Does Percussive Therapy Help Loosen Muscles?

BY SANDRA GUY

My experience with the Theragun is admittedly subjective: My husband uses it every morning to relieve his stiff legs and back.

It’s a great idea to use a massage gun before you work out — just as stretching prior to an intense HIIT or weight-training session helps warm up your muscles.

The Theragun or any such rapid-fire pulsing device — in this case, with a ball-tip attachment — does its job of inducing blood flow to soft tissues in muscles, tendons and ligaments. For that, I am grateful, since it’s exhausting and distressing to see someone you love grunting in pain, especially first thing in the morning.

The Theragun and other gadgets mimic the benefits of stretching, only in rapid-fire time. They relieve joint stiffness and stretch out muscle fibers by increasing blood flow to specific areas. That helps reduce muscle tension.  

The idea stems from age-old percussive massages and therapies that use a tennis ball to press deep into the muscle.   But research on massage guns is scarce, and the top brands sell for $500. If that’s a budget-buster, check out online shopping sites because you can find less costly alternatives.

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