Mar 4th, 2021
The Theragun Pro review
Percussive therapy to improve your golf, exercise and life
As you will see the Theragun got the thumbs up and has been awarded the GolfPunk 'Seal of Approval'.
Sadly, the various lockdowns we have had to endure hampered the trials we wanted to do using the device both pre and during a game of golf. However, we passed the device around the team to test its performance in the following areas.
- Use before and after exercise
- Effect on chronic aches and pains
- Treatment of injuries
- Impact on quality of sleep
- Improvement of well being and general health
The Theragun is a percussive therapy device that provides a massage that reaches deep into the muscles to stimulate heat and blood flow. This blood flow helps deliver oxygen and remove waste products improving the health and function of the muscles.
Percussive therapy works 60% deeper than standard vibration massagers by using a unique scientifically-calibrated combination of depth, speed, and force. The speed and frequency with which Theragun Percussive Therapy devices go on and then come off of the body keep your brain from acclimating to the stimulation.
THERAGUN BRINGING BENEFITS TO THE GOLFER
The therapeutic effect is maximised each time the device makes contact with the body. The continuous stimulation distracts the brain away from the pain while also delivering deep, effective treatment.
The Theragun Difference
The 16 mm amplitude allows our Theragun devices to treat deep within the muscle to release tension.
The 2400 percussion per minute (40 per second) speed allows our devices to override the pain signals to your brain, making the treatment experience more comfortable than manual muscle therapy.
The devices can withstand up to an additional 60 pounds of applied pressure—without stalling—for deep treatment to the areas that need it.
The Theragun percussive therapy claims to help the following
- Increasing blood flow
- Decreasing lactic acid
- Improving range of motion
- Hydrating tissue
- Preventing adhesions
- Faster warm-up
- Faster recovery
- Increasing flexibility
- Decreasing inflammation
- Improving posture
- Decreasing muscle soreness
- Enhancing sleep quality
The Theragun models
Use before and after exercise
During the lockdown, many have taken to pounding pavements and taking part in online fitness classes. As the more senior members of the GP crew are somewhat more sedentary it fell to one of our younger ambassadors to try out the Theragun with his exercise routine and this is his assessment.
First impressions were that the Theragun was a powerful bit of kit, somewhat noisy but really packed a punch on the top settings. You feel the vibration through the body on use mainly when used on the neck, where you can feel it somewhat rattling the brain.
I started on a lower setting and built it up over a few days, which helped me get accustomed to the vibration. The device can be a little painful on the more sensitive or tender areas but as they say ‘no pain no gain’.
The triangular design helps in accessing those harder to reach areas of the body but if you have a willing partner getting them to apply the pre and post-exercise pounding is easier.
When it came to the exercise, I felt much looser ahead of my run or workout and it was great not having to manoeuver on my foam roller after exercise trying to squeeze out that post-exercise stiffness.
I would use the Theragun as part of my exercise routine although I think I’d probably go for a slightly smaller model as I’d be happy to sacrifice a bit of performance for ease of use.
Overall, I give the Theragun a thumbs up.
Chronic aches and pains
I wrote our initial review of the Theragun when I tried it out on my recurrent problem back. I had been suffering quite badly and despite attending pilates classes and forking out on regular trips to a local chiropractor, there was no improvement.
After a few uses of the Theragun, there was a noticeable reduction in the pain and after ten days of use, although I wasn’t pain-free, I felt a lot better with more mobility in both my back and neck.
On stopping using the Theragun the back did start to deteriorate, but on using the device again, it delivered the same results with my back a lot better. I find it particularly useful for those days when I am in the office seated all day.
I use the Theragun on getting up in the morning and before retiring at night and concentrate on my neck and lower back. I have tried more substantial massages across the whole body and it relaxes me and it had some interesting results on my sleep (see below).
Treatment of injuries
I had some mild hamstring issues, nothing serious, but noticeable. I used the Theragun several times on it for a few minutes and it appears to have almost resolved the issue. To be honest, I was pretty sceptical but pleasantly surprised. It’s a good piece of kit, although expensive for someone like me who may just have the odd issue.
I’d guess you’d need to be a pretty serious sportsperson (or physio/PT) to make it worthwhile - and on top of that, you’d have to know what you were doing. For personal use it isn’t easy to use on yourself, although well designed to give various grip positions. Working on the hamstring wasn’t too hard, but operating on other parts of the body may mean that you have to twist and turn to reach the ‘spot’, which may mean that the muscle you need to treat is no longer relaxed.
I could see it is best used for warm-up / post-exercise recovery, rather than treating a specific injury but as said, it definitely helped with my hamstring. A few treatments using a physio may be a cheaper option unless one was prone to injury!
I used the Theragun several times (mostly post-exercise) and had positive results. I did find it a bit uncomfortable on some areas but I suspect with time this would ease. I think it would also be very effective for general wellness and part of a daily routine, keeping muscles supple, particularly when not exercising.
Having used the Theragun on my back and neck to address my lower back issues I also decided to test the company’s claims that percussive therapy can improve sleep quality.
I wear a Fitbit watch that gives me a sleep score each day and I used this as the determinant of the quality of my sleep and assessing how I generally felt in the mornings. A sleep score less than 60 is considered poor, between 60 and 80 is fair, above 80 is good and above 90 excellent.
For the week before testing the Theragun my sleep scores averaged 75 with a peak of 80 and a low of 71. After using the device each evening ahead of sleep my average score rose to 79 with a peak of 88 and a low of 74.
I did not feel any obvious benefits for the first few days as the test progressed, I thought I had a more restful sleep and was waking up less often during the night. The knock-on benefit was that I felt I had more energy in the mornings
Well being and general health
Although not qualified to assess the general health benefits of the Theragun there is no doubt that you definitely feel a buzz after having used the device.
Theragun Percussive Therapy is shown to improve how quickly you fall asleep and reduces how often your sleep is disturbed. Better sleep is one of many essential things that support your immune system along with diet, physical activity, etc.
With the focus on the immune system given the awful pandemic of the past year, studies link massage to the production of T lymphocytes cells, which boost the immune system. One assumes that longer sessions using the Theragun should produce similar results to a massage and assist with the immune function.
The Therabody App
The Theragun links to the Therabody App, an impressive bit of kit that helps you operate the device. The guides are helpful and demonstrate new ways to use your Theragun and help speed up muscle recovery.
The app is incredibly detailed and there are numerous routines to choose from under the different headings. To be honest, I used the app to help learn about its functionality and the various muscle groups to target and then did my own thing.
Apparently, the app also integrates with Google Fit, Apple Health, and Samsung health, and will suggest routines based on the information it receives from the connection. Not having any of these products, I cannot comment on how well the integration works.
Not being natural athletes we were not the natural guinea pigs to test out a bit of equipment used by thousands of gym-goers and personal trainers up and down the land.
Although the principal use of the Theragun is not the treatment of injuries we were impressed by the results when used on our aches and pains. The Theragun clearly has health benefits helping provide a good nights sleep and helping to boost one's well being.
When the courses reopen we will definitely be using the device ahead of the first round to get this stiffness out of the old muscles as we need all the help we can get!
The Theragun Pro is fairly big and it may be that one of the smaller models will suit some better from both a portability point of view and impact on the pocket.
Although it is a pricey bit of kit we still give the Theragun Pro our Seal of Approval' as used regularly it is clearly worth the cash.