It’s no secret the transformative power a deep tissue massage has on easing pain and promoting relaxation. But let’s be real, who has time to book a massage appointment every time those knots crop up?
With the increasing demand for deep tissue massage, the market for massage guns and other deep tissue massage tools has exploded. Massage guns are handheld devices that use high-frequency, rapid percussive movements to target deep muscle layers and improve circulation.
With so many massage guns on the market, it can be difficult to know which one is best for deep tissue massage. And take it from me, someone that’s been testing massage guns for years now, they’re not all the same.
In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of deep tissue massage, answer some common questions about using a massage gun for deep tissue massage, and then dive head first reviewing the best massage guns for deep tissue massage on the market today.
And we’re not talking about the middlemen here. We’re only going to be covering the most professional, hardest hitting, deepest penetrating massage guns that will work out the stubbornest of knots.
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What is Deep Tissue Massage?
Before we get into the massage gun lingo, let’s first clarify what is meant by a deep tissue massage.
A deep tissue massage is a type of massage therapy that targets the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue. The pressure applied during a deep tissue massage is typically deeper and more intense than a traditional Swedish massage. In other words, this isn’t your lying under a cabana, half-naked, while sipping on a Pina Colada type massage.
No, the purpose of a deep tissue massage is usually to address serious underlying muscular imbalances. For most people, it presents in the form of chronic pain and unrelenting muscle tension.
During a deep tissue massage, the therapist applies firm pressure to the affected area, using slow, deep strokes to target the deep layers of muscle and connective tissue. This helps to break up muscle knots, improve circulation, and reduce muscle soreness.
Related: What Is Muscle Scraping And How Is It Done?
Why Would Someone Want a Deep Tissue Massage and For What Conditions?
As mentioned, the expectation of a deep tissue massage is to relieve pain and discomfort, improve flexibility, and reduce muscle tension.
Some of the conditions that can benefit from deep tissue massage include:
- Chronic pain, such as lower back pain, neck pain, and arthritis
- Muscle tension and knots
- Sports-related injuries, such as strains and sprains
- Repetitive strain injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome
- Postural problems, such as forward head posture
Are Massage Guns Good for Deep Tissue Massage?
As to not annoy an entire profession, we will set the record straight: A qualified massage therapist will always be your best option for a deep tissue massage. There’s no question about it.
With that said, if you are wanting an adjunct tool to get you by in between sessions, a massage gun is the perfect complimentary option. The deep penetrating vibration from the massage gun can help to loosen tight muscles, improve circulation, and relieve pain and discomfort.
For those who suffer from chronic pain or tension, a massage gun can provide a convenient and effective way to receive deep tissue massage without the need for regular visits to a massage therapist. In the long-term, massage guns are typically more affordable than professional massages and can be used in the comfort of your own home.
Once again, if we did not make it perfectly clear, percussion massagers are not a substitute for professional medical treatment. If you experience persistent or severe pain, it’s recommended to seek the advice of a healthcare professional.
Additionally, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the basic do’s and don’ts when starting out with a massage gun for the first time. Due diligence people.
Related Reading: How To Effectively Use A Massage Gun
What Amplitude and How Many Pounds of Force is Good for a Massage Gun?
We are almost to the meat and potatoes of this article, but first, there are two terms you must know. Amplitude and Stall Force.
Those two words refer to how deep the massage gun tip will penetrate (amplitude) and how powerful the motor is without stopping when pressure is applied (stall force). In very basic terms, the higher their numbers, the deeper the massage will be.
Here’s the best way to explain amplitude: If you ever get a massage and you ask (politely of course) the therapist to apply more pressure, that’s amplitude.
The amplitude of a massage gun can vary from a measly 5mm up to about 16mm. Again, we are talking about the length of travel of the massage head. If you want a massage gun that can “dig in”, it only makes sense that you need more travel distance. Make sense?
Now the other key to a deep tissue massage is stall force. When or if you push down too hard on the massage gun, the motor will abruptly stop percussing. Or, it “stalls out”.
On a whole, the amount of force required for deep tissue massage varies from person to person and depends on the individual’s tolerance for pressure. However, most massage guns offer adjustable intensity levels, ranging from 20 to 60 pounds of force.
Depending on the model, most cheap Amazon massage guns have relatively low stall force because the motors are small and underpowered. That’s a prime differentiator between a budget massage gun and a professional one.
What Are The Best Massage Gun for Deep Tissue Massage?
Many massage therapists, chiropractors, and physical therapists use massage guns as part of their treatment regimens. Some of the popular brands and models that are commonly used by professionals include:
Theragun Prime and Elite
Theragun is considered by many to be the gold standard and the best massage guns for deep tissue massage. Why? Because like the iPhone in the cell phone space, they set the standards that every other massage gun manufacturers copy.
Not only do they have cutting edge technology and design, but superior percussive performance as well.
Each of the top tier models, the Prime, Elite, and PRO all have the same 16mm amplitude. That amplitude in conjunction with their proprietary closed-cell attachments makes for an incredible massage experience.
The stall force for each model is 30, 40, and 60lbs respectively. Overall, plenty of power to work out those muscle knots.
View All Theragun Models
The lineup of percussion massage guns from Ekrin Athletics are some of the best you can buy in every category. The Ekrin B37S is no exception.
Although the amplitude of the B37S is only 12mm, it more than makes up for it with it’s ultra-powerful motor. The quiet motor goes up to 3200 RPM and produces 52lbs of stall force pressure. That readily compensates for the shallower percussions. Take our word for it, you won’t be disappointed with its performance.
Beyond the specs, we really like advanced features like the built in force meter and locking massage heads. They’re features not found on most other massage guns out there.
To top it off, every Ekrin Athletics massage gun comes with a Lifetime Warranty should it ever prematurely fail.
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From its size to its accessories, everything about the Achedaway Pro screams “professional”. Make no mistake, this is a serious massage gun that overflows with power.
Yes, the Achedaway checks every box when it comes to a massage gun for deep tissue massage. You will not be left wanting whatsoever in the way that it performs.
One unique feature that we really like is the fact that the battery is user replaceable. That’s a feature not seen in many massage guns, except maybe the $600 Theragun Pro. So if you’re someone that is constantly on the go and you need a reliable, long-lasting massage gun, get yourself a secondary battery and you’re set.
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Still a relatively unknown brand, PlayMakar’s news massage gun, the MVP+, is a pro level massager for athletes and active individuals alike.
The MVP+ offers a 14mm amplitude massage head with a whopping 58lbs of stall force! That’s really powerful and enough to dig deep into any tight muscle.
We also really like the massage head attachments offered by PlayMakar, particularly the HEATED massage tip. It’s pretty incredible along with the rest of their offerings.
PlayMakar is a Texas based company and they include a 2 year warranty on all their massage guns.
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It’s important to note that while professional-grade massage guns are often more expensive, they offer more power, customization, and durability than consumer-grade models.
Are Massage Guns Good For Muscle Knots?
Yes, massage guns can effectively break up muscle knots and improve circulation in tight, painful areas. The deep penetrating vibration from the massage gun helps to loosen and release tight muscle fibers, reducing tension and discomfort.
Massage guns are particularly effective for breaking up muscle knots in the back, neck, shoulders, and hips. By targeting these areas with the massage gun, you can improve circulation, reduce pain, and promote faster recovery.
It’s important to remember that while massage guns can be an effective tool for breaking up muscle knots, they should not be used as a substitute for professional medical treatment. If you experience persistent or severe pain, it’s recommended to seek the advice of a healthcare professional.
Disadvantages of Using a Massage Gun for Deep Tissue Massage
Despite the numerous benefits and popularity of using a massage gun for deep tissue massage, there are also several disadvantages to consider. Some of these include:
- Expense: Massage guns can be quite expensive, especially the high-end models with more features and attachments.
- Noise: Some massage guns are noisy and can be distracting or disruptive, making it difficult to use them in a shared living space.
- Pain: While deep tissue massage guns are designed to alleviate pain and soreness, they can also cause pain or discomfort if not used properly. Overuse or applying too much pressure can result in soreness or injury.
- Maintenance: Massage guns require regular cleaning and maintenance to keep them functioning properly.
- Risk of injury: Incorrect use or overuse of a deep tissue massage gun can result in injury to the skin or underlying tissues.
You should carefully weigh the pros and cons and consider your specific needs and preferences before purchasing a massage gun for deep tissue massage.
In the end, it’s clear that deep tissue massage is a game-changer for those looking for a way to alleviate pain, increase flexibility, and reduce muscle tension. Massage guns have revolutionized the market, providing a portable and effective solution for targeting deep muscle layers.
When selecting the best massage gun for deep tissue massage, the amount of force it generates, the variety of attachments it has, and ease of use should be taken into consideration. With these factors in mind, and by gathering insights from other users, you can find the massage gun that fits your needs and budget like a glove.
In short, owning a deep tissue massage gun is a smart investment in your physical and mental well-being. Whether you’re an athlete, fitness enthusiast, or just seeking pain relief, a high-quality massage gun will help you reach your goals and achieve a new level of relaxation.
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