I recently purchased a new Theragun.
Worst $600 I've ever spent.
I'm not even exaggerating.
I'll explain why I've reached this conclusion in just a moment.
But first, let me tell you why I bought the Theragun in the first place.
Why I bought the Theragun
There are two main issues that I have which I was convinced the Theragun would be perfect for helping.
The first is my piriformis.
I'm an athletic guy but my work also requires me to sit for extended periods of the day. I've found that after particularly long shifts, my piriformis has begun to play up and cause both buttock and lower back pain.
Stretching doesn't help.
This became such a major issue for me that I found myself frequently sitting on a tennis ball or nagging my wife to massage my backside.
I wanted a "self-massage" tool (for when I can't see a masseuse that I could whip out whenever I needed to.
The other issue is an impingement between my front delt (shoulder) and pectoral.
It becomes stiff at times (may also be related to desk work) and causes pain and lack of mobility.
The Theragun has been advertised as a great pec massager.
The Theragun social media marketing had me convinced it was the answer
I'm not a sucker for advertising.
Especially not Facebook ads.
But I saw the social media campaigns they run and was blown away at how good the Theragun looked.
Celebrity endorsements from people like Kevin Hart (red flag right there), and videos showing the rippling muscles under the gun were obviously very effective.
I fell for the hype and made the purchase.
Yes, they have a 30 day satisfaction policy but the problem is, you don't want to send it back immediately until you're sure.
I was initially under the impression that I wasn't using correctly or it takes time.
The more I used it, they more I realized it wasn't helping me at all.
Percussive therapy appears to be a total hoax
Not surprisingly, the Theragun website provides almost zero information about the 'science' behind their percussive therapy.
Here's a quote from their FAQ:
Theragun Percussive Therapy overrides the pain signals to the brain, increases heat in the tissue, and releases tension. It does this through a combination of 16 mm amplitude at a scientifically-calibrated frequency.
"Overrides the pain signals to the brain"?
Where is your research to explain what the heck this means and back it up?
Same with the "16 mm amplitude at a scientifically-calibrated frequency" statement.
It looks like they're attempting to make their science sound legit.
Most consumers probably wouldn't question it.
Theragun provides more information on the engineering of the product than they do on the science of the actual therapy it's supposed to provide.
I've also seen practically zero supportive evidence online for percussive massage therapy.
Just a lot of blog posts trying to get you to buy it.
Is the Theragun safe to use near vital organs?
This is a legitimate question that few are asking.
When you place this heavy vibration device over your chest/heart or kidneys for example, how can you be sure that it's safe?
Vibrating the muscles is one thing but do you want your heart muscle vibrating like that?
The intensity of the Theragun vibration had me seriously concerned.
Just to give you an example, I used the Theragun on the top of my pecs.
For at least 5 minutes after, I could feel a vibration sensation in my throat.
It was very uncomfortable.
I don't think the Theragun is a safe tool to use near vitals.
The only part of the body I would feel safe using it would be on my legs and arms.
The Theragun is unbearably loud
Just like an ordinary jigsaw that you'd find in your garage, the Theragun sounds like a power tool.
This means that it's unusable in a lot of places.
We have two young children.
My 2 year old son is terrified of the Theragun.
The few times I tried to use it when I my piriformis was in agony, I couldn't because my kids were napping.
There are very few places where a device this loud would be acceptable to use.
Vibrating a sore muscle feels good momentarily but the relief is gone almost instantly after
Any kind of vibration on a sore muscle is going to feel nice.
When my piriformis is playing up, putting the Theragun on it is momentarily soothing.
But as soon as the vibration stops, it's sore again.
So what exactly is the Theragun doing?
It's certainly not fixing the problem.
And it's not even temporarily healing the sore muscle.
It's just giving you a moment - basically itching a sore muscle for you.
The viral videos are all true: The Theragun is literally a jigsaw
The Theragun is basically a power tool with nice packaging.
Apple computer products sell really well in part because of the boxing.
Theragun is the same - it's literally a power tool with a foam ball on the end of it inside a fancy box.
By the way, on the foam ball point - why foam?
*Why not plastic?
Because foam wears out quickly.
The foam balls wear out after minimal use and require replacement. So basically when you buy a Theragun, you're signing up for a lifetime of replacement purchases too.
I would never recommend the Theragun to anyone
So it's pretty clear from this post that we're not fans of the Theragun.
Nothing beats a conventional massage - especially not a glorified power tool.
For $599, you'd be better off spending that money on a series of professional massage sessions (our obvious preference is Shiatsu).
Or spend it on some lifestyle changes that might help alleviate your pain.
The Theragun is a hyped-up, well-marketed waste of money with no scientific proof to support it.