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FOAM ROLLER v. MASSAGE GUN: Which to Pick and Why

Updated: Aug 25, 2021

“What do you think about those guns?” “Do I have to foam roll? Can’t I just get a Theragun?” “My friend just got one it’s AMAZING, can I use it?” I get this all the time. And as a physical therapist, any tool that can save our hands some time is a blessing! But do they work? 🤔 How are they compared to foam rollers? Because it’s so new, theres minimal research. But the best part about being evidence-based…clinical experience is still evidence!👩🏻‍⚕️ Here’s what the research says, and here’s what I’ve seen with patients. IN REGARDS TO “TIGHTNESS/RECOVERY” only… not performance or power or any other fancy variables: RESEARCH HAS SHOWN:

Massage Guns: ⬇️ DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) ⬇️ Early levels of pain ⬇️ Lactate dehydrogenase levels (less tissue damage/muscle breakdown) 24–72 hrs post-exercise Foam rollers: ⬇️ Muscle tenderness in days after fatigue ⬇️ DOMS after HIIT workouts ⬇️ Pain and stiffness ⬆️ Joint ROM pre/post exercise


💥 People who are just sore, fatigued, or tired from healthy exercise respond well to both foam roller & massage guns 💥 People are sore, tight, or fatigued from a PATHOLOGY such as radiculopathy, tendinitis, or muscle guarding with the nervous system on overdrive, do NOT respond as well to the gun but instead do better with foam rollers/roller sticks So massage guns and rollers are BOTH viable options for RECOVERY tools. But for now, foam roller might get you more bang for your buck if you’re on a budget. It’s KEY TO KNOW what’s causing your pain/tightness if you’re unsure! If this is you, holler so we can figure it out. 🙋🏻‍♀️ Book online now to so we can talk about it!

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