“Can’t believe it took me so long!”
This was exactly what I messaged my friend (also a runner) when she enquired after a calf niggle I had been complaining about the previous day when having coffee. It’s a recurring niggle that tends to coincide with doing speed work in road shoes. In fact, only the other day I purchased a pair of new Nike Pegasus Zoom road shoes and commented that it wouldn’t be long before the familiar niggle returned. For some reason, when I get new shoes, I decide to go out and do reps in them rather than wearing them in for gentle miles first. Anyway, on this occasion after a 17 mile off road run, – 2.5 x 2 LT session and a timed fast mile, I then went out to do some easy miles. At five miles I felt a twinge. It got progressively worse and I thought “here we go again”. I hobbled home feeling sorry for myself and cancelled the next few days of running. This particular niggle tends to stick around for a couple weeks at least and won’t let me run so I thought that was that. Anyway, this story does lead to a massage gun review – bear with.
The Following Day
Anyway, during coffee with my friend the following day, who has been plagued by running injuries, I asked her if she was using her massage gun (she has every gadget known to man). Her reply was “regularly”. She said it was brilliant. I asked her which one she had and she said to just choose one on Amazon. She said not to spend a fortune – they are all very similar and do the same job so I typed in ‘massage gun’ scrolled through the list and just pretty much picked one of the first ones listed. I looked to check the reviews were plentiful, that it was a “30 speed” version and that it had a number of attachments. I also wanted one which would come by 10pm that day which also narrowed my choices. 8 hours later and I was in possession of my new massage gun.
The Massage Gun Review
First of all let’s talk packaging. It comes in its own case! A proper zip up carry case with everything beautifully laid out inside. Not bad for the price. Now, I don’t know about you but I am crap at looking at the instructions. So I took the gun out and plugged it in to charge it. An hour later I went back to check on it. It was charged and ready to go. A Power switch on the bottom of the handle and 3 buttons – power – negative and positive. That’s all you need to know to operate the device.
Use the buttons to go up and down the speeds. I started off slow with the ball attachment that you see in all the ads (and the main picture). Wasn’t really feeling that so I changed to another attachment. One that looked like it would dig right in and hit the spot. Yep, that did it. I read the instruction manual and discovered that for deep tissue massage you need to be in the higher speed. I set it to 25 and wow! If you’re ticklish beware. It takes some getting used to. But wow does it hit the spot? You need to prepare for the fact that if you’re going to start digging into niggles – it’s gonna hurt!
Seek Professional Advice for More Serious Injuries
When I found the spot in my calf that was hurting it felt knotty and the pain was sharp! I must say at this point that this is by no means medical advice and if you have an injury – you need to ensure that you seek proper advice but, if like me, you just want something to treat your regular niggles, a massage gun hits those trigger points, I decided to give it a go on the other slight niggles – the ones that aren’t really an issue but ever present. Again, it hurts but once that calms down, it actually seems to work.
So after doing this on Friday and Saturday, I decided to run Sunday. We’re runners – we can’t rest for more than two days, right? Anyway, I felt great – the tightness and pain had all but gone when I flexed my foot and I needed to get outside for some easy miles so I went to the woods.
A Run Without Pain
I started off rather intrepidly as last time I had done this same routine I had been in pain from the get go. Didn’t even think about the pain for the first mile. Felt a slight tightness going up hill in the second so decided to walk the hills. Gathering pace on the descent also made me nervous so I eased off. I had a bit of tightness around mile 3 but then by mile 4 I couldn’t feel any issue at all. In fact, I was so comfortable I carried on for a few more. When I got back home and sat down, I had a bit of stiffness when I got up but nothing too bad. In fact now, a few hours later, there is nothing of any significance to report. I’ve just given it a quick blast again with the massage gun and given it to my best friend and neighbour to try on her hip overnight. I’m that impressed I called her over to give it to her! I also had a message from another fellow runner asking me how my calf was to which I replied “great, I blasted it with my new massage gun and it seems to have done the trick”. He then asked what I thought of the device as he’d heard lots of positive feedback. I said I thought it was a good investment and that seems like the ideal way to end this massage gun review.
Note – in the interests of providing you will all the facts in this massage gun review, it’s now Monday after the Thursday when the calf niggle was sustained. After ten miles yesterday, no pain today!
I’m not saying it’s going to cure every issue, there are some that only rest and time will cure but it did allow me to work out a niggle that I couldn’t get to with a roller and get me back out there quicker.
If you’re going to buy one, here’s the one I bought but, as you will see, there are plenty to choose from!
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