Have you ever heard of percussive therapy? It’s a relatively new type of therapy that is gaining in popularity. Percussive therapy is a type of massage treatment that uses percussion instruments to help improve blood flow and reduce inflammation. It can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including chronic pain, arthritis, and even depression. In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits of percussive therapy and how it can help you heal!

What is Percussion Therapy? Here's the Deep (Tissue) Dive

It seems you lay on your couch after hiking and climbing. The muscles want mercy! You might try Netflix while you lounge in pain and book your deep tissue massage for the next day or find a treatment which helps soothe your sore muscles and prevents soreness later on. Is it possible? Let’s see if percussion therapy can help your muscle recovery.

Percussed Therapy can help you recover from injuries during sport. Massage guns provide rapid pulsated pressure to the tissue in the body. It releases muscle knots that have been cited as the cause of shoulder pain and back problems. The device can also reach deeper muscle layers than foam rolling.

Percussion therapy works by delivering short, high-intensity pulses of pressure to the muscles. This pressure helps to increase blood flow and reduce inflammation.

Do massage guns work? The Science of Percussion Therapy

This in-home physical therapy device can provide immediate relief and support for casual and professional athletes alike. These devices, also called percussive therapy massage guns, utilize high pressure for the health benefit of professional massage right at home. How do percussive massage treatments improve the health of the patient?

Percussion therapy is performed with a massage gun, handheld devices about the size of a power drill. The massage gun is equipped with a motor that sends strong, steady pulses through the head of the gun in order to provide quick bursts of pressure to the body.

At MOTUS Specialists Physical Therapy, we use TheraGun, a professional-grade massage device with multiple speeds that lets us target our patients’ specific needs. Percussive therapy essentially massages soft tissues as it pulsates over muscle fibers, but in a way that allows a person to target specific areas by aiming the massage head of the gun. The power of the machine can penetrate deeper than human hands in traditional sports massage, and works out deep muscle tension, while increasing blood flow to the area. This action leads to a long list of benefits that apply not only to the professional athlete, but to anyone experiencing tension, pain, tight muscles, or immobility.

Benefits of Massage Guns

Percussion therapy can improve a wide-range of lifestyles with its numerous benefits. One of the main reactions caused by percussive therapy is an increased blood flow and improved lymphatic circulation.

Better blood flow leads to more oxygen, which helps reduce swelling and stiffness after a workout. Lots of trainers and athletes have recognized this benefit, and applied vibration therapy in order to enjoy faster post-workout recovery, and a reduced risk of cramping and pain after an exercise.

TheraGun provides a deep massage that can warm up the muscles ahead of activity. Athletes can actually enjoy a decreased risk of injury in their performance by using percussion therapy to warm up muscles and take pressure away from joints.

Since the stimulation reduces muscle stiffness and gives the joints more room to move, you’ll see a greater range of motion after regular use of percussive therapy. The process elongates muscle fiber, so it can be effective in addressing muscle spasms, along with tightness.

Percussion therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment for:

Studies show that percussive therapy can help to improve range of motion, decrease pain, and improve quality of life for those suffering from chronic pain conditions. If you are looking for an alternative or complimentary treatment to help you heal, talk to your physical therapist about percussion therapy.

Is Percussion Therapy Right for You?

Percussive therapy works for any person with active life, professional athletes, Cross-Fitters, gym fans and others. The best method is to use a massage gun to relieve muscle tension, muscle soreness, and help manage the symptoms following common injuries.

The tool has become increasingly popular for athletes, professional or not, but it’s just as useful for people who aren’t athletic at all. Consider the office-bound worker. Sitting still at a desk all day can cause stiffness in the muscles, and is a major cause of lower back pain. The muscle stiffness that’s often caused by sitting all day at a computer can be targeted by use of a massage gun. Remember, percussion therapy increases blood flow and lymphatic circulation, which helps reduce muscle tightness and stiffness.

In addition to providing general advantages that target muscle soreness, spasms, and cramps in athletes and non-athletes alike, percussive therapy is often used to treat specific conditions and common injuries. Its benefits target pains from Fibromyalgia, Sciatica, and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Percussion therapy is also good for overuse injuries, like tendonitis, bursitis, shin splints. The team at MOTUS Specialists Physical Therapy has seen percussive therapy work wonders on many of our patients from all walks of life. We believe TheraGun can make a big difference in the way you’re feeling, especially when used with the guidance of one of our professionals.

Vibration Therapy: A Scientifically Proven Treatment

Why is percutaneous therapy so popular? Several fitness professionals conducted studies about its effectiveness. Studies indicate that using these sports rehabilitation tools can benefit your body in many ways.

Percussion therapy improves blood flow and lymphatic circulation, both of which aid in the reduction of muscular tightness and stiffness. This effect was demonstrated on the lower back in particular in a 2009 study that found participants in regular massage therapy had reduced back pain, stiffness, and anxiety.

A study from 2014 tested vibration therapy on non-athletic subjects to see whether it could be an effective way to prevent sore muscles. The conclusion was that vibration therapy effectively reduced the early onset of pain after exercise.

Those in jobs that require them to be on their feet constantly can also use percussive therapy to combat their work-related discomforts. Percussive massage therapy will help relieve the tight muscles and fascia that form from constant standing and walking. Making percussive massage a part of your regular treatment can address current pain-inducing conditions, or help you treat an old injury that still gives you aches and pains. Percussive therapy is also a fitting treatment for patients that are currently rehabilitating from a trauma or surgery, or those with partial or full paralysis. The stimulation causes muscle contractions that are powerful enough to help the muscles strengthen. People who are otherwise unable to perform physical therapy activities or exercise can use it to work out their muscles despite their limitations, while preventing atrophy in the process.

Of course, athletes are also a main target group for percussive therapy. The tool enhances sports training and muscle strength by producing strong contractions up to 30 times more powerful than voluntary contractions. The vibration can help facilitate more muscle spindles recruited for superior muscle performance.

When muscles are tight during performance, it can add stress on the bones and the joints. When athletes use percussive therapy ahead of their workout, they reduce stress to the joints and reduce the likelihood of injury because of it. It also relaxes muscles after a workout to help with the recovery process and prevent cramping, spasms, and stiffness. It’s been shown to be helpful in treating overuse injuries like tendonitis, bursitis, and shin splints. If you’re an athlete or weekend warrior that is prone to these types of injuries, consider using percussive therapy as a means of injury prevention.


Hand held massage therapy provides the perfect tool for physical therapists, patients, and athletes. Percussive therapy is becoming increasingly popular because of its many benefits. If you’re looking for a natural way to improve your circulation, reduce muscle tension and stiffness, speed up the healing process, percussive therapy is an invaluable recovery tool for you.


  1. Burdorf A et al – Occupational risk factors for low back pain among sedentary workers.
  2. Maria Hernandez-reif et al – Lower Back Pain is Reduced and Range of Motion Increased After Massage Therapy
  3. Shagufta Imtiyaz et al – To Compare the Effect of Vibration Therapy and Massage in Prevention of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)

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