The Right Way of Using a Massage Gun on the Lower Back

The Right Way of Using a Massage Gun on the Lower Back

Back pain is incredibly common in today’s society. 8 out of 10 Americans experience back pain in their lives. From elderly to young people, many of us suffer from excruciating back pain at some point in our lives. More often than not, sore and stiff back muscles are the underlying causes of your back pain. Massage gun therapy has become a go-to solution for back pain. It allows you to give yourself quick and powerful massage sessions anytime and anywhere.

Read more: How is use HSA/FSA

Using a massage gun for lower back pain promptly relieves your muscle tension and lets you move pain-free throughout the day. By learning appropriate techniques for using a massage gun on the lower back, you can maximize its effectiveness.

Back pain is on the rise

Backache is the third most common reason for people visiting their doctors. Almost 16 million US adults—around eight percent of all adults—experience chronic or persistent back pain. As a result, people are not able to perform daily activities.

Back pain is more common in certain groups of people than in others. Elderly people sometimes have back pain because their weakened muscles can’t hold their spine straight. Athletes who do heavy weight lifting, diving, rowing, and golfing develop lower back pain due to strained back muscles caused by repeated stress.

Unfortunately, back pain is also increasing among teen video gamers nowadays. They spend 8+ hours a day sitting in a chair and leaning on their desk. The same is the case with office workers, who spend almost equal amounts of time in a chair for a paycheck.

The good news is that all these people can enjoy an empowered and confident posture by using a massage gun on their lower backs.

Some Common Causes of Back Pain

How massage guns work for lower back pain

The principal mechanism of massage guns is percussive therapy. They deliver short bursts of high-frequency vibrations into the muscles. This helps limit back pain in many ways. For example, it tricks your brain to focus on the percussive sensations rather than the pain. Some believe that massage guns alert your brain to sore and tight muscles. Once aware of the tight areas, your brain activates pathways to relieve tightness.

A massage gun promotes blood flow to the back muscles. The pressure applied to the muscles pushes blood through congested areas, making way for fresh blood. It reduces inflammation and muscle tension. Increased blood flow means an enriched supply of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles that aid in fast recovery and healing. According to a 2014 study, massage guns can be effective against delayed onset muscle soreness after an intense workout.

Tips for using a massage gun on the lower back

To maximize the effectiveness of your massage gun, it is important to know how to use it properly. Incorrect use of a massage gun can cause various injuries, yielding no return on your time and money.

There are many ways to get the most out of your massage gun sessions. Here are some tips to fully harness the benefits of your next massage gun session.

Relax before using a massage gun

Whenever possible, it is best to relax before using a massage gun on the lower back. Your sore back muscles can make you feel tense. Being upright increases that tension, making the gun’s job harder. Deep breathing exercises tend to work best in this regard.

Gradually move to higher speeds

As sore muscles tend to be sensitive, we highly recommend using your massage gun on its lowest setting at first. You can control the overall speed by adjusting the ‘Mode’ and ‘Strength’ of the gun. Different modes allow you to increase or decrease the pulse frequency you need. 

If you feel the lower speeds are not working for you, gradually turn to the higher ones. Once you adjust a setting that feels good, use your massage gun for two to three minutes on each sore area. 

Ask for help

Needless to say, reaching your lower back may be difficult, especially when it is burning with pain. It is better to ask someone for assistance, but properly guide and lead them while they perform the task. Do not make overly twist and strain to do it yourself, as it may worsen your back pain.

Massage in different directions

Ask your assistant to place the massage gun on your lower back. Begin by massaging the muscular bulk on either side of the spine from top to bottom or vice versa. Add some side-to-side motion as you approach the quadratus lumborum一deep muscles of your back. You can also keep massaging down your back, such as your glutes or thighs.

While holding the massage gun tightly against your back, try flexing and extending your back if you feel comfortable.

Don’t use massage guns in these areas

Percussive massage gun therapy is best at relieving back pain caused by sore muscles. Therefore, massage guns are meant to be used on muscles only, not nerves, bones, joints, or tendons. Physiotherapy experts advise not to use massage guns where you have scabs, wounds, bony fractures, and cancerous lesions.

Never use a massage gun on your neck, as it can cause carotid artery dissection-a tear from the inside of the carotid artery wall. It is a fatal condition as it interferes with the blood flow to your brain and ultimately causes a stroke. However, you can safely use a massage gun on your shoulders and trapezius muscles to release the tension and tightness that comes from sitting on a computer for long hours. 

Massage Gun for Lower Back Pain

The right massage gun heads for your lower back

Our massage guns come with a variety of massage gun head attachments, each one with unique benefits and mechanisms for targeting muscles. Gun heads let you adjust the pressure and intensity on a targeted muscle area. It can help your muscles heal and recover faster.

It is important to use the right massage gun attachment for lower back pain to enhance the effectiveness of your massage guns. By being well informed about various attachment heads and knowing their intended use, you can try different techniques and combinations until you find the one that works best for you.


Here are some massage gun heads ideal for lower back pain.

Pneumatic head attachments

As the name suggests, pneumatic head attachments are the softest and most flexible of all attachments. This property makes them the safest attachment to use near delicate and bony areas (e.g., around the spine for neck and back muscles). These heads are better suited for non-flat areas of the body because they adapt to the targeted muscle areas better than other heads. 

Bullet head attachments

These bullet-shaped attachments are pretty useful in targeting pinpoint painful spots and small muscle groups. It is a must-have for athletes who often develop muscle knots after heavy and intensive back muscle training. Bullet attachments are ideal for reaching deep muscles of the back, but you have to avoid using them on your spine. 

Forkhead attachments

The forkhead attachment is standard for almost all massage guns. It can cover more tight muscle areas than other attachments and is perfect for massaging muscles on both sides of the spine at once. Because it is a little riskier, we highly recommend asking for assistance while using a forkhead attachment.

Round ball attachment

Round ball attachments come in two sizes, small and big. The larger one covers more muscle areas and is effective for large muscles, such as glutes, quads, and hamstrings. The smaller one is perfect for general use and smaller muscle groups.

Flat head attachments

Flathead massage gun attachments are perfect for targeting larger muscles of your lower back. Since the flat head massage may feel firm, it is better to start on a low setting and gradually move to a higher one if needed. A flat head attachment is ideal for use before and after workouts because it prevents tightness and injury of back muscles.

Bottom line

Although many treatments for lower back pain claim to be the best on the market, many of them only mask or dull the pain rather than resolve it at its roots. They only provide temporary pain relief. If you are elderly or an athlete who strains his back muscles regularly, investing in a massage gun is your best bet.

A massage gun is an effective solution to fix the underlying problem causing lower back pain. While you may get a variety of head attachments with your massage gun, the fork head, bullet head, flat head, and small-size round ball attachments are ideal for working on various sore muscle groups of the back. Happy massaging!

All Zarifa USA products are HSA and FSA-eligible. This means you can contribute your health savings funds towards the purchase of any of our products!


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