by Matt Weik
Not sure if you’ve heard of the latest trend in self-massage tools, but it’s called a “massage gun,” and it is basically a portable electric muscle massager. These nifty devices are just one of the countless pieces of equipment that you can use, along with your bodyweight and whatever else might be handy, to give yourself an effective DIY massage.
Massage guns are sold everywhere, from big-box stores like Target and Walmart to specialty athletic retailers and even places like Amazon (of course). They are popular with professionals, athletes, and fitness influencers, who claim that a good massage can alleviate aches and pains, increase circulation, and even improve athletic performance.
What Are Massage Guns?
A handheld massage gun is simply a spring-loaded rod with a handle on one end and a flat or round surface (usually made of rubber) on the other. When the device is compressed and released, it exerts pressure and releases it with a “pop” sound. The principle behind it is similar to that of a spring-loaded back massager.
A massage gun can be used to target any area of the body, but it’s most commonly used for general-purpose relief of muscle spasms or tension in the neck, shoulders, arms, legs, and back.
Massage guns will not replace regular massages from professional therapists or masseuses, but they make an excellent addition to your home health care routine. You can even use them to help warm up muscles before a workout.
The Benefits of Massage Guns
There are many benefits of massage guns. They can be used by people with muscle pain, arthritis, and other aches and pains. Massage guns provide a soothing mechanical pressure to help relieve stress and improve blood flow. Those who experience these symptoms should consider investing in a massage gun. Here are some of the benefits you can experience.
Massage guns are made using high-quality parts that can last for years. The electric motor is powerful, and some models are even equipped with an edge guide to help the user focus on specific spots in the body for deep massages.
2. Massage Gives Relief
Massage guns offer relief from tension, stress, and muscle pain that come from everyday activities. They also come in handy when it’s time to relax or recover from intense workouts or even disease. These devices are portable, so that you can use them just about anywhere.
3. Fine-Tune Targeting
Massage guns allow users to target specific muscles, which means that they can get rid of knots and tension that build up in the body over time. Many models are equipped with attachments that can be used on different parts of the body, such as the head, legs, arms, back, etc.
4. Relief For Arthritis
If you have arthritis, you may want to consider getting a massage gun for home use. You may find it much easier to relax and feel better when you are at home, rather than going somewhere for a professional massage. Additionally, depending on how many massages you require, they can get quite pricy, and a massage gun can be a wise investment to lessen the need for a professional massage.
How to Use a Massage Gun
There is more than one way to use the massage gun. Sometimes a therapist will use the ball end of their massage gun, and sometimes they will use their knuckles or the flat side of their hand to apply pressure. It all depends on where the therapist thinks it would be best to trigger a muscle response. A therapist may also use two massage guns at once (one in each hand) on specific areas of the body, like the calves or arms.
Massage Guns vs. Foam Rollers and Other Muscle Recovery Tools
Massage guns are a popular tool for athletes and people who work out regularly. They’re more effective than foam rollers but have the same focus on breaking up adhesions in muscle tissue.
Massage guns are good for people with limited mobility because you can use them without kneeling or bending over. You just roll the gun slowly over the muscles you want to work on, allowing you to target specific areas easily.
Foam rollers are good for people who want to spend a lot of time working out knots in their muscles because you can use them longer than massage guns. Foam rollers also give you a full range of movement, so it’s easier to work out knots in your back or leg muscles. Massage guns only allow you to move from side to side and front to back.
The bottom line is that both massage guns and foam rollers are useful tools. If you have limited mobility or want something portable, go with a massage gun. If you’re looking for something that gives you a full range of motion and works out larger muscle groups, go with a foam roller instead. Regardless, massage guns and various recovery tools should be a staple in your recovery process if you want to speed things up.