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Massage guns are handheld products that a person can use to target any muscle area. They may help with general muscle pain, and people often use them following a workout to aid recovery.
People can choose from a range of available products. They may wish to consider various factors, such as design, noise level, and portability, when making a decision.
This article discusses how massage guns work and their benefits and risks. It also lists some of the massage guns that are currently available to buy.
Massage guns use percussive therapy, which is similar to vibration therapy. They oscillate forward and backward, applying pressure to tense muscle tissue. In doing this, they can release buildups of fluid and tension from the area.
Research shows that a person may benefit from vibration therapy if they exhibit muscle tenderness during workout recovery. These individuals may consider using a massage gun post-workout because it can help remove lactic acid buildup from the muscle, which is usually the cause of muscle soreness.
As the results of a
Learn more about DOMS here.
Some benefits of a massage gun may include:
- muscle and tissue relaxation
- temporary relief of tension
- prevention of DOMS
- increase of blood flow and circulation
- increase in flexibility and athletic performance
Those who exercise regularly, especially those who experience DOMS, may benefit from frequent massage gun use.
A 2020 study found that vibration therapy may assist with strength and mobility in people with peripheral artery disease. Similarly, a
Other health conditions that massage guns may be beneficial for include:
Mental health and sleep conditions
Massage guns may also be useful for those with mental health or sleep-related conditions, as the relaxation of the muscles can help manage stress in the body.
The National Institute of Mental Health recommend performing muscle relaxation exercises to combat stress.
With incorrect use, massage guns may injure the body. For instance, they may cause ruptured blood vessels, nerve sensitivity, or muscle fiber damage.
A person can take steps to lessen the chance of causing damage. These include:
- starting with the massage gun on a slow setting
- taking extra care around bony areas
- avoiding nerves and blood vessels, especially in the neck
- not overmassaging any one region of the body
- following the manufacturers’ recommendations — most massage gun models come with a maximum recommended use of 2 minutes on each muscle group
- taking extra care around pulled muscles and torn ligaments
People who are pregnant or have deep vein thrombosis (DVT) should consult a doctor before using a massage gun and follow their advice.
People looking to purchase a massage gun may wish to consider:
- Power and speed: Most models of massage gun offer a choice of speed and power settings.
- Portability: Some models are lighter and smaller and have a longer battery life to facilitate easy transportation.
- Design: Some massage guns may make accessing difficult-to-reach areas of the body easier by having features such as an extended handle.
- Warranty and reviews: Reading trusted reviews for products could help when deciding on the best model. It is also essential to look at the warranty terms, should there be any fault or need for a replacement product.
Below, we look at some of the best massage guns available to purchase.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information is purely research-based.
Theragun claim that the G3Pro is their most powerful deep muscle treatment. They also state that a person needs to use it for just 30 seconds on each muscle group to achieve the desired effect.
The G3Pro has six closed-cell foam head attachments, providing a soft alternative to plastic for the skin. This material also makes it more compatible with oils, lotions, and sweat, which people can wipe easily from the attachments after use.
Other features of the Theragun G3Pro include:
- adjustable arm to target hard-to-reach areas
- two speeds: a deep treatment and a lighter option for sensitive areas
- reduced noise compared with previous models
- two interchangeable batteries and a charger
- up to 60 lb of force
- a travel case
- a weight of 3.10 lb
- a 2-year warranty
This OPOVE model comes with a nylon and glass fiber anti-drop shell to reduce the risk of damage. It is available in black or silver.
The massage gun weighs 2.5 lb, and the company include a carrying case with each purchase, making it easy to transport.
Other features of the OPOVE M3 Pro Massage Gun are:
- uses QuietGlide technology to limit noise level to 39–55 dB, depending on the selected level
- three speeds
- rechargeable battery with 3 hours of battery life
- five head attachments
- 30-day return policy and free shipping
- 1-year warranty
The Hypervolt Plus model uses QuietGlide technology to keep the gun’s noise levels low.
The Hypervolt Plus includes Bluetooth connectivity, allowing connection to the Hyperice app. This app helps a person with personalized health and well-being programs, warm-ups, and routines.
Other features of the Hypervolt Plus are:
- three speeds with a maximum of 53 hertz
- up to 3,200 percussions per minute
- five head attachments
- weight of 3 pounds (lb)
- TSA-approved for carry-on luggage
- quick battery recharge
- 1-year manufacturer warranty
The VYBE Pro Percussion model appears to be one of the less expensive models available. The company claim that this massage gun is suitable for athletes of all abilities.
This model has eight massage heads to choose from, all of which target specific areas of the body.
VYBE do not give information about the item weight, but they say that the package’s total weight is 4.53 lb.
Other features of the VYBE Pro Percussion model include:
- nine speeds and can reach up to 3,400 strokes per minute
- maximum noise level of 60 decibels (dB)
- 3 hours of battery life and an included charger
- a travel case
- 30-day return policy
The Recoverfun model is a portable massage gun available in three colors: black, red, or pink.
This mini massage gun weighs 1.1 lb and comes with a travel bag for easy transport. This model may suit regular travelers.
Other features of the Recoverfun Mini model are:
- maximum noise level of 48 dB
- 5-hour battery life
- four speed settings that can reach up to 3,200 strokes per minute
- four massage heads
- 1-year warranty
Massage guns may benefit people who have specific medical conditions or frequently experience muscle pain after exercising.
However, with incorrect use, they carry some risk of muscle damage or injury. Following the manufacturers’ safety advice is essential.
A person should consider what features are most important to them before exploring the options from different brands.