A Guide to the Best Massage Guns For Seniors

Nowadays, within a few minutes, the right massage gun can effectively work over a large muscle group, loosening tissue, increasing blood flow, and temporarily easing pain and soreness. With a device like this, you can tackle muscle pain and other issues as soon as they appear from the comfort of your own home. And the best thing is, it is easy to use (they can really be used by anyone) and works quite well (and you don’t need to be shy around them nor have to tip them at the end). So choosing to use these devices can also save you money, as you will not have to pay for professional sessions each time you deal with issues and pain.

In this post you will discover the right massage gun for you, as well as, what exactly is a massage gun, do they actually work, its main features, and its benefits. To learn more about massage guns, keep reading!

Best Overall Massage Guns for Seniors

Theragun PRO

The Theragun: the Massage Gun Everyone – from celebrity artists to professional players – talks About

  • Manufacturer: TheraGun
  • Product Dimensions: 10 in x 7.1 in x 3.0 inches, 2.9 Pounds
  • Adjustable speeds: 5-Speed range with customizable speed through our app
  • RPM: Access any speed between 1750 – 2400 RPM
  • Amplitude: 16 mm
  • Attachment/Massage heads: 6 Attachments: Supersoft, Dampener, Standard Ball, Wedge, Thumb, Cone
  • Noise/Sound Level: 70-75 dB (as quiet as average massage devices)
  • Batteries: 2 Swappable Batteries (Charge one while the other is in use and continuously swap for all-day run time)
  • Battery Life: 150 minutes each battery, 300 minutes total
  • Extra perks: Motor & Power: QX150 professional-grade motor with QuietForce Technology – 60 lbs Max Force. Smart capabilities: OLED Screen, Bluetooth, 3 Built-In Presets, Responsive Force Meter. Smart App Integration: Connects to app via Bluetooth to run personalized wellness routines based on your behaviors & preferences. Rotating Arm and Ergonomic Multi-Grip: 4 unique arm positions designed to create ideal angles to reach any area of the body. The Theragun Triangle ergonomic handle design allows you to hold the device in a number of ways while actively reducing strain on your hands, wrists, and arms.

Best Value Massage Guns for Seniors

You may be asking yourself, are cheaper massage guns any good? The short answer is, muscle relief doesn’t have to break the bank! Many cheap massage guns have a lot of the same features as other popular massage guns but at a much better price point!

1. Massage Gun Cholas

  • Manufacturer: Cholas
  • Product Dimensions: 11.69 x 9.88 x 3.15 inches; 2.93 Pounds
  • Adjustable speeds: 30 speed levels
  • RPM: 1800 – 3600 strokes per minute
  • Amplitude:
  • Attachments/Massage Heads: 10 specialty massage heads attachments (Plus, the set includes a case simplifying storage and transportation)
  • Noise/Sound Level: 25 db of newest noise reduction technology and a high-torque motor (ultra quiet)
  • Batteries: 2400mAh high-quality rechargeable lithium battery
  • Battery Life: Up to 6 hours working time.

Get the Amazon Choice Massage Gun Cholas today for less than $50!

2. VYBE Percussion Massage Gun

  • Manufacturer: Exerscribe
  • Product Dimensions: 14.33 x 10 x 4.41 inches; 4.53 Pounds
  • Adjustable speeds: 9 speeds
  • RPM: 1800 – 3400 strokes per minute depending on the speed you select
  • Amplitude: 12mm
  • Attachments/Massage Heads: 8 massage heads to target specific muscle groups
  • Noise/Sound Level: 60dB (Quiet)
  • Batteries: 1 Lithium ion batteries required.
  • Battery Life: Lasts up to 3 hours

Get the VYBE Percussion Massage Gun for less than $200 today!

Product Comparison

Theragun PROMassage Gun CholasVYBE Percussion Massage Gun
Weight2.9 Pounds2.93 Pounds4.53 Pounds
Adjustable speeds5309
RPM1750-2400 RPM1800-3600 RPM1800-3400 RPM
Amplitude16mm12mm
Attachments/Massage Heads6108
Noise/Sound Level70-75 dB25dB60dB
Batteries2 Swappable batteries1 Lithium battery1 Lithium-ion battery
Battery Life2hrs30 up to 5hrsUp to 6 hoursUp to 3hrs

But… what are Massage Guns?

An article published in the Washington Post a while ago gives a good definition of massage guns: a massage gun, also known as percussion massager, percussive therapy, and vibration therapy, is a mobility device that makes use of an oscillating attachment to physically target areas of the body with rapid pulses.

By rapidly hitting the muscle fibers with a gentle wave, we are able to loosen up the tight knots in the area, reduce muscle soreness, as well as improve blood flow.

Massage guns are one of the newest health tech devices out there. They offer many of the benefits of massage without the expense or the hassle of a visit to the massage therapist. They may look a little intimidating, but they can be so beneficial for those who suffer from soreness and muscle injuries.

How Do Massage Guns Work?

It’s not entirely clear how these devices work on the body but the benefits of using them are endless.

Massage guns may help relax sore muscles by stimulating the GTO (Golgi tendon organ), a structure within a muscle that inhibits contraction.

They may also override the sensation of pain within a sore muscle in the same way you might if you rub your forehead after smacking it on a door jamb (this is what’s known as the “Gate Control Theory of Pain.”)

But the most likely mechanism of a massage gun is neural. Mostly you’re affecting your brain’s ability to sense tightness or laxity in soft tissue, whether it’s a muscle, tendon, or fascia. The massage gun focuses your attention on the tight muscle allowing your brain to zero in on the tension and let it go. 

Massage guns offer what’s known as percussive and vibration therapy. This type of massage provides rapid bursts of pressure into the body’s muscle tissue (hence the rippling effect of massage guns) as its head oscillates back and forth.

Percussion vs. Vibration

In vibration therapy, you mount the unit, push a button, and let the device shake your fillings out. The back-and-forth oscillation is small, creating a pleasant, miniature muscle quake inside the target tissues. Early massage guns worked like this, vibrating the muscle to help it relax and stimulate blood flow.

More recent models go beyond vibration, penetrating an inch or more into the target muscle: “It’s like a muscle jackhammer,” says Los Angeles-based massage therapist Art San. That’s percussion: a deeper, more intense stimulation of the muscle. 

Usually, we see Percussion devices preferred by users who are more physically active such as athletes, as they tend to have a higher pain tolerance and require deeper and more intense stimulation for muscle release. The regular user, on the other hand, might find them too harsh and intense and in their case, a Vibration device is probably more suitable.

Effects of Massage Guns

Like a traditional massage, massage guns increase blood flow, which shuttles nutrients into the muscle while also removing blood that may have pooled in the muscles—a common occurrence, often following long periods of inactivity, that can result in swelling in the extremities.

To go a little further with the explanation, the massage gun aims to reduce inflammation by flushing extracellular fluids such as lymph fluid and venous blood out of the muscle tissue and into the circulatory system.

It can also help relax tight muscles, break up scar tissue and adhesions, and minimize muscle soreness and tension

Some Benefits For Using a Massage Gun

  • Helps relieve muscle soreness and stiffness
  • Improves range of motion
  • Promotes circulation
  • Muscle Activation and recovery
  • Lightweight, easy-to-use for self-myofascial release

Features of Massage Guns

It is often easy to just compare the price of one device to another without looking at everything else as a whole. Well, the thing is that, depending on what is included, your experience with one device may be much different than with another. So let’s take a look at the main features a massage gun has:

Functional Factors

  • RPM: RPM stands for revolutions per minute i.e., how many times the massage gun can hit in one minute! The higher the speed, the higher the intensity of the massage.
  • Amplitude: The higher the amplitude, the further the head will travel and the deeper the gun will hit. You will feel that it is much stronger! Even though speed is commonly used to determine the intensity of the massage (higher speed=more intense), devices with higher amplitudes can feel more intense even at a lower speed.

There is no best amplitude or speed for everyone. It is more beneficial, however, to have a device that has a range of speeds to select from. Lower speeds can be used for warming up muscles or very sore muscles which are more sensitive. Higher speeds can be used for very stiff muscles or deep tight knots.

Secondary Factors

  • Weight: If you’re concerned about the weight as soon as you pick it up, you’ll be feeling it a lot more than two minutes into your massage. If you can’t maintain the position of the massage gun for long then you’re better off enlisting the help of a partner or choosing a lighter device.
  • Attachment/Massage Heads: Depending on the user, different attachment heads may be preferred for different applications. Interchangeable heads can target specific muscle groups. Standard attachments like the ball or bullet head are commonly included for most devices but unique attachment heads can provide a more complete experience.
  • Noise/Sound Level: When using massage guns, there will inevitably be noise generated by the motor units. This is important to consider as some devices can be uncomfortably noisy, especially when using in an enclosed room, or if using it on areas closer to the ears.
  • Battery Life: Much like mobile phones, battery life is important for wireless handheld massage guns as no one likes to have to charge their devices after every use. It is especially important for heavy users such as therapists to have a longer device battery life to be able to treat their clients throughout the day. We tend to prefer battery life of at least 60 minutes to minimise charging frequency.
  • Extras perks: Auto shut-off is important to protect against overheating. The quantity of batteries required (it’s a burden to keep buying them). If a charging dock is also included, it’s great. A travel case can also come in handy. Another very handy companion is an app that can be available on your smartphone with a lot of information from different techniques to use for different conditions/situations, down to troubleshooting common problems that a user might encounter.

Do the Lower-End Massage Guns Work?

If a $400 to $600 massage gun isn’t what you are looking for, don’t worry — the less expensive ones could be a good investment too.

If you’re willing to take the time to understand how different massage guns work and do your research before buying one, you might be able to find exactly what you need without paying an arm and a leg for it.

First, let’s take a look at one of the most popular (and somewhat expensive) massage guns, and then we have a list of best value massage guns that can also satisfy your needs.

The Bottom Line is…

The bottom line is that when comparing the Theragun machines with cheaper versions, there are still A LOT of differences and the quality of the Theragun is really superior. But this doesn’t mean that the cheaper versions don’t worth a try.

You do have to accept no-brand, low-cost devices like these will have very little quality control compared to a Theragun massager, but there is still a form of useful evolution going on here.

First of all, most massage guns sold online are based around a few familiar designs, customized with a brand’s logo. Usually a brand you’ve never heard of before. That’s the first worry when buying cheap copies of popular kinds of electronics.

The good news is that most of these brands have already been several generations of these budget massage guns, with important changes to elements like the motors and batteries inside. In addition, none of these massagers instantly feels poorly made.

The cheaper guns are still made of tough, thick plastic, have rubberized handles, and do not have scarily wide seams. And they use the right tough plastics, have rubber grips in the right places. Therefore, there are no wide seams, no sense they might fall apart if you drop them.

There are still clear meaningful differences between the cheap massage guns and the Theragun, though.

The parts that matter most in a massage gun are not the things you’ll see most clearly on a product page.

Lots of speed settings aren’t essential, a fancy screen adds little and no one really needs an app for one of these recovery tools. The tested cheap massagers even get most of the build quality basics right.

The Theragun is made with much greater attention to detail, with no buzzing noises or signs of unwanted movement in the internal components at higher power settings. As such, it’s much more likely to work as it should for longer.

And I’d trust Theragun’s warranty over a company that may not even exist by the time you try to make a claim when something fails after six months.

The quality of massage is superior too, with a longer-throw head and attachments that differ in density, not just shape. Those wanting to try out a massage gun could do worse than try similar to the 30-speed model shown here.

The Theragun also offers a good recovery boost, has all the right features. And, if you shop around enough, is available at a bargain price. I was also reasonably happy with what is perhaps the most basic massagers on the market too, until I tried the Theragun.

Let’s not lose track of the main aim here: to increase bloodflow in certain areas and work out a few knots, which you don’t need space age tech for!

Up to you to decide what massage gun will give you what you need!

Massage Guns for Seniors FAQ: 10 Questions You May Have

1. Are massage guns good for elderly?

The short answer is yes. Most seniors seem to be satisfied by using massage guns. It is perfect for helping older people relax their muscles and reduce pain.

2. Is a massage gun worth it?

Massage guns are considered a smart buy for individuals who expect to use them frequently to relieve muscle tension, soreness, and cramps. While they’re most often used by performance athletes and active individuals, but they’re equally as useful for other types of needs that elderly citizens may have.

Furthermore, there’s a lot of good in getting a massage gun. It might help you reduce stress and sleep better by downregulating the nervous system. It can most definitely relieve muscle soreness. And it might even improve your daily routine of stretching and workouts by way of speeding up your warmup and increasing your mobility.

3. How often should you use a massage gun?

You may be asking “should you use massage gun everyday”? Absolutely! Regardless of the stage of your recovery, you can use your massage gun every day. However, still keep in mind that percussion (such in massage guns) offers a deeper massage than vibration, therefore, start by using a light hand with each session at first.

Moreover, depending on the desired result, we recommend using your massage gun for a minimum of 15 seconds and a maximum of 2 minutes on each muscle group (arms, glutes, legs). And a full-body session should not exceed 15 minutes. Plus, you can do it 2-3 times per day.

A pro tip: we also recommend using the massage gun before bed to help you feel relaxed and calm.

4. Is stretching better than massage?

Stretching is ideal for stiff muscles that have contracted due to inactivity and if the stretches are done properly, you will notice an improvement in your circulation, flexibility, and movements, which will be a lot easier to do. Massage and stretches can be done together in order to promote both muscle and joint health.

5. Can a massage gun replace stretching?

According to recent studies, if you apply a massage gun to the muscles you want to stretch and then stretch them you can increase the range of motion 50-80% in 30 seconds.

Therefore, a massage can be used as a complement to stretching, but not in place of it. If you want to complement your stretching with a massage gun, use it on specific areas three times, and 10 seconds at a time. It’s the short duration that stimulates blood flow and releases the tension, allowing your muscles to move.

6. Is it OK to massage a blood clot?

While there is nothing physically preventing you from going and getting a massage if you have deep vein thrombosis, it is not advisable. The small blood clots that cause your deep vein thrombosis could easily break loose. When this happens it can cause serious, potentially fatal health problems such as a pulmonary embolism.

7. Can massage gun cause blood clots?

Not really. When you are using the device or pushing on a muscle during any kind of massage, you’re temporarily cutting off the blood supply. But when you’re done, the body reacts and sends extra blood to that area.

8. Do massage guns get rid of knots?

Massage guns can help increase blood flow to a specific area of muscle. All you have to do is to take your muscle gun, apply pressure to the concerned area, and massage it thoroughly. In doing so, this process can contribute to decreasing muscle inflammation and tension, which can include breaking up annoying knots.

9. Is a massage gun good for back pain?

Massage guns, also called percussive guns or percussion massagers, can help relieve soreness and tension through oscillating, rapid bursts of pressure on muscle tissue. Unlike other at-home options, such as foam rollers, massage guns are helpful for targeting specific pain points.

However, we need to emphasize that percussion massage guns should not be used on acute injuries like muscle spasms, ligament sprains, and muscle strains.

10. Can you use massage gun on neck?

Some massage guns were invented for deep muscle treatment work and have specific attachments to be use on the neck. They can then work on any muscle, including the neck. However, since the neck muscles are more sensitive, you should read the instructions carefully on how to use it on your neck. It is also not recommended using it on your head.

As for others massage guns that don’t offer attachments to be use on the neck, while they can still help relieve neck pain, it’s very important that, you never actually use the tool on your neck. Rather, use it on your shoulders and back, which will help relieve tension in your neck, and can help with headaches as well. If you use those on your neck, you could end up getting a carotid dissection (which is a tear in the carotid artery; such a tear can interfere with blood flow to the brain and ultimately cause a stroke).

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