Advance with MUSC Health

Choosing the Right Equipment: Massage Guns

By Max Finley, ATC, SCAT

A new age of technology and modern treatment modalities has made its way in to sports and exercise in recent years. In addition to various foam rollers and yoga mats, you can often find high-tech massage guns throughout local stores; from the supermarket- to the sporting goods store- to the local Walmart. They are quickly becoming the go-to device for self-care in athletes and active populations. Additionally, they can be used in a clinical setting by healthcare providers to improve outcomes in athletes with acute and chronic pain. While you may feel the impulse to purchase the first model you see, it is important to do your research first.

Current massage guns vary in price from $35 on Amazon to the higher end devices topping $599. It can be tempting to purchase a less costly device, however, when purchasing a massage gun, consider its use. Will it be used by multiple student athletes at a high school? Are you purchasing it for use in your own day to day activities? How many times a day will it be used? While a cheaper massage gun may be encased in the same molded plastic shell and come with similar or even more attachments than its pricier counterparts, the internal components are usually what justify the price. These off-brand, less expensive massage guns have short battery life, lack durability, and are noisy. Massage guns in the lower price range could be a great value to use at home once or twice a week after a workout, however, they will not hold up to daily use by multiple athletes in an athletic training room or team setting.

For these domains, you will need to look toward the top name brands currently on the market; HyperVolt and Therabody. Each of these companies have multiple tiers of massage guns and can be trusted to be used multiple times a day over the course of several seasons. You can expect a quieter motor, enhanced amplitude and depth during use, and a longer battery life. Additionally, each company has a Bluetooth compatible mobile app that can guide a user through a set program or muscle group. For example, Therabody has a 6-minute sleep program that targets specific muscles for various time frames to help enhance sleep and recovery through the night. At this price range, you are paying for more than just a massage gun; you are getting tools and research backed programs to effectively help the body recover.

Take some time to consider your options before your next massage gun purchase and check out a few options below to best fit your needs.

Best Value Under $100 (Personal Use)

Urikar Pro 2 Heated Deep Tissue Massage Gun
Best Overall Value (Personal Use)

AddsFit Max Deep Tissue Massage Gun, Originally $
Best Value For Team Sports/Athletic Training Room (Team/Daily Use)

HyperVolt 2 Massage Gun
-Athletic Trainers can contact Hypervolt’s customer service team and request “Team Pricing” for additional discounts on Hypervolt’s entire product line.

Best Performance Massage Gun (Team/Daily Use)

Theragun Pro by Therabody
-Designed for top tier athletes looking to get the most out of their recovery and performance.
-Additional discounts for professional athletes or health care providers can be attained by getting in touch with a Therabody sales rep or customer service. Just ask for “team pricing.”