The fasciae envelop the muscles in the body and ensure that the body remains mobile but also stable. It is therefore hardly surprising that fascia massage has become increasingly important in recent years. While the fascia was initially treated mainly with massage or foram rollers, today, many athletes swear by massage guns in the treatment.
In this article, I’ll tell you whether a new type of massage gun or a classic foram roller is better for treating the fascia.
It is impossible to say in general terms whether a massage gun or fascia roller should be used. This is simply because both sports equipment complement each other. The foam roll on the one hand is suitable for large-area massages. Massage guns, on the other hand, can be used to specifically work on individual muscles and trigger points. Accordingly, a combination of both devices is useful for the treatment of agglutinated fasciae.
However, if you have to choose one of them, you should consider the advantages and disadvantages of both massagers:
Massage guns are more versatile, can be transported in a very space-saving way, are easy to use and allow for better intensity adjustment. On the other hand, these devices are more expensive and generate a certain amount of noise during use. In addition, you may need the help of a second person to reach all muscles.
Foam rolls, on the other hand, are intended solely for massaging the fasciae. The application possibilities are therefore limited. On the other hand, they can be transported in a space-saving manner, do not require electricity, are cheaper and do not produce any noticeable noise during the massage.
You have now briefly learned whether a foam roll or a massage gun is better. I will deepen this simple execution in the next sections. Therefore, I will first explain what fascia, foam rolls, as well as massage guns are. Subsequently, I will go into more detail about the differences between fascia rollers and massage guns in order to justify my short answer.
What are Fasciae?
Fasciae, also called connective tissue, can be compared to the white skin of oranges: they envelop the muscles and organs around the body like delicate skin. On the one hand, the fasciae provide protection against injuries. On the other hand, they ensure that the muscles and organs are both stable and mobile.
Movements and the (wrong) diet, but also psychological factors, can cause the fasciae to stick together. Then the fasciae lose their flexibility, and movement pain can occur.
What is a Foam Roll?
A foam roll is usually made of hard foam and is a so-called self-massage device. With a fascia roll, you can massage yourself with the help of your own body weight. This massage is intended to loosen the adhesions in the fascia and thus relieve pain and increase mobility. In addition to the classic foam roll, there are now smaller rolls as well as balls for less large muscle groups.
What is a Massage Gun?
The massage gun is one of the newest products in the fitness field. The operation of the handy massager is quite simple: a motor inside moves an arm back and forth. At the end of the arm are interchangeable attachments that massage different areas of the body.
Massage guns are versatile, as different intensity levels can be set. Thus, a massage gun can not only massage the fascia but also treat sore muscles or stimulate the muscles before sports.
Should I use a Fascia Roll or a Massage Gun?
As already explained in the short answer, foam rolls and massage guns complement each other very well. Therefore, I can’t recommend one or the other tool one hundred percent. However, if you want to buy only one of them, you should consider the following points and buy the device whose advantages are more important for you:
The possible uses for the massage gun are almost endless: since several power levels can be set, most massage guns are suitable for the following types of massage:
- Muscle activation
- Release sore muscles
- Fascia massage
- Deep tissue massage
- Muscle tension
- Trigger point massage
In addition, the attachments of a massage gun can be easily replaced. Thus, the same device can be used for all muscle groups of the body. However, not all muscles can be reached with the massage gun – at least if you are alone. For example, the massage of the back often requires the help of a second person.
The foam roll, on the other hand, is intended exclusively for fascia massage. Accordingly, the application possibilities are not very extensive. In addition, different fascia rollers may be needed for different muscle groups, which is a disadvantage compared to the massage gun.
On the other hand, foam rolls can be used alone for almost all muscle groups, even for the back. Here you massage the fascia simply with your own body weight.
A massage gun is very flexible to use. In principle, it can be taken anywhere and used in almost any place. However, there are two limitations here:
First, the battery of the gun must be charged. If this is forgotten, the massage gun cannot be used spontaneously. On the other hand, a massage gun is quite loud (at higher levels). Accordingly, it cannot be used in places where this high volume would be disturbing.
Fascia rolls, on the other hand, can be used anywhere without major restrictions. They do not require electricity and are very quiet during use. This makes them more suitable for use in the workplace, for example.
The differences in massage feel significant. With a massage gun, the massage is performed through a mixture of impacts and vibrations. With the foam roll, on the other hand, tension is “rolled away”. Here, the massage is done by applying a lot of pressure, while with the gun, the force can be better adjusted.
All in all, the massage with a massage gun feels much more pleasant for these reasons. In addition, a fascia roller causes pain more quickly because it is harder to regulate the pressure here. This can be very uncomfortable if you are sensitive to pain.
In terms of transportability, there is little difference between massage guns and foam rollers. Both tools fit into most backpacks and gym bags. Larger foam rolls can simply be clamped under the arm if necessary. So you can take both massagers with you almost anywhere.
From a pure price point of view, a foam roll is much cheaper than a massage gun. A good roller usually costs between $40 and $60. Very good massage guns, on the other hand, start at a price of only $120 to $150. If the other factors do not matter to you and you only need one device to massage the fascia, a foam roll is, therefore, the better choice. Even if you buy two smaller rolls, in addition, you should get away cheaper than with a high-quality massage gun.
Conclusion – Massage Gun vs. Foam Roll: Which one is better?
As you learned in the article, the question of whether a massage gun or a foam roll is better can not be answered quite clearly. Rather, it depends on what you want to use the respective tool and what features are important to you. In the article, I have shown you the main differences between the massage gun and the fascia roll. I hope that I could help you further!