Massage guns are a new tool that started getting popular in late 2019 and have only gotten bigger and bigger in 2021. They claim the following benefits:
- Releasing lactic acid: When oxygen levels in the body are low, lactic acid builds up in the bloodstream and the body can have difficulties burning it off (this happens a lot after exercise) which can lead to cramps in your muscles. By using a massage gun, you can help the body to release lactic acid and other toxins.
- Vibrational healing: A massage gun is able to deliver deep vibrations in your muscles using a percussive therapy method that helps to improve circulation in your body, and therefore allow more oxygen and nutrients into your muscles. This can be a major help to alleviate pain and recover faster, and I found that through vibrational healing, my body was able to recover from workouts much quicker.
- Injury prevention: Many sports injuries are caused by muscle cramps and the lack of adequate recovery before straining the muscle again, and by using a massage gun to improve your blood and oxygen circulation, the likelihood of overtraining and wearing out a muscle too fast is reduced.
- Rehabilitation: If you do have an injury, massage guns can help you to speed up your recovery and make you heal faster by improving circulation. Of course, a massage gun should not be the only or even the main treatment you use to recover, but it can definitely provide significant assistance.
- Helps to counter muscle spasms: By applying pressure to your muscles after a workout, your muscles become more relaxed and are less likely to spasm or become stiff.
- Improve range of motion: After using massage guns, you’ll find that your joints are more flexible and have better blood circulation, thereby improving your range of motion.
- Breaking up your scar tissue: Scar tissue helps to repair damaged fibers in your body, but has a different elasticity than other muscle tissues in your body. As such, breaking down this scar tissue will help with alleviating pain.
What about the disadvantages of massage guns?
First, good massage guns can cost hundreds of dollars, so there is a definite cost component you need to take into consideration, and there is always the possibility of accidental injury with massages. As massage guns are also a relatively new product, there is also more data that needs to come in before we can make a concrete statement on whether they can work for everyone. While many have benefited from using massage guns, there’s always the chance that they’re not worth the money for you or do not offer any noticeable benefits.
What are the best massage guns?
As of 2021, it appears (based on my limited experience only) that the OPOVE M3 Pro massage gun (our referral link) is probably the best one available now, is it has absolutely stellar reviews on Amazon (average 4.8 starts out of 5 across over 12,000 reviews), and you can get it for well under $200 through our link (at the time of writing, they’re doing around $40 off, and it’s a lot cheaper than many other massage guns on the market). Other massage guns include the following:
- TimTam All New Power Massager
- Hyperice Hypervolt Plus
- Achedaway Vibration and Percussion Massager
- Sportneer Percussive Massage Gun
We put out a request for people to write about their experiences with massage guns and whether they found them useful. We got some good submissions – here they are:
Based on my experience, massage guns are a great bet in combating pain irrespective of the body location. They have shown to be more effective than the conventional foam rollers, which is the major muscle pain killer before now. Here are some benefits of using massage guns:
Were they worth the money?
My short answer is yes because for me if you invest in this kind of power tool, it’s like having your own on-demand massage therapist and that’s for less.
If you’ve ever gotten a massage, you know just how life-changing it can be, whether you’re an athlete constantly dealing with aches and pains or a regular person struggling with good-old-fashioned “text neck.”
With a few elbows in your back and a few sweeps over those pressure points, you’re suddenly in a lot less pain and definitely less stressed.
In sum, we all get stressed from daily life activities. However, failure to manage this stress properly could hurt your health over time.
A massage gun could be a hack to successfully managing stress within the shortest possible time and in the most convenient way while getting the many other benefits attached to it.
--Nancy Baker, ChildMode
Massage Guns: YES I own one and YES I love it! It was def. worth the money however I made sure not to go out and buy the most expensive one on the market. The largest tangible benefit was helping me to deal with muscle tension after teaching upper body HIIT classes. Many times after working out my shoulders and back my trapezius muscles get very tight which then leads to neck soreness then leading to a headache. Instead of spending $45-$60.00 on a chiropractor or massage therapist, I use my massage gun to release the pressure and tension in my upper back/neck area. I also use the massage gun to work on my lower body, IT band, glutes, and hamstrings before and after running.
The massage gun benefits in helping me save money on paying someone else to take care of my recovery from running and lifting!
--Traci Havlik, @trainwtihfire
My partner recently purchased the Fusion Muscle Massage Gun from Amazon because he struggles with back pain, and I deal with swollen and sore ankles. So far, it has been one of the best investments that we have made. It is truly something that I did not know I needed, and it leaves me feeling relaxed. The massage gun is something that I regret not having included in my self-care routine earlier.
Were they worth the money, and did they give you tangible benefits?
Yes, this gun was worth the money. It targets my deep tissue while massaging, the pressure and speed adjustments allow me to customize each massaging experience, I can choose from various heads that give different feels, and the gun is not loud while working.
--Imani Francies, QuickQuote
I play football on and off. Whenever I return to play after a long break, I struggle with muscle pain for a few days. So, I got myself one of those massage guns for my hamstrings and calf muscles. I also use it for my neck and upper back. In my experience, the gun helps me get immediate relief from muscle tightness and soreness. Plus, it feels really good during and after use. It feels so refreshing that I often feel like I've been to a professional chiropractor.
--Mamuda Aminu, draminu.com
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