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Is a Massage Gun a Good Investment?

Medically reviewed by Gordon Dugan, MPT, FCE Certified | March 7, 2023

If you’re an active person, you probably dream about keeping a massage therapist on a retainer. It would be so nice to have a professional work on your muscles whenever they feel sore. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have that luxury. So instead, we can turn to massage guns for percussive therapy. 

What is a massage gun?

A massage gun, also known as a percussive therapy device, is a hand-held tool that helps soothe sore muscles through vibrations and rapid, repetitive pressure. It can help improve a stiff muscle’s mobility, decrease soreness, and reduce delayed onset muscle soreness. 

How does the device work?

After intense activity, our muscles can swell and strain the connective tissue encasing them. As a result, those muscles feel sore. A massage gun applies rapid and intense pressure to the affected area, gently releasing the tension and increasing blood flow to encourage healing. 

The pressure also briefly overrides pain signals in our brains. That’s why rubbing a sore muscle helps it feel better. 

How should I use a massage gun?

You can use a massage gun for more than pain relief. The device can also warm up your muscles before a workout to help decrease your risk of injury. Or you could incorporate percussive therapy into your post-workout routine to help reduce soreness.   

But remember to start at a low speed when using a massage gun, moving it slowly across your muscle. Then, adjust the settings to suit your comfort level. And remember to avoid all joints and bones. 

You can use a massage gun multiple times daily, but don’t keep it on a single muscle for more than one or two minutes. Also, check the manufacturer’s instructions to determine how long you should use the device. 

Is a massage gun dangerous?

Generally, these devices are safe for home use. However, you should always consult your doctor before using one, especially if you:

  • Take blood thinners.
  • Are over the age of 65. 
  • Have a musculoskeletal condition. 

Contact our physical therapy department at (270) 575-0023 if you have more questions about massage guns and percussive therapy. We’re happy to help you find the best ways to relieve muscle soreness and pain.