Sore after using a Massage Gun: Why it happens and what you can do

Massage guns are designed to provide relaxation, improve muscle regeneration and relieve pain. However, sometimes they have the opposite effect. In that case, the muscles feel sore after using the massage gun. In this article, I will explain why this happens and what you can do about it.

Disclaimer: This post is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition.


Short Answer

If you feel sore muscles after using a massage gun, you did the massage with too much force or for too long. This leads to tiny injuries in the muscle fibers, which in turn manifests itself as muscle soreness, just like you know it from a hard workout.

You can prevent this by first using the massage gun at a low speed level and then slowly increasing the speed after a few days. Also, don’t massage a muscle for more than 90 to 120 seconds at a time. Instead, use short massages of 30 to 60 seconds, but do them several times a day.

It is also not a good idea to massage sore muscles with a massager. This will only make it worse. The best way to prevent soreness is to massage the muscle directly after exercise.


Long Answer

You’ve now learned in a nutshell why muscle soreness can occur after using a massager and how to prevent it. I would now like to go into this in more detail. Among other things, I’ll explain how a massage gun works and why sore muscles occur. I’ll also show you how you can reduce muscle soreness.


How does a Massage Gun work?

A massage gun works quite simply: a motor inside the device drives an arm and moves it back and forth. A suitable attachment can be attached to the end of the arm. This pushes the movement into the muscles. Adjustable speed levels allow you to set the intensity of the massage.


Why do I feel sore after using a Massage Gun?

Muscle soreness, specifically delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), refers to the pain felt as a result of strenuous exercise. This is caused by tiny injuries in the muscle fiber.1

Graphical representation of the structure of a muscle from muscle fiber bundle to muscle fiber and muscle fibril to myosin and actin
Tiny tears in the muscle fibers lead to muscle soreness.

However, muscle fiber injuries can be caused by more than just intense sports. Physical impact on the muscles can also lead to injury of the fibers. For this reason, you can feel sore muscles after an intense massage or after using a massage gun. After using a massager, it occurs mainly when the speed level was set too high, a muscle was massaged for too long at a time, or you pressed too hard during the massage.


How can I prevent Soreness after using a Massage Gun?

Muscle soreness can be prevented by warming up properly before exercising. In addition, you should not overexert yourself during sports. However, these tips do not help much when using a massage gun. Concretely, you can reduce the risk of muscle soreness here by doing the following things:

  1. Start with a low-intensity level on the massage gun. Only after you have massaged yourself a few times and do not feel sore you can increase the intensity.
  2. Do not hold the massage gun permanently on one spot. Instead, move it slowly along the muscle.
  3. Do not press on the muscles with the massage gun. Just let it glide over the skin.
  4. If you already have sore muscles, you should avoid using the massage gun. This usually only worsens the feeling, as it puts additional stress on the muscle. Instead, perform the massage directly after the workout to prevent muscle soreness.2

The correct use of a massage gun is shown in the following graphic:


How can I reduce Muscle Soreness?

Sore muscles usually heal on their own after a few days. They feel worst about 24 to 48 hours after exercise. However, the muscle soreness should be gone after a week at the latest.

Accordingly, sore muscles do not need to be treated. However, you can help the affected muscle regenerate so the soreness and the associated pain subside quickly. The following can help:

  • Sore muscles are injuries in the muscle fibers. Therefore, the affected muscles should not be subjected to heavy strain. Otherwise, healing will be delayed. At worst, a serious injury can develop.
  • Do a heat treatment. This will stimulate blood circulation and thus promote regeneration.
  • Stretching and loosening exercises can temporarily reduce pain from sore muscles. This is probably because the exercises loosen cramps and improve the removal of fluids.
  • Even though the affected muscle should not be heavily loaded, light movements can help with healing.
  • Massage the muscle gently. Massages for sore muscles should be used with caution. If the muscle is massaged too much, it will cause more tiny injuries and increase muscle soreness.

Read more about it here: Do Massage Guns work for sore Muscles?


Conclusion – Sore after using a Massage Gun: Why it happens and what you can do

Although massage guns are supposed to relax, they sometimes lead to sore muscles. This is usually due to incorrect use, for example, when massaged with too much force. How you can prevent this and get rid of existing muscle soreness, you have read in the article. I hope that I could help you with it!




Hi, I'm Marcel! Here at, I review different massage guns to find the best device on the market. All the massagers I have held in my own hands, so I can always report from my own experience. In addition, I clarify all myths and questions about massage guns. More about me.

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