What’s The Difference Between A Percussive Therapy Device And Vibration Therapy?

Both percussive therapy devices and vibration therapy can be highly beneficial to your workout routine, both before and after your workouts. But what are the differences between these two types of therapy, and which is best for your workout routine?

Vibration Therapy

Vibration therapy can be either localized or whole-body. In whole-body therapy, a user stands on a platform device and the entire device vibrates. This can be an unpleasant experience for some people, but others find that the whole body vibration can be very relaxing. 

In localized vibration therapy, a hand-held device creates vibrations in whatever part of the body it is held to. The experience delivered by a vibration gun is more general than that delivered by a percussive massage gun, even for the same sized gun. 

Vibration therapy guns stimulate muscles, causing them to contract and relax repeatedly. This often feels very pleasant and can increase blood flow locally. 

Percussive Therapy

Percussive therapy also provides targeted pressure for the goal of stimulating muscles. It has the same benefits as vibration therapy, but provides those benefits at a greater intensity. It also offers some other benefits that vibration therapy doesn’t have. 

Percussive therapy can reach as much as 60% deeper into your muscles than vibration massagers. Such a deep massage more closely mimics the kind of massage provided by a real massage therapist. Many people find the benefits to be further reaching and deeper than massages from vibration therapy. 

Percussive therapy functions by rapidly tapping the muscle. These contacts are extremely brief in high-quality percussive therapy guns. Your body doesn’t acclimate to the stimulation, which means that your brain is less likely to perceive the sensation as being painful and more likely to enjoy it. 

Vibration massage can really only offer the same intensity of massage, regardless of pressure applied. On the other hand, percussive therapy can deliver deeper massage when more pressure is applied. This allows percussive therapy guns to mimic a real massage therapist much more accurately. 

Comparison Chart

Surface level massage that vibrates a large area of skinDeep massage that reaches far into muscles
Consistent pressure and massage intensity can be uncomfortableRapid pressure is less likely to be registered by the brain as pain
More pressure won’t create more massage intensityResponds to pressure by massaging deeper into the muscles
Increases blood flow at the surface of the skinIncreases blood flow and breaks up lactic acid deep within muscles

What’s Better, Percussive Or Vibration Therapy?

Both types of therapy offer meaningful benefits, but for most people, percussive therapy is a better investment if you’re considering a massage gun. Many muscle injuries are deep within the soft tissue where vibration therapy guns have trouble reaching.

If you want to get rid of lactic acid deep in the muscles that leads to ongoing muscle soreness, percussive therapy is the way to go. This is also a better option if comfort is a leading motivator in your desire for a massage gun. Percussive therapy guns are gentle and very comfortable, so most people enjoy using them more. 

Try Out A Percussive Therapy Gun Today

The best way to really understand the differences between a percussive therapy device and a vibration therapy device is to give percussive a try. Most of us have tried some kind of simple vibration massager before and enjoyed it, but percussive really raises the bar for what you can expect form a handheld massage device. If you frequently suffer from deep muscle pain, a percussive massage gun can make a huge difference in your life.