Whether it’s been a hard day working out, or just a long day at work, coming home and feeling a sore muscle somewhere can be pretty annoying.
So how do we fix it?
Some people recommend massage guns, a new therapeutic device that has popped up and become a bit of a phenomenon recently. But do massage guns get rid of knots? Or is it all just a placebo?
Muscle knots occur when certain areas along your muscle fibers tighten up, even when the rest of the muscle is resting.
They usually occur along the back, neck, and leg. Seeing how these are some of our most active muscles during the day. However, muscle knots can happen in other areas of your body, especially during workouts.
Surprisingly, there is not much detailed information on muscle knots. They don’t show up on ultrasound or modern medicine scans. All we know is that they pop up due to repetitive movement in certain muscles.
We all know that they’re always painful, uncomfortable, and can sometimes last up to days. So, are massage guns a good solution?
Basically, massage guns are handheld devices equipped with a tip (often circular, but they come in other shapes and sizes) that vibrates with a very high frequency and usually work on batteries.
You may have seen them before, as they’ve become a bit of a social media phenomenon as of late.
You may also bump into them in some modern massage parlors. They have become as useful as they are trendy. We’ve even seen well-known athletes use and/or promote them, from Christiano Ronaldo to LeBron James. Some have been using them for warming up before workouts or easing muscle soreness afterward.
The high-frequency vibration of the end of the device is said to stimulate blood flow to the area it’s being used on, relieving the muscles and easing soreness. This practice has been dubbed ‘vibration therapy.’
Sort of. Massage guns and vibration therapy are still kind of experimental.
As of now, there’s a common consensus that massage guns help out with easing pain associated with knots but doesn’t necessarily fix it completely.
The blood flow stimulated by the massage gun helps ‘lubricate’ the muscle and ease tension, similar to how you might feel better when you scratch a bone after a light injury or lightly massage your feet when sore.
If knots persist, however, it’s advised you seek a professional massage therapist or a doctor.
It’s crucial to note; a massage gun can be harmful in the inexperienced hand.
To some degree, yes. However, you shouldn’t rush to use them right away if you’re pregnant or if you have certain muscle conditions.
When using a massage gun, it’s generally advised to:
- Avoid direct contact with bones
- Avoid using it on a daily basis
- Do not focus on one spot for too long
- Do not use it on an injured body part
When you first use a massage gun to ease a muscle knot, you may fall into the mistake of overdoing one spot. It’s a good rule of thumb that if the pain starts to increase, you should stop. If not, you run the risk of agitating a certain nerve, damaging ligaments or even rupturing blood vessels.
A massage gun is nothing compared to the hand of a professional massage therapist. With that being said, though, not a lot of people have the time to go to a massage therapist every time they get a muscle knot, so it might be a decent purchase.
When you first browse for a massage gun, you’re likely to bump into all sorts of price ranges. Some go even up to 1000$! So, where do you even start?
Well, when you’re buying health and therapy products, one might think of it as an investment.
Just buying the cheapest option is probably not a great idea, since at best it’ll probably just not work, and at worst, it might make things worse.
At the same time, we believe you shouldn’t break the bank for such a device, so here are three massage gun recommendations at different price points.
Budget-Friendly – VYBE Massage Gun for Athletes
If you’re on a tight budget and looking for something effective, this might be a good pick.
The VYBE massage gun is definitely good for your bank account but might not be good for your ears.
This massage gun features:
- A brush motor (notoriously noisy)
- Single-speed setting
- 3 Extra tips
Despite its shortcomings in noise and mostly plastic build quality, this model gets the job done.
Midline – Hypervolt 2
Lightweight, not too expensive, and comes with a mobile app. The Hypervolt 2 by Hyperice is a very quiet device, featuring:
● A brushless motor
● 5 Extra tips
● 3 Speed settings
● 3 hours of battery run-time
● Very decent build quality
At this price point, though, you might expect a carrying case, but there is none to find here, but it’s still a very good purchase at this price point.
Best Overall – Theragun PRO
If you’re looking for the crème de la crème of massage guns, this is the one.
The quintessential massage gun, Theragun PRO, if you’re familiar with massage guns, you’ve most certainly already seen it before, and for a good reason.
The Theragun PRO features:
● 5 Extra tips
● Brushless motor
● Variable speed and force control through OLED Screen
● App integration
● 5 Hour battery run-time
● Rotating head
If you suffer from frequent muscle knots, getting a massage gun might not be a bad idea, but keep in mind that it’s still a very early technology and essentially a commercialized home-brew version of a more sophisticated solution.
Do massage guns get rid of knots? Yes, but always keep your safety in mind. Don’t overuse it, and don’t break the bank to get one either.
With all that being said, we hope we’ve answered your question and that you feel that you’ve come out of this with enough information to make an informed decision on whether you should get a massage gun for muscle knots or not.