How to shop for a Theragun, according to experts

Therabody makes six different Theragun models.

May 15, 2024, 11:06 AM
How to shop for a Theragun
How to shop for a Theragun
ABC News Photo Illustration, Theragun

Considering a Theragun? Here's what you should know.

The Theragun is sold by Therabody, a company founded by Dr. Jason Wersland with a mission "to provide you with the effective natural solutions you need to take charge of your daily wellness," according to their website. They say they use education, innovation, "and over a decade of pioneering within the tech wellness space to make wellness more accessible for everybody."

Whether you're considering a Theragun for yourself or to give as a gift, we've tapped Tim Roberts, Therabody's Vice President of Science and Innovation and Dr. Dan Giordano, Chief Medical Officer of Bespoke Physical Therapy, to learn more about how Theraguns work and how to shop one that best suits the user.

How do Theraguns work?

Roberts explained to ABC News in an email that Theragun percussive therapy uses both pressure and vibration to treat the body.

Dr. Dan Giordano adds in the email that the Theragun head works at "various speeds and intensities, delivering a massage to the targeted area."

How do Theraguns affect our bodies?

Through this type of massage, the Theragun is "improving blood flow, which can improve the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the area, reduce muscle tension, provide pain relief by stimulating the release of endorphins (natural pain relieving hormones), and improve recovery after an intense workout," Dr. Giodrano explained.

Short-term benefits of using a Theragun

"Theragun Percussive Therapy can provide some immediate benefits," Roberts said, including pain relief, reduced muscle tension and improved flexibility. "It also can be a great tool helping you get your body ready for your next workout."

"By targeting specific muscle groups the Theragun can help promote relaxation and reduce muscle soreness, which will allow for quicker recovery periods," Dr. Giordano added. "The Theragun can also help stimulate blood flow to the muscles, improving the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, and providing temporary relief from pain and discomfort, by stimulating the release of endorphins (natural pain relief hormones). Using the Theragun can also have a calming effect on the nervous system, which can promote relaxation and help decrease stress."

Long-term benefits of using a Theragun

Dr. Giordano says that regular use of a Theragun can lead to several long-term benefits. "Regular use of a Theragun can help improve muscle flexibility and range of motion, which should in theory lead to less injuries."

It can also improve fitness recovery times, promote better blood flow and circulation, and support the body's natural healing processes. The Theragun can "alleviate chronic pain, decrease stress, and enhance overall relaxation," he said, which can "have a positive impact on your mental and physical well-being."

Who should use a Theragun?

Both Roberts and Dr. Giordano agree that generally anyone can benefit from using a Theragun. "Whether you are younger or older, the benefits of reducing pain and tension, improving recovery from activity can be essential in your daily life," Roberts says.

There are exceptions: Dr. Giordano advises that certain individuals, like those with deep vein thrombosis (DVT), bleeding disorders or open wounds, should be cautious or avoid using a Theragun.

Moreover, "men and women can have different health problems or injuries that affect how they use a Theragun," Dr. Giordano said. "It's important for everyone to be aware of their health issues and talk to a physician if they're not sure if it's safe to use a Theragun."

He adds that it's "crucial" to tailor the way you use your Theragun in a way that best suits your own body and its needs.

What are the different types of Theraguns?

Therabody sells six Theragun models: PRO Plus, Sense, Relief, Elite, Prime and the mini.

What Theragun should you use?

"A great starting point to understanding what Theragun is best for you, is considering are your goals more related to performance and physical activity, or more towards wellness needs such as pain relief and sleep," Roberts said.

Roberts adds that based on the model you choose, you're opting for different levels of intensity, personalization, and different benefits.

"The Theragun PRO Plus is the top of the range model that offers everything someone may want in a massage gun, the Theragun Sense is your ultimate wellness companion for moderate intensity massage and personalized routines in the Therabody app, and the Theragun mini is your go-to for having these benefits on the road."

Dr. Giordano, who says he uses the Theragun in practice at Bespoke Physical Therapy, recommends the new Theragun Pro Plus G6 for serious athletes. It features percussion, vibration, hot and cold attachments as well as LED light therapy. It is "the new gold standard for healthcare professionals!" he said.

Shop Theraguns below

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Theragun PRO Plus

The Theragun PRO Plus boasts benefits of pain relief, reduced tension and soreness, faster recovery and soreness prevention. It can repair tissue to boost healing, improve circulation, mobility and flexibility. This Theragun has 16mm percussive massage therapy, three vibration speeds, heat therapy with three temperature levels, built-in near infared LED light therapy, and five attachments, among other key features. Use Bluetooth connection to the Therabody app.

  • $599
  • Therabody

Theragun Sense

The Theragun Sense has a built-in guide for pain and stress relief. "Its LCD screen acts as your personal guide, with quick step-by-step massage and breathwork routines that are easy to follow," according to Therabody's website. This Therabudy uses 12mm percussive massage therapy and has 4 attachments plus a built-in biometric sensor for on-device heart rate readings. 

  • $299
  • Therabody

Theragun Relief

The Theragun Relief features 10mm percussive massage therapy and three attachments: the Dampener, Standard Ball and Thumb. It has three speeds with LED indicators to manage your massage speed. It can help relieve aches and pains, reduce tension and soreness, ease stiffness, improve mobility, improve sleep and reduce stress. 

  • $149
  • Therabody

Theragun Elite

Those who use the Theragun Elite can benefit from improved performance, decreased muscle fatigue and soreness, reduced tension and quick recovery. It features powerful 16mm percussive massage therapy, five speeds, five attachments and the ability to save three of your favorite speed and time settings from the app. 

  • $399
  • Therabody

Theragun Prime

"Whether you're looking for powerful, effective pain relief or reduced soreness and tightness, Theragun Prime helps you recover from your daily grind and maintain your body's peak performance," Therabody's website explains. It's key features include 16mm percussive massage therapy, tailored treatments with five speeds, four attachments and more. 

  • $299
  • Therabody

Theragun mini

Need a Theragun for on-the-go? This is the smallest, lightest Theragun option you can pack in your gym, work, or travel bag. It features three speeds with an LED speed indicator, 3 attachments and 120-minute battery life. Use it to help decrease muscle soreness and fatigue, release tension and knots, relieve pain and discomfort, and help increase mobility and range of motion. 

  • $199
  • Therabody