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Best Massage Guns for All Kinds of Muscle Pain Relief

Massage Gun
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updated: July 8, 2024
edited by Amber Katz

Whether you’re an athlete or spend your days hunched over a desk, you’ve likely found yourself with aching muscles that need soothing. Going to a massage therapist may not always be possible, affordable, or practical, but self-massage can also fall short—especially if targeting hard to reach areas. Consider a massage gun. They apply repeated pressure to sore muscles, providing greater power compared to hands, in a controlled, targeted manner.

“If you find that you're feeling tight, have limited range of motion, or feel ’stuck’ in a specific area, a massage gun will definitely help,” says Dr. Frances Sariya, a chiropractor at Epione Health & Wellness in New York City. “A massage gun helps to alleviate tension and discomfort in muscles, release muscle spasms, as well as break up adhesions and myofascial trigger points that can refer pain to other areas of the body.” It increases blood flow to the area and reduces inflammation, for a more efficient recovery.

Massage guns should be used only for their specific purpose. Dr. Sariya warns against using one on strains, sprains, inflammation-related injuries, or broken bones. If you’ve suffered an injury, wait to use a massage gun until the pain has subsided or upon approval from a medical practitioner. If in doubt, speak to a medical professional before using a massage gun, to reduce any risk of harm.

Our top picks for the best massage guns

Best for most users: Therabody Theragun Prime

Best for most users
Therabody Theragun Prime

Therabody Theragun Prime

Therabody’s Theragun is probably the most recognizable name in massage guns and the Prime is a perfect mid-range option that suits most users. It provides a comfortable experience even during extended massage sessions, thanks to its patented ergonomic triangle grip. Despite the lighter weight, the Prime offers powerful and satisfying percussion; its 16 mm of amplitude is one of the highest in the market. It also feels durable and offers five different speeds, through which you can cycle up and down (not just in one direction). While there are no preset massages, the Prime does offer Bluetooth compatibility to the Theragun app, where you can follow guided routines.

Specifications:

  • Noise: Not listed
  • Stall force: 30 pounds
  • Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Battery life: 2 hours
  • Speeds: 5
  • Amplitude: 16 mm
  • Warranty: 1-year
  • Number of attachments: 4 (dampener, standard ball, thumb, micro-point)
  • FSA/HSA eligible: Yes
  • Price on publish: $299

The bottom line:

The Theragun Prime offers the power and precision associated with Theragun products, at a more affordable price than some of the more complex models.

Get it here: Therabody Theragun Prime


Best affordable massage gun: RENPHO Power Massage Gun

Best affordable massage gun
RENPHO Power Massage Gun

RENPHO Power Massage Gun

A lower price doesn’t always mean a lesser performance. With the RENPHO Power, which regularly goes on sale for under $100, you get an impressive 4 hours of battery life and 50 pounds of stall force. Even at this low price, the massage gun includes six speed settings and six different attachments so you can further customize your experience. In fact, my only real concern with the RENPHO Power is that it may prove to be too powerful for beginners or for anyone looking for more gentle percussion; even the lowest settings are quite intense. Getting the hang of this device may also take a little longer than some of the others on our list, as the power button is located right next to the speed button, making it easy to accidentally power the device off during use. However, this is a minor inconvenience for such an affordable product.

Specifications:

  • Noise: 45 dB
  • Stall force: 50 pounds
  • Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Battery life: 4 hours
  • Speeds: 6
  • Amplitude: 12 mm
  • Warranty: 1-year
  • Number of attachments: 6 (bullet head, flat head, air cushion, ball head, shovel head & u head)
  • FSA/HSA eligible: Yes
  • Price on publish: $79.99

The bottom line:

If you’re looking for great power at a low price, then the RENPHO Power massage gun is a solid option with a lot of attachments that’s regularly available under $100.

Get it here: RENPHO Power Massage Gun


Best mini massage gun: Therabody Theragun Mini

Best mini massage gun
Therabody Theragun Mini

If you’re a frequent traveler or regular gym goer, then you’ll likely want a massage gun that you can easily throw into your bag and take with you. The Therabody Theragun Mini is a perfect blend of portability and performance, fitting impressive percussion into its compact device. Weighing just one pound, the Mini still has an amplitude of 12 mm—as high as many bigger massage guns—and comes with three attachments and three speed settings. While you won’t find quite as powerful a stall force as Theragun’s larger products, I find the Mini still works muscles effectively for important muscle pain relief. The newest generation also has Bluetooth compatibility so that you can sync to the Therabody app and follow guided routines.

Specifications:

  • Noise: Not listed
  • Stall force: 20 pounds
  • Weight: 1 pound
  • Battery life: 2 hours
  • Speeds: 3
  • Amplitude: 12 mm
  • Warranty: 1-year
  • Number of attachments: 3 (dampener, standard bull, thumb)
  • FSA/HSA eligible: Yes
  • Price on publish: $199

The bottom line:

For substantial power in a neat, compact package, the Theragun Mini is a more portable massage gun that doesn’t compromise on performance.

Get it here: Therabody Theragun Mini


Best travel massage gun: Ekrin Athletics Bantam Mini

Best travel massage gun
Ekrin Athletics Bantam Mini Massage Gun - Compact Deep Tissue Muscle Massager with Adjustable Speeds & 4 Attachments - Long Battery Life, Lightweight, Travel Friendly

Ekrin Athletics Bantam Mini Massage Gun - Compact Deep Tissue Muscle Massager with Adjustable Speeds & 4 Attachments - Long Battery Life, Lightweight, Travel Friendly

When you’re traveling, you want a few things from your devices: portable size, long battery life, and efficient performance. The Ekrin Athletics Bantam Mini combines all these things in a stylish little package that weighs just 1.1 pounds so you can easily add it to your suitcase. Despite its small size, the Bantam Mini supports six hours of battery life so you can enjoy some massage therapy throughout the duration of your trip. The massage gun comes with a compact case that manages to fit all four accessories, so you can customize your experience with a flat, bullet, round or fork style attachment. While the amplitude is slightly slower than some of the more powerful performers on this list (10 mm), the Bantam Mini does have a stall force of 35 pounds, which is impressively strong for such a small device.

Specifications:

  • Noise: 33 - 55 dB
  • Stall force: 35 pounds
  • Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Battery life: 6 hours
  • Speeds: 3
  • Amplitude: 10 mm
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Number of attachments: 4 (flat, bullet, round, fork)
  • FSA/HSA eligible: Not listed
  • Price on publish: $ 149.99

The bottom line:

The Ekrin Athletics Bantam Mini has six hours of battery life and 35 pounds of stall force, yet it’s compact and light enough to throw in any suitcase.

Get it here: Ekrin Athletics Bantam Mini


Best massage gun for battery life: Ekrin Athletics B37S

Best massage gun for battery life
Ekrin Athletics B37S Massage Gun - Professional Grade Deep Tissue Muscle Massager with Enhanced Power & Variable Frequency - Ultra Quiet, 8 Hour Battery Life and 6 Attachments - Comprehensive Recovery

Ekrin Athletics B37S Massage Gun - Professional Grade Deep Tissue Muscle Massager with Enhanced Power & Variable Frequency - Ultra Quiet, 8 Hour Battery Life and 6 Attachments - Comprehensive Recovery

You’re only meant to use a massage gun for 10 to 15 minutes at a time, but consistent users will still value a long battery life as it reduces the frequency of charging. When it comes to battery life, Ekrin Athletics’ B37S model puts all others to shame: this massage gun counts eight hours of battery life, when the industry standard is often between two and three.

The device also packs a lot of power, with 12 mm of amplitude and an impressive 56 pounds of stall force. For all this battery and percussion, you pay a premium. The B37S retails for $330, one of the more expensive options on this list. However, that price includes six attachments, five speed settings, and an impressively quiet motor. There’s even a unique variable speed mode that switches between 2400 RPM and 3200 RPM, so muscles can’t adapt to the machine, which can reduce effectiveness over time.

Specifications:

  • Noise: 35 - 55 dB
  • Stall force: 56 pounds
  • Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Battery life: 8 hours
  • Speeds: 5
  • Amplitude: 12 mm
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Number of attachments: 6 (flat, bullet, cone, round [foam], round [silicone], fork)
  • FSA/HSA eligible: No
  • Price on publish: $329.99

The bottom line:

The Ekrin Athletics B37S massage gun offers an unparalleled eight hours of premium power, with six attachments, and five speed settings.

Get it here: Ekrin Athletics B37S


Best massage gun for beginners: Therabody Theragun Relief

Best massage gun for beginners
Therabody Theragun Relief

Therabody Theragun Relief

If you’re new to massage guns or a more casual customer, the power and price of some devices can be a bit overwhelming. Enter the Theragun Relief. The Relief is the brand’s most affordable massage gun—even cheaper than the Mini—but it’s still got the ergonomic design of the more expensive models, as well as a few speed settings and attachment options. The Relief also offers a slightly softer 10 mm of amplitude, making it a more gentle experience that is great for beginners who are still learning how to most effectively use their massage gun. While this gentler percussion may not be sufficient for athletes or more deep muscle aches, it can still provide considerable relief for milder aches and pains, in a conveniently light and affordable package. As with Therabody’s other products, this device is Bluetooth compatible, so you can still use the Therabody app and follow guided routines.

Specifications:

  • Noise: Not listed
  • Stall force: 20 pounds
  • Weight: 1.37 pounds
  • Battery life: 2 hours
  • Speeds: 3
  • Amplitude: 10 mm
  • Warranty: 1-year
  • Number of attachments: 3 (dampener, standard ball, thumb)
  • FSA/HSA eligible: Yes
  • Price on publish: $149

The bottom line:

Beginners will love the Theragun Relief’s gentler percussion and lightweight design, not to mention its lower price within the Theragun collection.

Get it here: Therabody Theragun Relief


Best massage gun for the face: Therabody TheraFace PRO

Best massage gun for the face
Therabody TheraFace PRO

You should absolutely NOT use a massage gun on the delicate bones of the face unless you have a dedicated facial device like Therabody’s TheraFace PRO, which offers just 3mm of amplitude for a gentle touch. Although it’s unlikely that you’re doing intense face workouts, the muscles around the jaw are still vulnerable to tension and light percussive massage can help relax facial muscles and stimulate blood flow.

The TheraFace PRO incorporates the massage functionality with other therapies, such as skin-toning microcurrent and LED light therapy in blue, red, and red+ infrared settings. (The same therapies seen in LED face masks.) Customers love that this facial massage device is able to help reduce wrinkles around the eyes, treat mild to moderate inflammatory acne, and relieve muscle tension in the jaw. This is one of the most expensive products on my list, but for some customers, the TheraFace PRO’s dual functionality will be more than worth the price tag.

Specifications:

  • Noise: Not listed
  • Stall force: Not listed
  • Weight: 0.66 pounds
  • Battery life: 2 hours
  • Speeds: 3
  • Amplitude: 3 mm
  • Warranty: 1-year limited warranty on the device, 90-day limited warranty on rings and attachments
  • Number of attachments: 3 percussive (cone, micro-point, flat), 3 light therapy rings
  • FSA/HSA eligible: No
  • Price on publish: $399

The bottom line:

Whether you suffer from TMJ or are looking for the cosmetic benefits of facial massage, the TheraFace PRO features a range of high-end facial therapies and percussion in one device.

Get it here: Therabody TheraFace PRO


Most powerful massage gun: Opove M3 Pro

Most powerful massage gun
Opove M3 Pro

Depending on the muscles you’re targeting and the degree of athletic activity you practice, you may want a massage gun that can work a little harder. The Opove M3 Pro is the heaviest massage gun on our list, which makes sense as it supports up to 70 pounds of stall force when on its most powerful setting. There are five speeds, as well as six attachments, so not every massage needs to be the most intense, but many users will appreciate the range available. Despite the power exerted, the M3 Pro has smooth handling and minimal handle vibrations for a smooth grip, plus four to eight hours of working battery life. If you’re a more casual user, the power of the M3 might not be worth the heavier, bulkier feel of the device, but this is a nicely priced option for anyone with deeper muscle aches.

Specifications:

  • Noise: < 55 dB
  • Stall force: 70 pounds
  • Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Battery life: 4 to 8 hours depending on speed and pressure used
  • Speeds: 5
  • Amplitude:12 mm
  • Warranty: 1-year and 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Number of attachments: 6
  • FSA/HSA eligible: No
  • Price on publish: $179.99

The bottom line:

The Opove M3 Pro is the most powerful massage gun on my list, offering up to 70 pounds of stall force and five speed settings to reach even the deepest muscle aches.

Get it here: Opove M3 Pro


Best massage gun for athletes: Therabody Theragun PRO

Best massage gun for athletes
Therabody Theragun PRO

If you frequently push your body to the limits, you’re familiar with the aches and pains that follow a hard workout. The Therabody Theragun PRO is designed to help soothe muscles that are regularly put through their paces, with its 60 pounds of stall force and 16 mm of amplitude. This is a powerful machine that delivers strong percussion. Its heavier weight is balanced out by the ergonomic design and rotating arm, which can be set to any of four positions for greater reach around the body. Still, users will likely need either good arm and grip strength, or a trainer or friend to help use the device on tougher to reach spots.

As the most high-end Theragun product, the massage gun comes with Bluetooth compatibility to the Therabody app, but also includes four preset routines and a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, for maximum uptime. It also uses a proprietary EQ-150 motor for an ultra-quiet experience, even at full power. Ultimately, this massage gun is ideal for serious athletes who want the most comprehensive muscle relief.

Specifications:

  • Noise: Not listed
  • Stall force: 60 pounds
  • Weight: 2.76 pounds
  • Battery life: 2.5 hours
  • Speeds: 5
  • Amplitude: 16 mm
  • Warranty: 2-year limited warranty on device, 90-day limited warranty on attachments
  • Number of attachments: 6 (standard ball, dampener, thumb, wedge, SuperSoft, micro-point)
  • FSA/HSA eligible: Yes
  • Price on publish: $599

The bottom line:

Therabody’s Theragun PRO is the brand’s most powerful massage gun, with 60 pounds of stall force, 16 mm of amplitude and a rotating arm to soothe heavily-worked muscles.

Get it here: Therabody Theragun PRO


Best for massage gun for everyday use: Therabody Theragun Sense

Best for massage gun for everyday use
Therabody Theragun Sense

Therabody Theragun Sense

Most people won’t need intense massage therapy on a daily basis, but will still benefit from muscle relaxation. The Therabody Theragun Sense takes a holistic approach to massage therapy, offering comparable power to its other mid-range models (40 pounds of stall force, 12 mm of amplitude) but also incorporating a few new wellness features. In addition to five preset massage routines, users can save their favorite routines from the Therabody app directly to the device. They can also access guided breathwork sessions with haptic vibration cues to help calm the mind as well as the body. A built-in biometric sensor provides heart readings, while the device is configured to perform near-silently at most settings. Daily use can promote better sleep as well as relaxed muscles, making this a great everyday option whether you’ve worked out or not.

Specifications:

  • Noise: Not listed
  • Stall force: 40 pounds
  • Weight: 1.65 pounds
  • Battery life: 2 hours
  • Speeds: 5
  • Amplitude: 12 mm
  • Warranty: 1-year
  • Number of attachments: 4 (standard ball, dampener, thumb, micro-point)
  • FSA/HSA eligible: Yes
  • Price on publish: $299

The bottom line:

The Theragun Sense offers a more holistic massage experience, with guided breathwork, a built-in biometric sensor and ultra-quiet settings for next-level relaxation.

Get it here: Therabody Theragun Sense


Best portable massage gun: Recoverfun Mini Massage Gun

Best portable massage gun
Recoverfun Mini Massage Gun - Handheld Portable Percussion Therapy Deep Tissue Muscle Massager with Aluminum Heads and Type-c Charging for Stiffness and Pain Relief to Use at Home/Office/Travel(Black)

Recoverfun Mini Massage Gun - Handheld Portable Percussion Therapy Deep Tissue Muscle Massager with Aluminum Heads and Type-c Charging for Stiffness and Pain Relief to Use at Home/Office/Travel(Black)

The Recoverfun Mini Massage gun is one of the smallest, most lightweight devices I found on the market, yet it’s nearly half the price of its competitors. Costing just $80, this is the ideal massage gun to keep in your gym bag, suitcase or even office bag for on-the-go relief. Better yet, the Recoverfun Mini has up to 5 hours of battery life, so you won’t even need to bring your charger most of the time. The smaller size has some performance pros and cons: It features a very quiet motor but also weaker percussion of just 6 mm in amplitude. For this reason, I wouldn’t recommend the Recoverfun Mini for deep muscle aches or serious athletes who need more thorough massage therapy. However, this is a great portable tool to use as a travel supplement to more powerful, bulky devices. It’s also a great entry point for people looking to explore massage guns without spending too much.

Specifications:

  • Noise: 30 - 42 dB
  • Stall force: Not listed
  • Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Battery life: 5 hours
  • Speeds: 4
  • Amplitude: 6 mm
  • Warranty: 1-year
  • Number of attachments: 4 (fork, ball, bullet, aluminum)
  • FSA/HSA eligible: No
  • Price on publish: $79

The bottom line:

For a budget-friendly, long-lasting, compact device that can be easily thrown into a gym bag for on-the-go use, the Recoverfun Mini Massage Gun is the ideal choice.

Get it here: Recoverfun Mini Massage Gun


Best massage gun with heat therapy: Sharper Image Powerboost Pro+

Best massage gun with heat therapy
Sharper Image - Powerboost Pro+ Hot and Cold Percussion Massager - Black

Sharper Image - Powerboost Pro+ Hot and Cold Percussion Massager - Black

Massage therapists often deploy heat for more effective muscle relaxation and pain relief and now you can gain similar benefits through massage guns with built-in heat therapy. For this, I particularly like the Sharper Image Powerboost Pro+, which incorporates both hot and cold therapy with a temperature range of 38 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit. These therapies can be used with or without percussion to treat muscle aches in a dynamic and versatile way. The massage gun also doesn’t compromise on general performance, with 5 hours of battery life and 12 mm of amplitude to really penetrate muscles and effectively diffuse heat. The stall force is a little lower than other devices of this size and weight, but I found that the heat therapy more than made up for this gentler power. I also like that this product is regularly on sale for under $150, making it a cost effective way to access more comprehensive muscle relief.

Specifications:

  • Noise: Not listed
  • Stall force: 29 pounds
  • Weight: 8.36 pounds
  • Battery life: 5 hours
  • Speeds: 6
  • Amplitude: 12 mm
  • Warranty: None
  • Number of attachments: 6 (bar, dual, cone, hot + cold, round, compression)
  • FSA/HSA eligible: Yes
  • Price on publish: $149.95

The bottom line:

The Sharper Image Powerboost Pro+ combines hot and cold therapies with percussion for a dynamic muscle recovery experience that is often available for under $150.

Get it here: Sharper Image Powerboost Pro+


How we selected the best massage guns

To determine which massage guns were the best in the market, I conducted a substantial amount of research and looked at a few key criteria. All the products were assessed on their stall force, amplitude, price, ease of use, portability, range of speeds and attachments, additional functionality and battery life. It was important to consider the needs of different kinds of users, whether desk workers or serious athletes. I used a combination of personal experience, expert insights, and customer reviews to determine how these products held up over time and performed in different environments. I also made sure to include a mix of product categories to address different concerns, such as facial massage and heat therapy, to ensure I could recommend something for every type of user.

Key massage gun features

As we’ve seen through this list, most massage guns offer a range of settings and features that you can customize to suit your needs. In particular, different attachments can help the vibrations penetrate muscles in different ways for more targeted relief. Dr. Sariya likes dampeners for their ability to treat more sensitive areas, while cone or micro-point attachments can dig into smaller, tighter areas. She also stresses the importance of different speed settings, so that you can find the degree of force that will provide the right relief for the area. Larger muscle groups, such as quads or hamstrings, benefit from more powerful force than smaller muscle groups.

[Another] feature that is helpful, but not necessary, is an adjustable arm,” says Dr. Sariya. “This will help you reach other areas of your body without compromising grip and having loss of control.” If there isn’t an adjustable arm, you may want to look for devices with a specific ergonomic grip for greater control and reach. If in doubt, use your massage gun with the assistance of a friend or trainer, so that you can ensure a safe experience.

Lastly, some massage guns will offer additional functions, such as preset routines, Bluetooth capabilities, heat therapies, or even facial therapies in the case of the TheraFACE PRO. These aren’t necessary for effective muscle pain relief, but they can be valuable depending on your needs. If you know you would prefer to follow guided routines, then built-in programs or connection to an app could prove much more effective over time.

Best way to use a massage gun

Massage guns can be used in a range of ways and for a range of purposes. As Dr. Sariya explains, “using a massage gun [pre-workout] will activate your muscles and increase range of motion to improve your performance, as well as reduce your risk of injury. Post work-out, using a massage gun will help speed up recovery and reduce the amount of soreness you would normally feel after a workout.”

She also shared several do’s and don’ts for more effective, safe use:

  • Turn on the massage gun before placing it on the body, for better control over the desired treatment area.
  • Floating the massage gun across muscle striations is more effective than going along them.
  • Use your other hand to guide the massage gun, or to cover sensitive areas.
  • Avoid using the massage gun over bony areas to prevent unnecessary bruising.
  • Avoid keeping the massage gun stationary on one spot, as this can cause muscle fatigue or worse, friction burns and skin tearing.
  • A general rule of thumb is about two minutes over an area and about 30 seconds on a pinpoint area with a small amount of pressure applied.

Types of massage tools

There are two key kinds of massage devices: percussion and vibration.

Percussion

Percussive massage works by applying pressure to the muscle in rapid strokes, often accompanied by vibration. The repetitive motion of striking the muscle allows the vibration to penetrate deeper into the muscle than if you’d simply applied vibration to the surface. Percussive massagers use a combination of stall force, which is the pressure and weight applied with each stroke, and amplitude, which is the depth that the device reaches into the muscle. Higher stall force and amplitude both contribute to a deeper massage. Massage guns tend to utilize percussive therapy and fire into the muscle, hence the term “gun.”

Vibration

Vibration massage works by applying a gentle shaking movement to muscles, to promote relaxation and stimulate soft tissue and nerves. It is a softer way to stimulate muscles and is often used in combination with percussive therapy for dual benefits. Massage tools that solely utilize vibration don’t include a moving component like massage guns, but are more static and rely on manual mobility around the muscle. Therefore they don’t penetrate as deeply into the muscle, but are sometimes preferred to percussive therapy as they can create a more gentle, relaxing experience.

What to consider when choosing a massage gun

Price

Like massage chairs, massage guns are powerful tools with complex mechanics. So, they’re rarely available for under $100. However, there is a range of products available at different price points, with more expensive options costing several hundreds of dollars. Consider how much you want to spend and what you need from the massage gun. More expensive tools might offer greater versatility or power, which you may or not need.

Attachments and settings

Most massage guns include multiple speed and power settings, so you can adjust the device. Some also come with attachments that can further refine and customize the experience. Think about how you will most use the machine and make sure to look for massage guns that include the features that will be most valuable to you. “For example, a dampener will allow you to maneuver the massage gun over very sensitive areas, or a cone attachment will allow you to pinpoint specific areas and get inside the nooks and crannies that need loosening up,” explains Dr. Sariya.

Portability

Depending on where and how you will use the massage gun, its size and portability will either be very important or unimportant. Users with restricted mobility or strength may want a lighter model that is easier to handle, while athletes may want a device that can be easily transported to and from the gym. Frequent travelers may want a massage gun that can easily be brought with them on their trips, while home users may not need to prioritize size and weight.

Speed and power

Massage guns vary in their degrees of percussion, with more expensive devices often offering settings with greater power or faster speeds. However, this isn’t always desirable. Depending on the kind of muscle relief you’re looking for, you may benefit from more gentle percussion—and be able to save on the price in the meantime. If you’re looking for deep tissue massage, opt for a device that can deliver a more powerful experience.

A term you’ll find throughout this article is ‘stall force’. This is the amount of pressure that you can apply to your body with the massage gun before the motor stalls. Listed in pounds, a higher number indicates a more intense massage.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Is it worth buying a massage gun?

If you work out a lot or experience regular muscle aches due to your lifestyle, then you could definitely benefit from owning a massage gun. While they are not mandatory for muscle wellbeing, they help soothe and treat sore muscles for faster, more efficient recovery. Visiting a massage therapist is another effective way to treat aching muscles, but it can be costly and time-intensive, which may not be accessible to everyone. By contrast, the upfront cost of a massage gun will quickly pay dividends and allow for consistent massage therapy within the comfort of your own home—or on the go.

How do you use a massage gun safely?

If in doubt, always consult a medical practitioner for advice on how to use a massage gun safely. However, there are a few rules of thumb that can help ensure a safe massage experience.

  • Don’t use the device on recent injuries, broken bones, or inflammation-related injuries. Wait until any pain has subsided before addressing tight, sore muscles.
  • Aim for two minutes of massage over an area, with 30 seconds for spot-treatment. To reduce the risk of muscle fatigue, don’t go over 10 to 15 minutes total.
  • Use your second hand to help guide the massage gun over muscles, for greater control.
  • If you have a larger, heavier device, consider asking a trainer or friend to help you with harder to reach areas.
  • Avoid using the massage gun over bone, as this can lead to bruising and discomfort.

When is the best time to use a massage gun?

Many people like to use a massage gun after a workout when their muscles are sore. You can also use it before exercise, to help loosen up the muscles and improve your performance. Others may combine it with daily wellness practices, such as meditation or stretching, in which case the best time is whenever it easily fits into your routine. Ultimately, massage guns are there to help provide muscle relief, so use it whenever you feel muscle discomfort.

How much should a good massage gun cost?

This list includes products costing from $80 to $600, so there is a considerable range of price points to choose from. The majority of devices cost between $150 and $250, but your needs will dictate which is a good massage gun for you. Some people will need a device with more power, while others will prioritize preset routines and program content. Others will focus on portability and may prefer smaller, cheaper models that are easier to throw in their suitcase.

How do massage guns work?

Massage guns deploy percussion therapy to help soothe muscles, which involves applying fast bursts of pressure. This can help break up adhesions and myofascial trigger points, promote blood flow and circulation to the area, relieve tension, and reduce inflammation. Depending on the depth of the muscle ache or the area of the body, you’ll need to apply stronger or gentler percussion to provide the most effective relief.

Is it better to use a massage gun fast or slow?

The massage gun can be set to different speeds, but you should always be going at one speed: slow. “Take your time working on the area,” suggests Dr. Sariya. “Take it slow and steady—don't rush! You can always take breaks and get back to it.” Working the massage gun slowly over an area allows for more comprehensive treatment and deeper muscle penetration, while reducing the risk of skin tearing or abrasion.

Try to keep your sessions between 10 to 15 minutes to avoid overworking the muscles. Although massage therapy is part of the recovery process, your muscles will also need to rest without any stimulation to absorb the full benefits of the massage itself.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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