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Reduce sore muscles and relieve tension - with a massage gun

In the USA, the massage gun has been a health trend among athletes, alternative practitioners and physiotherapists for years, and now the effective device against tension and sore muscles is also enjoying great popularity in Germany. With growing popularity, the supply is also growing. If you want to buy a massage gun, it is therefore worth comparing - because there are big differences in fascia guns in terms of performance, battery and attachments. Below you can find out what is important when buying a muscle gun, what options the massage gun offers you and how to use the vibration massager correctly.

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K-Active® Mini Massage Gun
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K-Active® Mini Massage Gun Compact, powerful and individually adjustable With a handy size of 14 centimeters, the K-Active® Mini massage gun convinces with its compact design. Despite its size, it is just as powerful as conventional...
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Hyperice® Hypervolt 2
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Hyperice® Hypervolt 2 Pro
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What is a massage gun?

A massage gun looks like a gun at first glance. But don't worry, it won't shoot you - the massage gun treatment is more about using gentle, jerky strokes to loosen up your muscles, relieve tension and reduce muscle soreness. So, if you don't have time to get a proper kneading from a masseur or physiotherapist, the massage gun is just the right complement for your health.

And that makes the massage gun an indispensable addition to physiotherapy, especially in times when back pain is playing an increasingly important role. Whether it's tension due to hours of sitting in the office, sore muscles after intense weight training, or an age-related decline in muscle tone, a Massage Gun can help you alleviate your discomfort. And of course, we'll explain how it all works!

How does a massage gun work?

The principle behind the massage gun is quite simple: With fast and intense movements, the massage gun applies pressure to the desired body region. In this way, even deep-seated tissue, and muscle complaints, as well as tension and muscle soreness, can possibly be alleviated. With the intense strokes of the massage gun, you can loosen up your muscles, which bit by bit helps to relieve tension. In addition, the steady vibration of the fascia gun can stimulate your blood circulation, which further helps your body relieve tension and hyperacidity.

You can compare the action of the massage gun with a small massage. However, the application is much shorter, because just a few seconds to a maximum of one minute are sufficient due to the intensity of the massage gun, and you will fully benefit from the health advantages of the massage gun.

How the Massage Gun works in your body

If you want to learn more about how the massage gun works, it is worth taking a closer look at how it works and all the processes in your body that are triggered by the massage gun. Therefore, we would like to explain in detail what happens in your body when you use the fascia gun.

  • Faster regeneration: When you use the massage gun to regenerate your muscles, your body releases the neurotransmitter nitric oxide (NO) due to the vibrating impulses, which causes your blood vessels to dilate. Waste products, acids and other metabolic products (e.g. lactate and ammonia) are then removed from the muscle more quickly - and you are quickly fit again for the next workout. Here you can find the study that proves the faster regeneration.
  • Improved muscle healing: I'm sure you already know that every time you work out, small, microscopic tears are created in your muscles. In fact, it is this damage that is the basis of a growing muscle, because it is only when the body fills these small tears that your muscle becomes stronger and bigger. This healing is made possible by what are called satellite cells. They move towards the small muscle tears, settle there and divide, thus creating new muscle fibers. The vibrations of the massage gun can support the satellite cells in your body and help accelerate the muscle healing. And here you can find the study that goes with it.
  • Reduce muscle soreness: Have you ever worked out hard and not noticed the muscle soreness your workout triggers until a few days later? This is called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, which is also called DOMS. And this is another area where the massage gun can have a positive effect: a 2014 study showed that this painful muscle soreness can be reduced by the gentle strokes of the muscle gun. This process is also known as percussive therapy. But: you will only benefit from this effect if you use the massage gun immediately after your workout.
  • Reduce muscle pain: Can a massage gun really reduce muscle pain? A 2014 study says yes! The superficial treatment of the skin with the massage gun stimulates the receptors of your skin. As a result, the signals emitted override the offending pain signal that occurs at the spinal cord level. For this purpose, your body uses glycine (an amino acid) as a transmitter, which can be specifically activated when using the massage gun. Or to put it more simply: by treating the surface of the skin with the massage gun, the deep-seated pain is less noticeable. A simple but effective mode of action that has been proven here.
  • Increased Mobility: The day after an intense workout can be hell. When you get up and feel like you've spontaneously aged 50 years because all your limbs hurt - not very pleasant. But here, too, the massage gun can remedy the situation. Overloading your body contributes to the short-term stiffness of your joints. The same research group that has already proven a reduction in muscle pain has also proven the ability to increase the mobility and flexibility of your joints with the use of the massage gun.

 

Basically, we can say that you can use the massage gun to stimulate the blood circulation in a certain area of your body to improve the oxygen and nutrient supply of the corresponding body region. This improved supply can help you break down hyperacidity in your muscles faster, while also transporting valuable nutrients to your muscle cells to aid in recovery and muscle growth. Still, of course, a massage gun can never replace an expert: Physiotherapists and doctors are still the best people to consult when in doubt about health conditions. 

Also, make sure to provide your body with all the nutrients it needs for recovery. It is true that proteins and amino acids for muscle regeneration reach their destination more quickly with the massage gun - and the associated stimulation of blood circulation. However, they must therefore also be present. For the maintenance and development of your muscles, it is therefore just as important to focus on a balanced diet.

What are the advantages of a massage gun?

Let's start with the hard facts: A massage gun is significantly cheaper than regular appointments with your trusted masseur, physical therapist or chiropractor. Plus, you're independent of time and place - even if you suddenly find yourself suffering from back pain in the middle of the night, the massage gun can quickly provide relief. The simple (yet very effective) application is another plus: Simply point the massage gun at the painful body region and let the vibrating pressure intervals do their work. Here's a summary for you of all the ways the massage gun can be used:

  • Can relieve sore muscles.
  • Can relieve tension and trigger points.
  • Can improve blood flow to your muscles.
  • Can promote faster recovery after intense workouts.
  • May contribute to muscle growth.
  • Can reduce muscle acidity more quickly.
  • Can increase muscle elasticity.
  • May increase mobility and agility.

 

Already a few minutes after using the massage gun you can notice a first relief of your complaints. The compact design ensures that you can use the massage gun independently on almost any part of the body. In addition, the fascia gun is very light. You can also carry it with you when you are on the go to combat acute complaints - for example, if you want to loosen up your muscles during your lunch break or if you can't do without the massage gun on vacation. 

Nevertheless, consider the massage gun as a supplement to physiotherapy. It can support you, but not cure serious musculoskeletal disorders. If you feel unsure or are not convinced that the massage gun alone is sufficient to alleviate your complaints, then always consult your attending physician or physiotherapist to be on the safe side.

What is important when I want to buy a massage gun?

There are now many manufacturers of massage guns. However, not every device is truly a good and effective one.

Before you decide on a particular massage gun, you should therefore take a closer look at the purchase criteria:

  • Is the massage gun operated via rechargeable battery or does it have to be permanently connected to the electric circuit?
  • If it is a massage gun with battery: How long is the battery life?
  • How many intensity levels does the massage gun offer?
  • Does the massage gun have different massage attachments?
  • Does the massage gun come with a carrying case?
  • How loud is the massage gun?
  • What is the deflection depth of the head on the massage gun? (Tip: Often given in amplitude / millimeter).
  • How much does the massage gun weigh?

 

Of course, massage guns also differ from each other in price. It is therefore useful to take a closer look at your own needs.

What must your massage gun be able to do?

If you want to buy a more affordable massage gun, the Hyperice® Hypervolt Bluetooth® massage gun is a good choice: With up to 3,200 strokes per minute, you can effectively relieve sore muscles, ease tension or promote regeneration. The wireless massage gun can be used at 3 speed levels, which in turn can be further customized with 5 interchangeable head attachments. Plus, the 60-watt high-torque motor with Quiet Glide™ technology is both effective and exceptionally quiet - so this is ideal if you want to use the massage gun in the office or gym, too. The affordable massage gun is the ideal device for anyone who wants to get started with a fascia gun treatment without digging too deep into their wallet. And above all: without wanting to make any compromises in terms of quality.

If you want a little more power, the most powerful muscle gun from Hyperice® is the answer: The Hypervolt 2 Pro, which with a brushless 90-watt motor and particularly high torques even more targeted against tension and muscle soreness. Via pressure sensor you can switch between 5 different massage levels, which can be additionally individualized by the 5 different Massage Gun attachments. In addition, the handle has been elliptically and ergonomically adapted to give you an even better grip. With a battery life of up to 3 hours, you rarely need to charge your massage gun - and can use the full power for hours to relieve your discomfort. Another benefit: The Hyperice® Hypervolt 2 Pro Massage Gun is approved by U.S. Transportation Security Authorities as carry-on luggage, so you can comfortably carry your fascia gun with you when you travel.

How do I use a massage gun correctly?

The application of the massage gun is very simple. This is one of the reasons why it is so suitable for home use. You don't need any expert knowledge to use it correctly.

When using the massage gun, point the device at the area of the body where you feel sore muscles or tension for about 15 to 20 seconds. When doing so, you should not apply the massage gun to just one spot but move it over a large area of the affected area. The pressure head of the fascia gun should glide slowly over the affected area of the body, so that the intense pressure shocks loosen up the tissue. You can use circular movements, sometimes drifting off to the right, and sometimes sliding the massage gun to the left. Treat the affected area as it feels good to you. If you find a tension during the application, you can also apply the massage gun briefly targeted in this area to release it and stimulate the blood circulation pinpoint. Nevertheless, be careful not to linger too long on one spot with the muscle gun.

The application of the massage gun should always be done carefully. You have no reason to apply additional pressure - the massage gun unfolds its effect mainly via the pulsating vibration. Additional pressure is therefore rather counterproductive. So do not regulate the intensity with the pressure of your hands, but rather with the different pressure frequencies of the massage gun. You can also influence the effect on your tissue with the various attachments.

How long should I use the massage gun?

When you use the massage gun for the first time, just a few seconds are enough for the effect to unfold. Your body needs to get used to the treatment with the fascia gun - so start with short intervals. Instead of working with the massage gun for several minutes, use it several times a day for a few seconds. This will also benefit your muscles.

A small tip on the side: The vibration is not only unfamiliar for the muscles, but also for your hand and wrist. While you are holding the vibration massager, you will of course feel the vibration in your hand. Your body must get used to this as well. It is therefore possible that you will feel a slight tingling in your hand during the first few applications - but this is no reason to worry, it is completely normal and will pass again a few moments later.

When should I use the massage gun?

Not only the type and length of application play a role with the massage gun, but also the timing is crucial for the best possible success. Due to the versatile mode of action of the massage gun, the application is also suitable in certain situations:

  • Before training: if you use the massage gun before training, you warm up your muscles in a targeted manner and can thus reduce the risk of tension and strains. To do this, you should use the massage gun specifically in the muscle region that you want to train later, for example, the chest muscles in the bench press. Work with the massage gun along the muscle strands and avoid contact with joints and bones.
  • During training: The use of the massage gun is also useful during training. Between sets you can gently relieve built-up tension and loosen tight muscle groups to prepare them for the next one. Let's stay with the example of the bench press: The chest muscles are already hardened and tense after the first training sets. If you now use the massage gun, it loosens up slightly and further training sessions are easier for you. In addition, the vibration improves blood circulation, which also relaxes the muscle.
  • After workout: The application after exercising is of course the classic, because the muscle gun was originally developed for this purpose. After a long and strenuous workout, you can use the massage gun to relax your muscles, relieve hyperacidity and thereby reduce muscle soreness. In addition, the use of the massage gun promotes muscle regeneration.
  • For tension and discomfort: Completely independent of athletic training sessions, the massage gun can of course also be used to relieve and strengthen tension and discomfort in the muscles. Use it several times throughout the day in short intervals to relieve tension and restore your mobility.

When should I not use the massage gun?

Unfortunately, the massage gun is not a miracle cure either - it is a fitness device that helps you with tension and sore muscles. If you suffer from severe discomfort, it's better to have a doctor take a look. A massage gun is not recommended for pulled muscles or even torn muscle fibers. In this case it makes more sense to rest the affected muscles.

It is important that you use the massage gun exclusively on the muscles - more precisely on the thicker muscle strands. Massages with the fascia gun too close to your head, on the joints, on the spine or on bony protrusions are a no-no.

In addition, there are some pre-existing conditions for which the use of the massage gun is not recommended - for example, if you suffer from diabetes, have a pacemaker or wear metal plates or screws in your bones. You should also refrain from using a massage gun during pregnancy. But why is that? We have taken a closer look at why you should avoid using a massage gun if you have certain pre-existing conditions:

  • Massage gun and osteoporosis: Those who suffer from osteoporosis have extremely fragile bones. You can probably imagine the effects that external pressure can have on bones - the risk of fracture is significantly increased. So, if you suffer from osteoporosis, it's better to stay away from the fascia gun to avoid bone fractures.
  • Massage gun and carcinomas/cancerous diseases: Also, an absolute taboo! Cancer tends to spread anyway. Since massage guns stimulate blood flow to move oxygen and nutrients through the body faster, if you have cancer, cancer cells may also move through the body faster - increasing the risk of your cancer spreading. In addition, there is also an increased risk of bone fracture, depending on where your tumors are located. Incidentally, the risk is also increased if you don't have malignant forms of cancer but are dealing with benign ulcers in your body - again, there's a risk of them spreading through the massage gun.
  • Massage gun for inflammation: Inflammatory foci usually occur in a localized manner in the body. And it should stay that way. If you use the massage gun despite an inflammation, it can spread in the body. In addition, if you use the massage gun in the presence of inflammation, it may increase it locally, causing more pain and prolonging the rehabilitation period. All of which are effects you'd rather avoid - so stay away from the massage gun even if you have acute inflammation.
  • Massage gun for chronic pain: You suffer from chronic pain? Then you should rather reject the idea of treating yourself with a massage gun. Instead, talk to your attending physician and seek a medical solution from the expert. First, the cause of your pain should be found and treated. 
  • Massage gun and pacemaker: The pacemaker gives your heart a healthy beat. However, external influences - such as shocks - can throw this rhythm out of balance. And since the massage gun is literally the epitome of external shocks, its use is out of the question for you if you wear a pacemaker.
  • Massage gun and artificial joints: Here, too, the vibrations of the massage gun can cause artificial joints to pop out of their sockets or become damaged. So better be on the safe side. There are much gentler therapy options than the use of the massage gun, which are more suitable here.
  • Massage gun and pregnancy: vibrations can contribute to the detachment of the egg (or later the embryo or fetus) from the uterine lining during pregnancy. Shocks can also cause the placenta - which is necessary for the supply of the child - to detach. External shocks threaten miscarriage or premature birth, which you certainly don't want to risk. The massage gun is therefore taboo during pregnancy.
  • Massage gun and diabetes: Those who suffer from diabetes often have to deal with inflammation, swelling and even open wounds. The use of the massage gun could aggravate these symptoms. Another problem is the sensory disturbances that often accompany diabetes - tingling in your feet or burning in your legs may limit your sensations, so you can't feel when the massage gun treatment is too intense. Therefore, a pre-existing diabetes condition precludes the use of a massage gun.

 

If you suffer from vascular, joint or bone diseases in general, caution should always be exercised when using the massage gun, regardless of the underlying disease. If you are unsure, talk to your doctor before buying a massage gun. This way you are on the safe side.

Does a massage gun have side effects?

Basically, you do not have to worry about any side effects if you use the massage gun properly. The only exception: if any of the above-mentioned pre-existing conditions apply to you, be sure to refrain from using the massage gun. It could worsen your overall physical condition.

Moreover, some users of the massage gun report short-term phenomena that can be considered as side effects. For instance, during the initial period, you may experience a slight tingling sensation in your wrist, which is triggered by the vibration when you hold the massage gun. However, this tingling will disappear within a few minutes. If you are unsure about using the massage gun, first feel the device with gentle vibration levels and find out what is good for you. 

If in doubt, the same applies here: It is better to consult your doctor or physiotherapist once too often than once too little. An expert can tell you whether the massage gun is suitable for you or not.

Conclusion - massage guns against tension and sore muscles

If you are basically fit and healthy, a massage gun is just the right tool to relieve tension and relieve sore muscles. If you have a serious musculoskeletal condition, you should first talk to your doctor to see if the massage gun will help the healing process. When buying a massage gun, make sure that it is of high quality. Cheap massage guns may be easy on your wallet, but in the end, they may not perform as well as you had hoped. Therefore, it's better to go for a high-quality massage gun that delivers exactly the performance you need in your (training) everyday life. If you still have questions about massage guns, our team will be happy to help you. Simply use our contact form. And if you're looking for more information about sports, therapy, and regeneration, you'll also find many helpful tips and tricks in our blog.