The Truth Behind the Theragun & How We're Using It...
Over the last few months, the interest in the Theragun has exploded, in large part due to slow motion videos of athletes using the tool on Instagram, and its appearance at large sporting events like this year’s MLB Home Run derby. At the Toronto Athletic Club, Barclay and Chris Broadhurst, the Sport Medicine Clinic’s Director, are once again at the leading edge, having already brought the Theragun to the Club, introducing it to our personal trainers, the team at the Clinic, and our Members.
What is a Theragun?
The Theragun is a massage device that looks (and sounds) like a power drill that uses percussive massage therapy to treat muscle soreness and relieve pain. The tool has increasingly been used by (and found effective for) everyone – from professional athletes to weekend warriors and everyone in between.
Like many great products and inventions, the Theragun was created by Dr. Jason, a chiropractor by profession, after he suffered a personal injury. He was looking for a way to treat himself between his regular treatments with the aim of getting better faster. Of course, the early versions of the Theragun were cruder, but after many iterations of change, we’ve been left with the G3 Pro and personal models G3 and Liv, all of which we now have access to at the TAC (and that are for sale in the Sport Medicine Clinic).
The Science Behind the Theragun
The Theragun is designed to “talk with the nervous system” using three key combinations:
- Amplitude: How deep does it go? (The Theragun goes 16mm)
- Frequency: How quickly does it pulse? (The Theragun uses 2400 pulses per minute on high and 1750 on low speed)
- Torque: How much pressure until it stalls out? (The Theragun delivers up to 60 pounds of force! Not that you need to, or should be, pressing that hard!)
When you put all three of these together, it will result in a top-grade percussive therapy device.
What is percussive therapy?
Percussive therapy, also known as percussion therapy, is a form of soft tissue manipulation intended to reduce muscle soreness and increase range of motion. It is a deep muscle treatment that delivers rapid and long vertical strokes into the muscle, causing neuromuscular response.
Benefits of the Theragun
In general, the Theragun has been known to:
- Reduce pain
- Increase blood flow
- Break up scar tissue
- Decrease lactic acid
- Release muscle spasms
- Increase lymphatic flow
- Improve range of motion
- Improve body awareness
- Make recovery more efficient and effective (which is one of the reasons clients have gotten their own Theragun for use between sessions in both the Clinic and training)
Learn the benefits directly from Dr. Jason himself, in this video.
How is our team using the Theragun?
The Theragun is a tool that both the team at the Clinic and the Club’s personal trainers have been using with their clients, but for different reasons.
The Sport Medicine Clinic’s therapists have been using the Theragun professional-grade percussive therapy device to alleviate pain, improve mobility, and enhance performance for patients. It has become another tool in helping our clients to live a life in motion!
Alternatively, Barclay and the personal training team have been using the Theragun to help warm up and prepare clients for their workouts (for example, 30 seconds on the hamstrings), during their workouts (using it for 10 – 30 seconds to help stimulate and refresh the muscles right before a set), and after a workout (used for 2 – 3 minutes to help relax Members’ muscles).
How do we know it works?
It’s easy for us to simply tell you it works, but perhaps Barclay’s personal story will make it clear for you:
I broke my clavicle (also known as the collarbone) on the first weekend in June – not quite how I wanted to start my summer. I had surgery a week later, with an incredible surgeon that was recommended to me by Chris. For the 6 weeks following surgery, I was only allowed to work on my range of motion, but I wanted my surgeon to be impressed with how well and fast my ROM came along. So, I used the Theragun between my treatments with Chris, and I can definitively say that my ROM improved much faster and with less pain and discomfort than most would have expected. I continue to use it daily to help improve my ROM, break down the scar tissue, and release the muscles.
Who can tell me more?
Toronto Athletic Club
Sport Medicine Clinic
Members are encouraged to speak to any of our therapists who can provide additional information about the Theragun.
The Cambridge Club
If you are interested in getting a Theragun for use at home, please visit the Sport Medicine Clinic where multiple versions of the Theragun are available for purchase.
The team at the TAC plans to continue incorporating the Theragun into training sessions, and using it as a tool in the Clinic to improve Members’ health and wellness. If you’d like to learn more or want to experience this percussive therapy yourself, please reach out to your personal trainer or to the Sport Medicine Clinic team.
Barclay Hollinger, Personal Trainer, Sport Conditioning, TRX and Theragun Specialist, Toronto Athletic Club