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How to Use a Massage Gun for Knee Pain Relief

When working with any painful joint our approach is to work upstream and downstream (a phrase we borrowed from Kelly Starrett – “Becoming the Supple Leopard”).

What that entails is massaging a mobilizing the muscles that attach to the knee joint from above the knee and below the knee.

These are the areas we want you to focus on:

1. Suprapatellar pouch

a. This is the area directly above the knee. Bob had trouble in this area on both knees after doing repeated lunges. This area can get stuck or adhered down. Bob had luck taking a massage gun softer head attachment and massaging not only the pouch but also areas of attachment to the top part of the knee cap. The relief of pain was remarkable.

2. Quadricep

a. Hit the entire four muscles and add in some flossing (movement of the muscles and nerves). Bending and straightening the knee while aggressively applying the massage. You can use a knee glide or fit glide.

3. Hamstring

a. Focus on all three muscles. Can also bend and straighten the knee and add in some flossing. The flossing can be performed while gliding the foot on a slippery floor (garbage bag) or using a knee glide.

4. Calf

a. Focus on the upper calf but not behind the knee (there is a rich supply of nerves arteries and veins in that area). Can also do flossing flex and extend the foot with your heel on the ground while applying the massage.

5. Tensor Fascia Lata massage and iliotibial band

a. Cannot stretch the IT band but it could help loosen it if somewhat adhered down.

6. Hip adductors

a. Inside of thigh. If tight can cause the knee to bend inward- knock-kneed.

Use the following guidelines to choose the appropriate attachment:

a. Big Round Head Attachment: Good for larger muscle groups like the glutes, quadriceps, or hamstrings. Allows you to cover more surface area. Moderate in aggressiveness.

b. Small Round Head Attachment: Less aggressive to moderate. Great for tendonitis if used sideways. (Big & Small Round Head)

c. Air-filled (Pneumatic) Attachment: Probably the least aggressive head. Great for use around bony surfaces and sensitive muscle groups. Good for relaxation.

d. Bullet Head Attachment: Aggressive. We have found it to be helpful with treating trigger points or knots.

e. Plastic Flat Head: Moderate. Good on IT band, Pectoralis Major (with ribs underneath), or Plantar Fascia (bottom of the foot).

f. Steel Flat Head: (Can be heated up or cooled down prior to use). Moderate to Aggressive.

g. Knobby Attachments: Generally, for larger muscles. More aggressive.

h. Field Goal: Can be used along both sides of the spine. Also, some have recommended its use on the Achilles tendon.

This video is part of a series of videos on how to treat your pain with self-massage. Check the full series of videos along with the downloadable guide sheets for each video on our website here:

Bob & Brad's Massage Guns

C2 Massage Gun (US), T2 Massage Gun, EM-19 Massage Gun, Q2 Mini Massage Gun (US), X6 PRO Massage Gun with Stainless Steel Head

Medical Disclaimer All information, content, and material on this website is for informational purposes only and are not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider.

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