Soreness: Overuse can lead to muscle soreness instead of relief.
  • Injuries: Using the device on sensitive areas like bones or joints can cause discomfort or injury.
  • Nerve Damage: Excessive use can potentially affect nerves if not used properly.

Can I use a massage gun if I have a medical condition?

If you have any medical conditions, it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional before using a massage gun. Conditions that may require caution include:

  • Osteoporosis: Increased risk of fractures.
  • Thrombosis: Risk of dislodging a blood clot.
  • Pregnancy: Certain pressure points should be avoided.
  • Skin Conditions: Avoid using on areas with rashes, wounds, or infections.
  • Chronic Pain Conditions: Consult a doctor to ensure it’s safe for your specific condition.

How do I properly use a massage gun?

To use a massage gun properly:

  • Warm-Up: Use the device on low speed for a warm-up before exercise.
  • Target Areas: Focus on sore or tight muscles, avoiding bones and joints.
  • Move Slowly: Glide the device over the muscle slowly, spending 1-2 minutes per area.
  • Adjust Speed: Start with lower speeds and gradually increase as needed.
  • Listen to Your Body: Stop if you feel pain or discomfort.
  • Post-Workout: Use after exercise to aid recovery by reducing muscle soreness and stiffness.

By following these guidelines, you can effectively and safely use a massage gun to enhance muscle recovery, reduce pain, and improve overall muscle health.