Percussive Therapy Devices

A DIY Massage in Your Home
a woman using a massage gun on her neck, her back

You don’t have to be an endurance athlete to use a percussive therapy device, though they’re very popular among triathletes, ultramarathoners, and the like. Massage guns, which deliver a combo of rapid, repetitive pressure and vibrations to engage both the soft tissue and the outer skin, will relax muscles whether they’re sore from running or hunching over a desk all day long.

Percussive Therapy Device Options

An ideal choice weighs less than three pounds, has a two-hour-plus battery life and a maximum noise level of 55–65 decibels, and comes with four or more attachments.

If you’re in the market for one, things to consider include:

  • Price

    Massage guns range from under $100 to $600 or more.

  • Need and Purpose

    Look at higher-end models if you’re an athlete or are treating a condition like sciatica or tendinitis.

  • Mechanics

    • Percussion Force

      Industry standard is 30–50 pounds of force for moderate intensity.

    • Stroke Length

      Industry standard is 13–16 mm stroke length (how much the head can move) for deep tissue massage.

    • Speed

      Look for more than three speeds with 1,400–2,800 percussions per minute.

  • Ergonomics

    The jigsaw and triangular frames found on pricier models offer top-notch ergonomics, but the standard handheld model is also ergonomically sound.

Click to See Our Sources

Can a massage gun fill in for your therapist? Here’s what you need to know” by Pam Moore, Washington Post,, 4/22/20

Considering a massage gun? Here’s what you need to know about percussive therapy,” UCLA Health,, 2/2/22


Jane Eklund

Jane is a long-time resident of New Hampshire, where she holds an editorial position at Keene State College. She has a background in both literary and journalistic writing, including book reviews, poetry, and history.