How to Use a Handheld Percussion Massager for Therapy? Everything You Need to Know

How to Use a Handheld Percussion Massager for Therapy? Everything You Need to Know

Table of contents

  1. How Does a Therapy Gun Work? 
  2. How to Use a Massage Gun
  3. How to Use a Percussion Massage Gun for Shoulder and Neck Pain Relief? 
  4. How to Use a Percussion Massage Gun for Knee Pain Relief? 
  5. How to Use a Percussion Massage Gun to Sleep Better?
  6. Benefits of a Therapy Gun 
  7. When Should You Not Use a Massage Gun?

Percussion massagers or therapy guns are remarkable tools that help with sore muscles and a lot more. They are significantly stronger than a traditional massager and an ideal alternative to expensive massages with therapists.

It's a great device that provides smooth and fast percussion or beats that really go deep into the tissue. They've got a lot of power that makes them much more effective at relieving pain and discomfort. 

A handheld percussion massager like Exogun can help ease painful, inflamed muscles, especially for professional athletes and triathletes, after strenuous workout and training. Moreover, it is also a good form of relaxation for those working long shifts on a desk all day.

With our overworked lives, recovering from tensed muscles is essential to remain motivated and energized.

Unfortunately, if you don't know how to use them properly, they'll be good for nothing. Stay with us as we explore how to use one properly to gain maximum benefits. 

Also read: How Much Should Massages Cost Today?

How Does a Therapy Gun Work? 

Massage guns work in multiple ways. Primarily, they work like standard massagers, only much more powerful and continuous. 

The best part is you can use it all by yourself, with the exception of some hard-to-reach spots.

The percussion works more effectively by moving faster and repetitively. The continuous gentle taps help muscles relax and heal inflammation. 

Handheld massagers use repetitive vibrations to warm the muscle tissues and increase blood flow to the area. 

Simply put, it softly and continuously hammers your muscles which tricks the brain into providing more blood flow to that part of your body. 

The light pressure can ease tight muscle tissues and helps to elongate the fibers.

They provide a quick relief on the most stressed muscles of your body, including the neck, shoulder blades, and back. Those dealing with knee pain have also seen considerable ease in their inflammation. 

A therapy gun is ideal for athletes who are into swimming, running, and cycling over long distances.

When used before a workout, it helps to warm up the muscles. On the other hand, using it after a rigorous activity helps cool the body. 

Helps Warm-up Muscles

Before you get on with a rigorous workout, you need to warm up your body. 

Without getting your body ready for exercise and jumping right into extensive workouts, you will end up hurting yourself. 

While many people prefer to do gentle warm-up exercises, using a therapy gun on targeted areas is an excellent way to stimulate those muscles. By prepping the tissue beforehand, you eliminate chances of damage. 

Helps Cool Down Muscles

You know the feeling where every muscle in your body feels stretchy and uncomfortable after a long run. Enter therapy gun- that helps reduce soreness of the muscles.

How does it do that? The lactic acid buildup is one of the main factors that lead to painful lesions after a workout. The handheld percussion massager works by decreasing the ability of the muscles to hold onto lactic acid. 

This results in quick pain relief. 

Prevents DOMS

The pain you feel during and right after a workout is called acute muscle soreness. It is a typical result of increased physical activity, more than our body is used to. But it seriously hampers our ability to gear up for the next workout session.

Some people do not face muscle soreness right after a good workout. The tightness and cramping show up after 24-48 hours. This condition is known as DOMS or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. 

According to a study, using a massage gun or vibration therapy can significantly help with DOMS. Not only does it help ease pain, but it also helps muscle recovery. 

How to Use a Massage Gun

It may not be rocket science, but it helps to remember a few essential points before you grab a massage gun and get drifted into bliss. 

Use Only on Muscles 

While you may be tempted to massage each area of your body, limit the massage gun to only the muscles.

It will just bounce back from the bony parts of your body. Use different attachments like the ball or fork to maneuver it efficiently, carefully avoiding tendons and bones. 

Start Slow 

As with any treatment or regimen, it is best to start slow and increase the time gradually. 

Focus on one set of muscles for fifteen seconds and then gradually increase time to three minutes. 

Don't Put Any Pressure

The point of using a massage gun is to glide it over your skin gently. Don't put any pressure or push too hard. The key is to let it float over your skin and let it do its job.

If you press it too hard, you will end up causing trouble and negate all the positive benefits. 

A lot of people think that if they go in faster and harder, it will break up knots in the muscles quickly. However, this is nothing but an assumption. 

Using too much pressure by starting from the highest setting will cause your body to tense up.

How to Use a Percussion Massage Gun for Shoulder and Neck Pain Relief? 

When you have neck pain, it is often accompanied by shoulder pain since most muscles in our body are connected. 

You can use the ball attachment for focusing on the muscles next to the tendon. Start from the shoulder area and move towards the neck slowly.

Next, move from the side of the chest towards the armpit and then to the front of your shoulder. 

Use the fork attachment(if provided) to reach the area under the nape of your head. This helps to avoid the spinal bone. 

How to Use a Percussion Massage Gun for Knee Pain Relief? 

A massage gun is a cheaper and easier way to gain relief from knee pain. People with arthritis who see traditional massagers can try using a massage gun for quicker and more convenient pain relief.

Hover your gun over the muscles that cross the knee or lead to it. Start from the quad, which is the big one that stretches from the hip bone and leads up to the knee. 

Focus on the hamstrings, the calf (lower under leg), and all the areas that follow up to the knee. 

Keep a steady hand, and don't apply too much pressure.

How to Use a Percussion Massage Gun for Back Pain Relief? 

You might need to ask help from a partner when you are targeting your lower back since it's hard to reach. 

It is important to note that you should not use percussion massage guns on your back if you have been diagnosed with muscular spasms.

By carefully avoiding the bony area and staying on the muscle tissue, you will find instant back pain relief, almost like an intense shiatsu massage.

It will help remove any tightness and uncomfortable sensations at sudden movements. The device also increases your flexibility by applying rapid bursts of pressure on the muscular area. 

How to Use a Percussion Massage Gun to Sleep Better?

The percussion massager is a great tool to help you relax before bed. When you gently massage your muscles, it signals your body to fall asleep. 

Remember, it will work only if you use a light hand. Don't be harsh and use significantly less pressure on the lowest speed setting to ease any tension in the body. 

Benefits of a Therapy Gun 

A handheld percussion massager looks and sounds like a drill that fits easily in your hand. 

A good quality massage gun will help release muscular tension, pain, and inflammation whether you are an athlete or spend all day hunched at a desk. 

It also helps you recover faster after intense workouts and physical stress.

As we exercise, we cause our muscle fibers to break down. This stimulates muscle regrowth and increased strength. 

By massaging the area, you help stimulate those muscles and increase the blood flow. Ultimately, it decreases tight, painful muscles.

Many people have claimed that a therapy gun works up to 30 percent better than a regular massager. 

In essence, it releases tension, inflammation and regulates blood flow to targeted areas -- all in the comfort of your own home. 

When Should You Not Use a Massage Gun?

Massage guns may seem like an answer to all your pains, but before you grab yours, remember it's not a cure for ailments. 

There are specific contraindications associated with the usage. Note that massage therapists and chiropractors go through years of training. They are specialized professionals who know the job inside out. 

But with many not-so-expensive options in the market, it's easy to get carried away and misuse it, causing you more harm than good.

Stop Using if it Causes Pain

For starters, a therapy gun is supposed to provide you pain relief. If it begins to hurt or is uncomfortable to use, this is a red flag.

There is no way your muscles will relax if the massage is leading to any painful sensations. If your muscles tense up and resist the massage, it means they are rejecting the pushing as it may be too hard.

It might even be possible that you have hit a nerve or pushed too deep to cause yourself real trouble.

Without proper knowledge of the human anatomy, you might be unable to figure when your hand drifted to a joint or tendon. To avoid this scenario, put the gun down as soon as you feel uneasy.

Don't Use on Broken Skin

While it may sound like an obvious thing to state, stay clear of any area on your skin that is bruised, cut, or has an open sore

The percussion may cause your wounds to open and become more painful. If you have a recently fractured area or swelling, avoid the gun on that part of your body too.

Nervous or Bleeding Disorders

Those dealing with nervous disorders or weakened sensation should avoid using a massage gun. They may not feel painful sensations and overuse the gun, causing severe harm.

Patients with 'peripheral neuropathy' are strongly advised to steer clear of percussion massagers. Similarly, those whose skin is sensitive and bleeds or bruises faster should not use handheld massagers.

If you are on prescription blood thinners, it would be best to check with your doctor since rigorous massage can cause bleeding.


While patients with epilepsy may benefit from a massage as it releases tension, it can also easily cause enhanced relaxation. For some patients, it might be a trigger for seizures. 


Pregnant women, especially those with high-risk cases, might be at risk of harming the fetus by unsupervised use. Wait till your midwife clears you after discussing your individual case. 

Major Surgery

Major surgery has long-term implications for your body. It may lower your immunity, increase chances of blood clots, and alters how your body reacts to other treatments.

Similarly, you may be on medications that can result in complications. It is wise to discuss with your surgeon before turning towards any kind of self-help.

Never Use On the Front of Your Neck

The fast and rhythmic massage gun that relaxes all other parts of your body is as lethal as a bullet gun if used on the front of your neck.

It could cause a tear in the carotid artery and ultimately lead to impaired blood flow and stroke. Don't let it casually drift over the front neck while massaging your shoulders and neck.

Moreover, please keep it away from the reach of children.


A massage gun is widely used by therapists and chiropractors who swear by its benefits. If you learn how to use one effectively, it can yield quick and efficient pain relief for you. 

Just make sure you select a good option rather than cheap knockoffs that are known to cause more trouble, such as electric shocks and injuries. 

The key is to go slow and let your body guide you.