Ashley Black - Article Author Ashley Black - Article Author

Best Way to Treat Muscle Soreness:

FasciaBlaster vs. Theragun Review

Muscle pain is a fact of life, right? For many, dealing with soreness in the arms and legs after a workout (or even a rough day at work) is an unpleasant reality. But here's the truth—it doesn't need to be that way. There are many innovative ways to ease the tension out of your sore muscles so that you feel relief faster.

One popular method is the Theragun. This massage gun claims to use percussive therapy to pound the tension from your muscles to relieve soreness. Many people also use the Theragun for back pain, but does it work? Is the Theragun worth it?

Let's look closer at what it claims and see how it stacks up to another way to treat muscle soreness - the FasciaBlaster.

01

Why Do Muscles Get Sore?

First, it's important to understand why muscles get sore in the first place.

When muscles are required to work harder than they usually do, either through exercise, poor posture, or even sitting in one place for too long, they suffer microscopic damage to the muscle fibers.

While muscle tissue soreness often disappears within a few days, sometimes it lingers longer. That's usually because your fascia is reacting, by constricting. Fascia is the thin casing and spider web-like webbing of connective tissue that holds every part of your body in place, including the musculoskeletal system. Fascia’s role is to “protect”, but sometimes protecting means strangling of the muscles, limiting lymphatic flow.

Healthy fascia is smooth and flexible, but a lifestyle of limited physical activity, trauma, or overworking parts of your body can make it stiff and resistant to movement. The result? Soreness that doesn't seem to go away.

Many people find temporary relief by improving their flexibility or manually working on the sore spot with a foam roller. Other options to treat onset muscle soreness may offer more lasting relief, such as percussion massagers—designed to give you a deep tissue massage and relieve the stiffness—or a manual myofascial device designed to help regenerate damaged tissue.

02

What is a Theragun? Pros and Cons

Ashley Black's Experience

Sold by Therabody, the Theragun is a high-quality percussive therapy massage gun designed to alleviate muscle soreness. The four devices available today are the Theragun Mini ($199), Theragun Prime ($299), Theragun Elite ($399), and the Theragun Pro ($599).

Depending on which one you choose, you'll get extra features like an OLED screen or rotating arm. But despite their differences, each might help you recover from workouts by releasing muscle tension, so you develop less soreness in the long run. They also work to speed up your warmup during workouts, so your muscles are ready to go when the action starts.

Positives

As a percussive therapy device, the Therabody Theragun has a unique ergonomic shape that distinguishes it from other massage guns. While it's possible to use it on yourself, you'll get the most benefit by soliciting someone to place it on the hard-to-reach spots on your lower back.

To use, turn the gun on while it's away from your body. You can customize the speed range to increase the amplitude based on how intense you want the massage action. Depending on your model, the Theragun has a speed range of 1750-2400 ppm. These speed settings can also be controlled via Bluetooth through the Therabody app on your phone.

Once on, place the Theragun where you feel the soreness and glide it along the muscle groups you want to treat. If you feel a knot or tension, let it rest on the spot without additional pressure for a few seconds before moving it on. You may want to go over these spots repeatedly until the tension dissolves.

Does the Theragun work?

Here are some of the most significant benefits of using one.

  • Results in immediate relief from soreness post-workout

  • Soothes muscle pain without medication

  • Speeds up warm up and recovery time after strenuous workouts

  • Improves range of motion when used before workouts

  • Leads to better muscle flexibility in time

  • May help users get better sleep at night by calming the nervous system

Potential Drawbacks

So, does the Theragun have any downsides? First, at $200 for even the smallest model (Theragun Mini), this massage gun is pricey. You're paying a premium for a brand name and lots of features that most people won't find necessary. (Note: you may find a discount on Amazon.)

Having various pulse settings might seem like a good thing, but many users tend to stick to the default levels without ever changing them. This means you might be paying for features that rarely get used. Likewise, this pulsing can get loud, which may make the gun inconvenient to use in places where you might accidentally bother others.

Second, working with a battery-operated device might mean it's not ready to go when you need it. The Theragun has a rechargeable battery, but the battery life can be unpredictable, especially as the device ages. This means it might run out of juice just as you're working through a sore spot.

Finally, the Theragun might be too powerful for the most sensitive spots of soreness, even when put on its lowest setting. Users have reported that the percussion is felt inside the head. For some, it’s just too aggressive.

03

What is a FasciaBlaster? Pros and Cons

Ashley Black's Experience

One alternative to the Theragun for relieving muscle soreness is the FasciaBlaster. Designed and engineered by bestselling author Ashley Black, it's the #1 selling self-massage myofascial tool for massaging your tissues to relieve soreness.

Positives

The FasciaBlaster is a versatile tool that can massage the fascia and muscles anywhere on your body. It works to impact the fascia system by loosening up pockets of tight fascia to smooth out the tissue just below the skin. Not only does this ease soreness, but it boosts temporary blood flow through your muscles, which improves their performance, recovery, and even definition. Even better, it has a low price tag of just $89 for the standard model.

This wellness device can be used from head to toe without risk. To use, make sure your skin is warm. Gentle exercise or some time in the sun or a sauna can do the trick. It's also best to apply a BlasterOil to your skin first to activate your fat-burning cells and help the device glide smoothly across your skin.

Next, gently massage the stick over the treatment site, working it into the places where you need relief. Light and brisk movements are best, and you can increase the pressure over time as you get more comfortable with it. You may want to start by using it on large muscles like the quads and hamstrings as you get comfortable with it.

Thanks to the large claws protruding from each massage head, you can press it directly into your areas of soreness.. Best of all, the long stick design makes this device easy to use yourself—no more waiting for relief until a friend can massage you. Just grab the FasciaBlaster and have relief in minutes.

Beyond reducing pain to speed up workout recovery, does the FasciaBlaster work other miracles? It turns out this device has many other benefits. In a peer-reviewed study, the FasciaBlaster showed to have benefits that no other tissue device currently on the market offers: {1}

  • Improves physical performance by boosting muscle functioning

  • Improves joint functioning

  • 100% of participants saw a decrease in cellulite

  • Increased collagen production for healthier, more supple tissue

  • Decreased inflammation

  • Remodels tissue to make it more (supple, hydrated, and youthful)

  • Spot fat reduction

Potential Drawbacks

Regarding downsides, the FasciaBlaster can lead to bruising for some users. This is an expected side effect from breaking up fascial adhesions, and the bruising should go away within a few days. Bruising will become less likely as your body gets used to the treatment.

For more information on bruising, check out this article.

04

FasciaBlaster vs. Theragun: Which is Best?

Ashley Black's Experience

When it comes to the FasciaBlaster and the Theragun, which should you choose? That depends on what your goals are. Those who want something with a motor and don't mind the high price point that comes from paying for a premium brand name will enjoy the experience of owning a percussion gun like a Theragun. But for those who prefer value, and a long term solution as well as a short term feel good, the FasciaBlaster is a better choice.

While the Theragun claims to loosen muscles for temporary and instant stiffness relief, the FasciaBlaster is designed to create permanent remodeling in the tissue. This offers better overall benefits for the whole body.You can control precisely how much pressure you're putting into your muscles, and battery life is not an issue. This device is also the quietest option and easier to use than the Theragun on the hard-to-reach spots throughout your lower back.

Overall, if you’re investing in your health, you can’t make a wrong decision. If you're ready to improve your recovery process so you spend less time with sore muscles, then massage devices are well worth adding to your routine.

If you decide to use both, use the FasciaBlaster first to loosen the fascia, then use the Theragun for muscles. Bottom line: both are good devices and "worth it". Used together, they could really help you up your game. But if you can only afford one, the FasciaBlaster is the only option that can go below the surface and remodel fascia and tissue for optimal for muscle growth, conditioning and soreness.

{1} https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/2331205X.2019.1606146