Massage guns are one of the most talked about muscle recovery tools on the market today. Their popularity has grown in recent years due to professional athletes’ endorsements and their Instagram virality. Although massage guns pose many great benefits, there is one major drawback—the price. The most popular of all massage guns, the Theragun, values for up to $600. For some this price may be no problem, but if you are skeptical of whether a massage gun is right for you, we are going to break down the pros and cons before you dip into your wallet.
What Do Massage Guns Do?
A massage gun, more technically called a percussion massager, is a handheld tool that massages muscles by providing rapid-mini bursts of pressure in concentrated, short duration pulses. It is often referred to as a “mini jackhammer” for your muscles. What the massage gun does is combine impact and movement, known as vibration therapy, to help loosen up tight and sore muscles, similar to that of a massage, as well as stimulate blood flow to help increase recovery.
Pros of a Massage Gun
Increased Blood Flow Speeds Up Recovery & Breaks Up Scar Tissue
When used post exercise, or in areas with muscle soreness, massage guns can help temporarily increase blood flow to the muscle. Increased blood flow helps speed up the recovery process by aiding in the removal of waste product from damaged tissue.
Provides More Pressure Than A Typical Massage
Most DIY massage tools such as foam rollers, do not apply enough pressure. Some people cannot physically push hard enough, while others are afraid of the pain they may feel on affected areas. Massage guns are battery powered, and mechanical—so they do not hold back. They always provide the same level of intensity and ensure pressure.
Improves Overall Wellness
Even non-athletes find benefits to massage guns. Massage guns are also helpful to those treating chronic pain or health problems that usually have pain or decreased range of motion symptoms that massage therapy can relieve. The long-term benefits of having access to a massage more often, can lead to better sleep patterns, fewer minor injuries from everyday living, and improved immunity.
Cons of a Massage Gun
Oftentimes when using a massage gun, those who are inexperienced or have not done enough research on how to properly handle the gun, end up injuring themselves. You may end up massaging an area that is experiencing referred pain, and not actually targeting the area that needs help with recovery – doing more harm than good.
Massage guns used on injuries such as strains, sprains, broken bones, or even extreme swelling can potentially make your injury worse. They can further damage the injured tissue, or even increase swelling rate. You should check with your doctor if you have a chronic condition before using a massage gun to see if it is right for you.
Its Size & Weight
While not true for all massage guns, some can be quite large and weigh a lot. While the weight is not too much to bear, for those who are experiencing other medical conditions or pain in other areas of the body, it might be hard to use.
So, is it worth the $$$?
In addition to the pros and cons listed here, it is important to do your research when deciding whether a massage gun is a good investment for you. There are also cheaper options that may be more fitting to your lifestyle. When shopping for a massage gun the following are factors to look for:
- Amplitude or Stroke Length – how deep it goes
- Speeds & Percussions– how much you can control the intensity
- Multiple tool heads to hit muscles differently
- Easy to grip
- Good battery life
Overall, the decision to purchase a massage gun is dependent on many factors. Only you know what is best for your lifestyle and it is important to take necessary steps to keep your body performing to the best of its ability.
Learn More from JAG Physical Therapy
Incorporating massage guns into your recovery routine can provide a number of benefits, including reduced muscle soreness and improved range of motion. If you're interested in purchasing a massage gun for personal use, be sure to do your research and choose a high-quality device from a reputable retailer. With consistent use, you can help promote faster recovery and achieve your fitness goals. Contact JAG Physical Therapy to learn more.