If you’re looking for an at-home solution to manage muscle soreness after workouts, or simply want a deep tissue massage without the elbows digging into your back, a massage gun may be the way to go.
Unlike vibrating massage guns that have long been popular, newer percussion massage guns’ pulse in and out to stimulate deeper muscle tissue. They also improve blood flow to painful muscles, flushing out lactic acid.
Helps Relieve Pain
The Therapy Gun is a handheld percussive therapy device that vibrates at a high frequency and low amplitude to help relieve pain. It’s a chiropractor-developed tool that can help with pain relief, muscle recovery, and injury prevention.
Using the Therapy Gun on tense muscles can help break up knots and improve blood flow. This can lead to less pain and faster healing.
Some sports physical therapists even recommend it for post-workout recovery. It can help flush out lactic acid and other metabolites that cause pain after exercise, explains Julie Sherry, PT, DPT.
Onset Muscle Soreness
She also notes that the vibrations from a percussive massage gun may have the potential to reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) that occurs later in the workout.
But before you start thinking about buying one, there are some things to consider. “As with any new treatment, it’s important to talk to your doctor before using a percussion gun on an injured area,” says Leada Malek, CSCS, a sports physical therapist in San Francisco.
Soothes Tense Muscles
When used before and after exercise, percussive therapy can help speed up recovery, remove waste products, and improve muscle flexibility.
This is especially useful for athletes if they’re recovering from an injury or surgery. The treatment can also ease the aches and pains associated with dehydration, inflammation, and lactic acid buildup.
Massage guns are handheld devices that deliver bursts of force to tense muscles. They can be helpful for people who want to treat themselves but don’t have a lot of time or the money for a professional massage therapist.
Relieve Muscle Soreness
They’re great for improving range of motion, which can prevent future injuries. They can also be used to relieve muscle soreness after an intense workout, known as delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
Helps You Sleep Better
A great night’s sleep can be elusive, especially for those of us struggling to get enough rest each night. Publications are rife with all sorts of life hacks that claim to cure insomnia, but one that is consistently recommended by experts is the use of percussion therapy guns.
The percussion technique causes deep vibrations that affect the central nervous system and downregulate the body, instilling an increased level of relaxation. This can help reduce pain and stress, so you’re more likely to get a good night’s rest.
Fewer Sleep Disruptions
According to a study commissioned by Thera body, one of the leading manufacturers of percussive massagers, using a gun before bed can help you fall asleep faster and sleep better throughout the night. Researchers found that 87% of participants fell asleep quicker, and 70% of them experienced fewer sleep disruptions.
Helps Prevent Injury
When muscles are tight, it can limit their range of motion and make them more susceptible to injury. Percussive therapy helps to prevent that tightness and improve range of motion, promoting recovery and speeding up the healing process.
It can also prevent injury in the first place, as it stimulates pliability of muscle tissue and increases elasticity. This is why many professional athletes use percussion massage before and after workouts.
In addition, percussion therapy can also help dispel lactic acid into the bloodstream, which can reduce DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) that may happen later on.
Unlike compression therapies, which only focus on the skin, percussion therapy penetrates deep into the muscle to stimulate nerve endings and break up pain signals. This creates a “calming effect,” which soothes both your body and mind.