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Massage gun: expectations vs. reality

Meta Description: Your expectations might just get the better of you when it comes to purchasing and using a massage gun, but here’s what it really is like.

In an age where online shopping is the norm, you never really know what you’ll get until your order arrives.
So when it comes to a big purchase like a massage gun, you can’t help but think about worst-case scenarios.
Would it be completely different from how you imagined it to be in a bad way? Or would it pleasantly surprise you?
Read on to find how reality may vary from expectations when it comes to buying and using a massage gun.

But first, what’s a massage gun?

Massage gun: expectations vs. realityA massage gun, otherwise known as a percussion massager, is a handheld device that uses vibration therapy to give muscles a deep tissue massage. Its sole purpose is to provide relief to body soreness and aches.
These devices, commonly used by athletes as part of an effective recovery routine, are now steadily growing in popularity as the “it” tool to have in every workout or home.

Expectations vs. reality of a massage gun

The amount of attention massage guns are getting can only be rivaled by the debates sparked about its functionality.
Here are some examples:

Massage gun: expectations vs. reality

Expectation: Massage guns don’t really do anything; it’s just another wellness sham.

Reality: They improve blood flow to muscles, increase joint range of motion and reduce muscle soreness from exercise (DOMS).

It’s easy to question the authenticity of massage guns. They are pretty new to the wellness and muscle recovery scene, after all.
Some may chalk up its success to marketing hype, especially when celebrities or athletes are thrown into the mix with their stellar reviews.
However, several studies have found that a massage gun is on par with an actual sports massage as its repetitive pulses promote blood circulation, enhance physical mobility, and alleviate aches and pains.

Expectation: All massage guns are built the same.

Reality: Different massage guns have different motors, amplitudes, sound levels, components, and build materials.

Selecting and purchasing a massage gun can be overwhelming, especially with the number of options available out there. But to put it simply, different brands have different builds and payoffs.
For example, the Hydragun boasts a 50dB sound level, which is significantly quieter than the Theragun Pro at 75dB and the Hypervolt Plus at 60dB.
And, using the same gun as an example, the Hydragun is made out of aerospace-grade aluminum, whereas the other guns are made out of composite plastic or ABS plastic.
 In short, some guns are made louder, heavier, or even clunkier than others.
Massage gun: expectations vs. reality

Expectation: It’s not any better than foam rollers, massage balls, or other tools.

Reality: It’s more effective than any conventional massage tool.

A massage gun is a convenient way to get a good rub-down with minimal effort but maximum effect.
A foam roller requires you to move your body up and down the entire length of it, which at times may require a lot of effort but not necessarily provide a lot of relief.
A massage ball needs not only constant hand movement but also applied pressure, which means that it’s only as effective as the pressure you’re exerting on it.
With a massage tool in hand, the only thing you need to do is glide it over your sore spots and let it work its magic.
But beyond ease of use, the massage gun is also a clear winner due to how customizable and accurate it can be with stimulation. Most massage guns come with different heads and attachments, allowing you to modify your massage session.
For example, if you have a particular deep knot that needs more attention, you can use a bullet or a forkhead to massage that area.
Try as you may, you probably won’t be able to achieve a similar effect with a foam roller or massage ball.

Expectation: It’s not worth the money.

Reality: It can actually save you a lot of money.

 Price plays a huge role in any purchasing decision, and massage guns are no exception.
Many a time, people back out of purchasing a massage gun simply because they get surprised by the price tag.
But put it this way: a massage tool is like an investment. A one-off purchase will yield hundreds of massages.
If you suffer from chronic or constant aches and pains, then owning a massage gun would be a good investment.
When used regularly, it can help with pain management and save you a lot of time, effort, and money on looking for solutions such as constant trips to the physiotherapist or chiropractor.
That being said, a massage gun is by no means a replacement for a professional massage. In fact, it can even prolong the effects of a massage session.
Massage gun: expectations vs. reality

Expectation: Only athletes can benefit from massage guns.

Reality: Anyone of all ages and from all walks of life can benefit from a massage gun.

Research and articles mainly tie massage guns to athletes and fitness enthusiasts – which may be one of the reasons why regular folk tend to shy away from purchasing one.
Massage guns are typically used to warm up the muscles before training and as a recovery tool after – you don’t have to have aches or a routine that rivals an Olympic athlete to fully benefit from them.
If you’re someone who spends a lot of time hunched over your desk, there’s a high chance that you suffer from some form of neck or back pain. Or, if you’re someone who does a lot of chores at home or manual labor, you might sprain something every now and then.
This is where a massage gun can help by reducing tension and increasing function – effectively melting away all those aches and knots from the body.

The bottom line

Before you go ahead with purchasing a massage gun, it’s best that you do ample research first.
If you have a certain brand that you’re keen on, be sure to go through the reviews section and read up on other users’ experiences so you can better manage your expectations.
It would also be helpful to find out more about return policies and warranties, in case the product is unsuitable or faulty. This way, you can avoid disappointment and ensure that the reality does meet your expectations.

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