Best Massage Guns For Relieving Your Sore Muscles

Massage guns are useful for pain and stress relief and post-workout recovery. Read about the best massage guns for giving your sore muscles relief today.

A quality massage gun is an excellent temporary substitute for a masseuse under certain conditions. Massage guns are also beneficial for post-workout and recovery routines in addition to relief of pain and stress. Deciding on the best massage gun for your needs requires research into the brands and types available, however.

Multiple scientific studies prove the usefulness of massages for pain relief. Facilitators of these studies even strongly recommend massage treatment as an option for pain management. The use of percussive/vibration massage guns, while highly beneficial, also needs to be conducted carefully. Continue reading about the best massage guns available on the market today.

What Is a Massage Gun?

Massage guns are used by professional athletes, fitness gurus, celebrities, and general consumers alike. A massage gun is a handheld, portable unit designed to relieve muscle pain and tightness through percussive or vibrational movements. These movements are also pinpointed and repeated, allowing users to aim the head of the massage gun wherever needed and within reach. A wide variety of brands, types, sizes, and styles are available. While the goals of every massage gun on the market are essentially the same, many have unique approaches to achieving those goals. Many massage gun brands also have unique features to make them stand apart from competitors.

How a Massage Gun Works

A massage gun runs on either batteries or electricity. Also known as vibration therapy guns or percussive massage treatments, most massage guns look somewhat like power drills. Most massage guns operate via battery power and are therefore wireless. The lack of a wire allows for usage flexibility, making it easier to reach increased bodily locations. Still, most battery-operated massage guns come with charging stations, which plug into an electric outlet and charge the batteries in-between uses. When you place the massage gun against your muscle(s) and power it on, the head of the unit pulsates or vibrates at varying intensities. Intensities are programmable in certain units, although most are preset by the manufacturer. The portability of a massage gun makes it possible to carry with you in a large variety of scenarios, making the units especially useful for:

  • Travel.

  • Post-workout treatments.

  • Stress-relief between business appointments.

  • Relief from soreness/pain on breaks at work.

Important Massage Gun Features to Consider

When shopping for a massage gun it is often important to prioritize features above brand. Percussive and vibration massage guns are the two primary types. Additional features for each are also listed as primary and secondary considerations.

Power (Amplitude)

The power rating of a massage gun is one of the two primary features for both percussive and vibration units. Power, also referred to as amplitude, determines how deeply the massage head attachment depresses into muscle fibers. Generally, massage guns with an amplitude rating between 8mm and 16mm are sold, with higher numbers indicating more power. The power you need in your massage gun depends on:

  • Your reasons for needing the unit.

  • How hard you prefer your massage treatments.

  • Conflicting medical conditions you might have with using higher-powered units.

Speed (RPMs)

The revolutions per minute (RPM) rating on a massage gun indicates how fast the machine operates. Machines with speeds between 1,740 and 2,400 RPMs are considered effective for tension and pain relief. Massage guns capable of 3,200 RPM ratings and higher are sold, however.

Stall Force

The stall force of a massage gun indicates the amount of pressure required for the unit to cease depressing perpendicular force into your muscles. Stall force is also referred to as the “peak of power” for a massage gun. Stall force ratings average between 20 and 30 pounds on less expensive products and between 40 and 50 pounds on higher-quality units.

Secondary Features to Consider

Power, speed, and stall force are the three primary features to consider when purchasing a massage gun. Multiple secondary features are also important to consumers for a variety of reasons. For example, the weight of the massage gun might be important to a person with disabilities or limited strength or mobility. The design of the machine is also important to consumers for similar reasons. Some massage guns are designed to reach challenging areas of the body more easily than others by including an extended handle or other convenient attachments.

Many massage gun brands include extra features and/or attachments. For example, some models include a charging dock and travel case in the purchase price. Others include additional batteries, or no batteries at all. Some companies charge extra for all these items. Many massage gun manufacturers include a companion smartphone app with their products. These apps offer guidance on massage gun techniques, technical support and how to get the most of your unit.

Battery life is often the most important secondary feature to many consumers. How long will your massage gun last before it runs out of charge? How much money will you have to spend on batteries to use your massage gun? These are important questions to answer prior to making any purchase decisions. Finally, warranties are included on most new massage guns. Check the details about your warranty to ensure you are covered for at-least enough time to verify your machine’s functionality, quality, and suitability for your needs.

Popular Massage Gun Brands Today

Therabody Theragun and Hyperice Hypervolt models are some of the most popular massage guns on the market today. The Therabody Theragun Elite ($399 MSRP) is widely accepted as the best overall massage gun available. The Therabody Theragun PRO ($599 MSRP) is designed for professional athletes and considered the best in this capacity. The Hyperice Hypervolt model is slightly more affordable ($249 MSRP) and is known to be a quieter and smoother operating machine. The Hypervolt is also an excellent choice for runners due to its five attachments (including a ball), Bluetooth capabilities and custom programmability. Several more popular massage gun brands and models today include:

Massage Guns: Pros and Cons

For all the benefits provided by massage guns, certain drawbacks exist as well. For example, a properly used massage gun provides significant relief from pain and stress. An inaccurately used unit might cause damage instead. Massage guns are excellent choices for muscle pain issues. When used on sprains, strains, swelling and breaks, however, massage guns might make the damage significantly worse. In fact, pregnant women, and people with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) should avoid using massage guns altogether. The best units combine portability and relief in multiple scenarios. Poorly made units will run out of charge quickly, however, leaving you to carry around your machine as extra weight.