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The Theragun is a handheld percussive therapy device from Therabody that aims to alleviate pain and increase range of motion. As a company, Therabody offers various products, including Theragun accessories, lotions, and other health and wellness aids.

This article discusses the Therabody brand and the pros and cons of its Theragun therapy device. It also lists some alternatives that a person can consider.

The Theragun is a handheld percussive therapy device. It resembles the shape of a gun, with an ergonomic handle and a vibrating or oscillating pointer that is compatible with a choice of attachments. To use it, an individual needs to turn it on, choose the settings they desire, press the foam attachments on the skin near the muscles they would like to massage, and move the device according to the instructions.

The company says that the Theragun can stimulate all muscle areas, including the hamstrings, the lower and upper back, and the glutes.

People interested in the Theragun may wish to weigh the benefits and downsides before committing to a purchase.

Pros

  • can provide a deep massage, which may feel beneficial
  • products come with a 60-day full refund policy
  • payment plans are available

Cons

  • no large third party clinical studies prove its efficacy
  • consumers report issues with customer service and products that stop working
  • only a 1-year warranty
  • it is not waterproof

The Theragun uses a soft, blunt tip to provide a high frequency deep massage to the muscles.

The company writes that the tip of the massage gun touches and retracts from a person’s body 40 times a second, delivering a percussive massage that reaches 16 millimeters into the muscle.

Therabody claims that the Theragun works by blocking pain signals to the brain and increasing circulation to the muscles.

A person can use the Theragun by themselves or ask someone else to massage hard-to-reach muscles. The Therabody website offers guidance on using the device.

According to Therabody, the Theragun is suitable for everyone seeking relief from muscle knots and soreness during workout recovery. Therabody also writes that the Theragun may increase a person’s range of motion, so it may be suitable for people wanting to lessen muscle stiffness.

According to the Therabody website, the concept for the Theragun came about when the founder experienced a traumatic motorcycle collision in 2009. He sought a solution for debilitating pain but found that nothing on the market was adequate to provide relief. He created the first makeshift Theragun as a result.

Since launching the business, Therabody has continued to update the device, which is now in its fourth generation. The brand currently offers four different types of Theragun for sale from the website or on Amazon.

Reputation

Theragun’s Amazon product pages host a diverse range of reviews. For example, on the Theragun G3PRO page, customers have awarded the device an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Although 80% of users have given it a 5-star review, the remaining reviews are a fairly even mix of 1- to 4-star reviews.

The Better Business Bureau gives Therabody an F rating, noting that it is not an accredited business. The brand has an overall rating of 1.05 out of 5 stars, based on 73 reviews.

The most common reasons for customers’ complaints are problems with the devices no longer working and issues with the customer service experience.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Therabody sells a range of massage devices, recovery equipment, and topical products for muscle recovery.

Massage guns

Therabody offers four massage device models:

  • Theragun Pro: This model, which is a professional-grade device, offers the most power at up to 60 pounds (lb) of force. Learn more here.
  • Theragun Elite: Therabody claims that this is its quietest model. It provides up to 40 lb of force. Learn more here.
  • Theragun Prime: This basic model provides up to 30 lb of force. Learn more here.
  • Theragun Mini: This device is the smallest option, and it offers up to 20 lb of force. Learn more here.

Accessories

In addition to the Theragun, Therabody offers several accessories, including:

  • charging stations
  • fitness mats
  • additional or replacement tips
  • adapters for international travel

Topical products

Therabody also offers several gels, lotions, and tinctures to help with muscle soreness.

Many of Therabody’s topical products — including a massage oil, a balm stick, and a muscle recovery lotion — contain cannabidiol (CBD).

The company claims that its CBD tincture can help with sleep.

Learn about the best CBD products for sleep.

Is CBD legal?The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the legal definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. This made some hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3 percent THC federally legal. However, CBD products containing more than 0.3 percent THC still fall under the legal definition of marijuana, making them federally illegal but legal under some state laws. Be sure to check state laws, especially when traveling. Also, keep in mind that the FDA has not approved nonprescription CBD products, and some products may be inaccurately labeled.

Courses

People interested in learning advanced techniques for their Theragun or potentially using it on others professionally can consider the Therabody University.

This service offers live, virtual courses that people can get professional certifications for completing. Some fitness professionals may find these helpful.

The Theragun is a handheld percussive therapy device. The idea is to deliver concentrated force to a muscle to help reduce pain and increase the range of motion. The company claims that it can provide deeper muscle therapy than traditional hand or foam rollers.

According to a 2020 study, percussive therapy can increase range of motion without hampering muscle power. As a result, the researchers recommend using percussive therapy before physical activity to increase flexibility without sacrificing performance. However, the study only included 16 people, all of whom were male.

In a 2014 study, researchers found percussive therapy and deep massage to be equally effective in preventing delayed onset muscle soreness. They also found preliminary evidence that percussive therapy can reduce pain and help lessen the amount of lactate dehydrogenase buildup in the muscles following a workout. However, this study only involved 45 people, all of whom were female. Additional research is necessary to confirm its effectiveness across a larger population.

Another small study found that vibration devices helped with muscle soreness and range of motion. However, they did not assist muscle recovery.

With this research in mind, Theragun devices may not be the best choice for everyone, particularly as they can also be expensive. The price starts at $300 for the most basic model.

Although mostly positive preliminary studies exist, they are small in size. As a result, it is not possible to confirm that the Theragun will be effective for everyone in preventing muscle soreness or increasing range of motion.

A person should consult a doctor if they experience pain following exercise. Pain, particularly if it accompanies swelling, discoloration, or warmth, can be a sign of injury.

Therabody advises people to take extra care when using a Theragun if they have:

The company states that pregnant people should consult a doctor before using the Theragun.

Therabody also writes that a person should not use a Theragun:

  • on broken skin
  • on the face or throat
  • on fractured bones
  • after a recent injury or surgery
  • if they use a pacemaker

Learn more about who should not use a Theragun.

A person should speak with a doctor if they experience pain that does not go away with rest or over-the-counter pain medication, or if their pain becomes worse after using a percussive therapy device.

The Theragun is just one type of percussive therapy device that is available to buy online. Many other brands are available.

Below is how Theragun compares with products from Therabody’s competitors.

TheragunHyperice Hypervolt 2PlayMakar MVP Percussion MassagerVybe V2 Percussion Massage Gun
Number of attachments1–6563–8
Free shippingyesyesyesyes
Free returnsyesnonoyes
Warranty1 year1 year2 years30 days
Financing optionsyesyesnono
Price starting from$199$299$249.95$69.99

People can also use balms, oils, and salves to treat muscle soreness. Products containing CBD are also increasingly popular options.

Learn more about the best CBD salves for athletes.

Below are answers to some common questions about the Theragun.

Is the Theragun worth it?

How effective a Theragun is will depend on the needs of each individual. Small research studies suggest that percussive therapy can increase a person’s range of motion, prevent muscle soreness, and reduce pain. However, larger studies are necessary to confirm this, and Theragun products can be expensive. A person may find it helpful to ask a doctor for advice on whether percussive therapy may benefit them.

Can the Theragun cause injury?

A person should check with a doctor that the Theragun is safe for them to use before making a purchase. There is a chance that percussive therapy could cause injury if a person applies too much force or uses the wrong attachment.

The company lists a wide range of health conditions that are not compatible with the Theragun, including deep vein thrombosis, severe cardiac, kidney, and liver disease, scoliosis, and uncontrolled hypertension, among others.

How often should I use the Theragun?

The company states that a person can use the Theragun two or three times a day. A person should use it for a minimum of 15 seconds and a maximum of 2 minutes per muscle group, and a full body session should not exceed 15 minutes.

According to Therabody, shorter sessions can activate the muscles, while longer sessions can address pain and decrease muscle soreness after a workout.

The Therabody Theragun is a percussive therapy device that can provide concentrated deep tissue massage to specific muscle areas. The machine may help improve range of motion and decrease muscle soreness following a workout.

However, the Theragun may not be safe or beneficial for everyone. A person with an injury or pain should speak with a doctor before using the device.