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Why a percussive massage gun could be the answer to your muscle aches

Percussive massage guns and other handheld massage tools are picking up speed in the physical therapy world. However, you don’t need to ask your doctor for that referral quite yet–you can enjoy this deep tissue massage from the comfort of your own home. Whether you’re spending your days at a desk or on your feet, this fantastic tool can get rid of all those muscle aches at the end of a long day.

Are you ready to add a percussive massage gun to your daily routine? We’ll discuss the different types of percussive massage guns and how to use them so that you can gain some key insights before choosing the one that works best for you.

man using a percussive massage gun at the gym
Dmitri Ma/Shutterstock

What is a percussive gun?

A percussive massage gun is similar to other handheld massage tools and operates in much the same way. Percussive massage tools apply rapid tapping to soft tissue areas to help target knots and points of pain, providing pressure and vibration that not only loosens muscles but also provides total relaxation for the user.

The percussive nature of this massage gun truly sets it apart from other massage tools on the market. The tapping sensation of the percussive beats delivers up to 3,200 taps per minute, designed to pinpoint soreness in muscles and tendons. They are not intended to massage a large area, but rather target specific muscle groups and especially stubborn knots. This ability to target sore locations on the body is what makes percussive massage guns so desirable–they quickly and effectively relieve muscle tension, knots, and increase blood circulation to the troubled area.

How to use

When using a percussive massage gun, simply hold the tool above the sore muscle. It’s best to start in an area where there is no pain and work your way alongside the muscle towards the sore area. This will prevent any shock or painful experiences from targeting a painful knot with too much intensity. 

You should hold the percussive massage gun in place for at least thirty seconds to a minute before moving it again. This will break up any blockages and provide the deep tissue massage you’ve been yearning for. To achieve the desired results, experts recommend moving the gun around the entire muscle rather than just the sore area, which will activate all the deep tissues. Perform this massage once or twice a day for about five to ten minutes per session to relieve pain.

woman outside using percussive massage gunTypes of percussive guns

While nearly all percussive massage guns deliver deep massages to sore spots, they are not all the same. There are several styles to suit your handling needs and can differ in significant ways.

There are two primary types of percussive massage guns.

The first type falls along the lines of what we explored previously. These percussive taps are not especially fast and tend to be more rhythmic. This tool is best for sustained use over a troubled area, loosening muscle tension and targeting knots and adhesions. This simulates a kneading motion more so than a vibrating one.

Alternatively, the other type of percussive massage gun focuses more on vibration. Often, these aren’t as percussive as the standard tool, but the quick taps can really target the deep tissue of your muscles. This tool provides a deep vibration for relaxation, stimulating blood flow in the entire muscle group rather than using targeted pulses to loosen knots.

Percussive massage guns also come with a variety of head attachments. These attachments are meant to help you target different muscle groups in a manner that works best for each one. Some head attachments are best for shoulder and upper body pain, while others better target larger muscles like those in your thighs.

Additionally, while most percussive massage guns are cordless, some do include a cord. You’ll have to take this into consideration when purchasing a percussive massage gun that will work for you., especially if you plan to bring your percussive massage gun on the go or to the gym for your post-workout cooldown.

As with any treatment, listen to your body and consult your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.

Disclaimer: BlissMark provides information regarding health, wellness, and beauty. The information within this article is not intended to be medical advice. Before starting any diet or exercise routine, consult your physician. If you don’t have a primary care physician, the United States Health & Human Services department has a free online tool that can help you locate a clinic in your area. We are not medical professionals, have not verified or vetted any programs, and in no way intend our content to be anything more than informative and inspiring. 

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