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How Does a Massage Gun Work and What are Its Benefits?

It can be painful and disruptive if someone experiences constant muscle soreness. However, massage guns have been one of the life saviors for people who experience muscle soreness or who are into an intense and strict exercising routine. Massage guns have gained popularity since the early 2020s among those who have their home gym or who exercise regularly. Let us dive down into the following sections of the article and know some of the essential things about massage guns.

What Are Massage Guns?

Massage guns have been a trending tool for people with fitness goals. Sometimes these are also called “percussive massage treatment” or “vibration therapy” and are handheld and portable devices that are similar to a power drill in their appearance. Most of these massage guns are wireless and use a rechargeable battery.

These small devices are used to promote recovery from muscle soreness, increase flexibility, and improve the range of motion. Massage guns enhance blood flow to specific areas and help in reducing muscle soreness and muscle tension.

How Do Massage Guns Work?

Massage guns work through percussive therapy to offer a self-massage or self-myofascial release. These small handheld devices can provide great relief to a specific area via targeted vibration. They pound the affected muscles repetitively in a back-forth motion and release any sort of tension on the muscle tissue. That’s how they help in muscle recovery and bring you relief from sore or painful muscles.

When a massage gun is placed on your affected muscle and turned on, the attachments begin to vibrate or percuss at a high frequency and low amplitude of movement, thus promoting recovery from soreness and also improving flexibility.

What Are The Benefits Of Massage Guns?

Primarily massage guns have four major benefits. They are listed below.

  1. Muscle Recovery

    Massage guns are most commonly used for muscle recovery. Handheld percussive massage treatment is an ideal approach for athletes and therapists.(1) A major advantage of these massage guns is that they stimulate the circulatory system and help in increasing the circulation of blood, enhancing the oxygen transport and transport of nutrient-rich blood to the muscles, thus boosting the recovery process. It should be noted that enhanced blood circulation might also help in releasing lactic acid build-up in the fatigued muscles, and help in reducing inflammation and muscle soreness.

    After heavy exercise, intense cardio workout, weight lifting, or a high-impact sport or exercise, every individual experiences delayed-onset muscular soreness or DOMS.
    In a study, it was shown that vibration therapy has remained effective enough in preventing DOMS and also had the benefit of lowering the body’s levels of lactate and also reducing pain. Normally, delayed-onset muscular soreness peaks 24-48 hours after heavy or intense activity. However, when you use a massage gun immediately after your training session or the activity session or even when you notice DOMS pain levels are at the peak you can significantly reduce the complete recovery time.(2)

  2. Benefits of Massage Gun In Pain Reduction

    One more benefit of massage guns is that they are essential in reducing pain. As per the “Gate control theory of pain”, it is said that non-painful input, such as from a massage gun, closes the nerve “gates” to any sort of painful input and this, in turn, prevents pain sensation from traveling to the CNS or central nervous system.

    A pilot study conducted in Germany on patients with FMS or fibromyalgia syndrome has shown that deep oscillation massage has been safe and well tolerated in patients who had moderate to severe grades of the chronic condition of FMS.(3) A 3-month follow-up after the study also revealed that the patients had sustained improvements in their symptoms and quality of life.

  3. Helps In Muscle Activation

    When massage guns are used at a high range of intensity levels, they are found to be effective in muscle activation. Since these massage guns prepare your muscles for activity, they also reduce the likelihood of any injury.

  4. Massage Guns Are Great For Stress Reduction

    Massage guns are one of the ways to reduce stress and muscular tension and must be used as a self-care routine. It has been found from studies that massage therapy can reduce cortisol levels or stress hormone levels and increase the levels of happy hormones like dopamine and serotonin. So, a massage can contribute to a more positive and less level of a stressed mind while working out with the physical tension in the body.(4) So, massage guns are the portable and most convenient means of reducing stress.

How To Use Massage Guns?

Now comes the point, how to use massage guns. We would say that it is extremely easy to use and anyone can use it if they know the basics. Simply point at the target area, press, and let the massage gun do its work.

Before you begin with the use of the massage gun, turn it on and see that the head begins pulsing. Then, float it along the affected muscle where you are trying to loosen. When you find a trigger point or an area in your muscle that is tight or a little more painful and sensitive than other regions of the muscle, linger on that specific region, just like you would be doing with a foam roller. Slowly move the gun along the muscle and enjoy the massaging effect.

What To Look For If You Are Looking To Buy A Massage Gun?

If you are planning to buy a massage gun, you should consider specific factors, such as the noise level, overall power, frequency at which you would be using the tool, and also other options like massage oils attachments or heated massage tips.

You should also consider the size of the massage guns and also their weight. Try to use lightweight massage guns. Usually, women or those having smaller hands should buy smaller or mini massage guns.

The Wrap Up

Massage guns can put a positive impact on your muscles, especially if you are looking for muscle recovery or want to reduce pain in muscles after your exercise sessions. So, if you feel it to be an important tool for you then buy one of them and make them a regular part of your self-care routine.


Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 17, 2022

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