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Plantar fasciitis can literally be a pain in the foot – no pun intended. Whether your therapist or doctor has diagnosed you with this condition, or you just happen to know the symptoms for it, you’ll need something to keep the pain away.
Luckily massage guns are one of the easiest and perhaps the cheapest way to manage your plantar fasciitis pain. You just need to pick the right one.
That is where we come in. We understand how tough it can be to pick the best massage gun for plantar fasciitis. Some are too expensive (up to $599) while some are cheap and ineffective.
We have tested dozens of massage guns, both cheap and expensive and we know what to look for in one.
This post is going to guide you through the process of choosing the perfect massage gun to manage your plantar fasciitis. We’ll also offer some tips on how to use a massage gun to treat your plantar fasciitis safely and effectively.
Let’s dive in…
- Why Trust this Guide and Some Disclaimers
- How to Choose a Massage Gun for Plantar Fasciitis and Foot Pain
- Best Massage Guns for Plantar Fasciitis – Our Picks Explained
- Which Theragun for Plantar Fasciitis?
- Which Hypervolt for Plantar Fasciitis?
- Massage Gun for Plantar Fasciitis – Conclusion
Why Trust this Guide and Some Disclaimers
Before we look into what makes a great massage gun for plantar fasciitis, we have to say that this article will not give medical advice.
We are not Physiotherapists and we certainly don’t hold any degrees in medicine. However, we have plenty of knowledge about massage guns.
This article should be viewed entirely from a consumer point of view. We test a lot of massage guns.
Lastly, we don’t just recommend a single product so that it sounds like some kind of internet marketing campaign. We give alternatives and explain our reasoning behind them.
This way you can make an educated buying decision.
For those in a hurry…
If you can’t read through the entire post, and would rather quickly get your recommendation and get off to buy it, we have these two products to recommend:
- Ekrin B37 – the most versatile massage gun in our opinion. It’s perfectly balanced and compact, has a lifetime warranty, and is amazingly affordable.
- Achedaway Pro – The most powerful option. It’s perfect for athletes with plantar fasciitis. It has the best stroke length to give you a punchy massage.
Please read on to find out why we have recommended the two above, see our other recommendations, and learn what you should pay attention to when choosing a device.
How to Choose a Massage Gun for Plantar Fasciitis and Foot Pain
Plantar fasciitis affects the sole of your foot. There are several ways to treat and manage this condition.
Massage therapy is one of the ways to manage it – this can be effectively done using a massage gun.
Now, there are certain aspects of a massage gun that you should keep in mind if you want to get the right device to manage your plantar fasciitis: stroke length and stall force.
Why Stroke Length?
Stroke length, or otherwise known as amplitude refers to the distance traveled by the massage gun head during the percussion.
This distance is important in determining what kind of a massage you can get from a particular device. A massage gun with a high amplitude is suitable for a deep tissue massage – which is most likely to be effective for treating plantar fasciitis.
A massage gun with 15-16mm amplitude punches the hardest and is perfect for a deep tissue massage, while one with 8-10mm amplitude doesn’t punch as hard and can only deliver surface-level massage – vibrational therapy.
But do you need a high amplitude massage gun to treat plantar fasciitis?
Well, for mere foot massage, you don’t need an aggressive massage gun – a massage gun with 15-16mm amplitude would be considered an aggressive massage gun in this case.
But here’s the thing, to treat plantar fasciitis experts recommend that you don’t focus solely on the bottom of your feet. Before heading straight to the foot, other areas of your leg should be massaged first. These include the hip or glute area, calves, shins and the sides of your ankles – these are key muscles that need to be warmed up and relaxed before you move on to the bottom of your foot.
As it turns out, some of these areas have large muscles that need an aggressive massage to get them ready. That is why we recommend a massage gun with enough amplitude. Not necessarily 15-16mm (unless you are a bodybuilder and have huge muscles), but something mid-range.
In our definition, midrange amplitude should be about 12-13mm. This is not too aggressive but also not too vibrational.
What about Stall Force – Why is it Important?
So, stall force refers to the pressure needed to stall the motor of a massage gun. The more pressure a massage gun can withstand, the more effective it can be during a massage.
Here, devices with 30lbs. or less are considered entry-level. Mid-level devices should be able to withstand 35-50lbs. of pressure, while strong devices can have 50-60lbs. of stall force – these don’t stall easily.
Stall force is an important consideration because most of the time it goes hand in glove with the amplitude. While you don’t necessarily need a lot of stall force to massage your feet – it’s mostly just passing the massage gun head over the muscle and letting it do the work, maybe a few gentle presses here and there for trigger points – you still require a strong device to massage large muscle areas like your quads, glutes, and hamstring. For deep tissue massage in these areas, you’ll require considerable pressure.
We suggest settling for a sweet spot and picking a massage gun that is universal – not too weak, but not too strong either. We’ll throw in a number and say go for a massage gun that promises 35-50lbs. of stall force.
Don’t forget that it should be paired with just enough amplitude. With this kind of massage gun, you should be able to treat your plantar fasciitis and also massage the rest of your body when needed.
What Else to Look For
Apart from amplitude and stall force, here are a few other aspects that you should look out for when selecting a plantar fasciitis massage gun:
- Percussion range – This shouldn’t be a big concern because most massage guns have a decent range. Keep in mind that devices with long amplitudes (15-16mm) tend to have fewer maximum percussions compared to devices that have say, 12mm amplitude. In our experience, most devices with higher amplitude tend not to rev over 2800rpm. Those with 12mm or so, tend to rev up to 3200rpm.
- Number of Speeds and Programs – We’d say 4 to 5 speeds is about enough, but you’ll find some guns with up to 8 speeds. That is okay. However, some guns promise up to 20 or 30 speeds. This makes it complicated and there is no added value.
- Noise – We shortlisted devices with 65dB as the maximum noise level. This should be enough to have a conversation during a massage. Sometimes brands understate noise levels and we always check with our decibel meters for accurate levels.
- Ergonomics – You should be able to comfortably hold your massage gun during a massage. We appreciate brands that try to come up with something other than the cliché T-shape design. Ekrin B37 is a good example with its angled handle. Look out also for a rubberized handle for better grip.
- Weight – A good massage gun should be heavy enough not to feel like a toy. However, anything over the 2.5lbs mark isn’t optimal in our opinion.
- Attachments – You’ll typically need 4-5 attachments to give you options for a full body massage. For the feet, you’ll need a standard ball attachment, a bullet head for trigger points, and maybe a softer one for pain areas. You’ll also need a flat head for large muscle groups.
- Battery capacity and time on battery – This shouldn’t be an issue as well because most guns have decent battery capacity. If you use the device sparingly, you should have enough juice to last you for 1-2 weeks. Bigger batteries tend to add more weight to the gun.
- Warranty offered – Cheap massage guns will offer a 1-year warranty or nothing at all. Best brands will offer a lifetime warranty.
- Overall value for money – cheap is expensive, but don’t break your bank for a device that doesn’t offer much.
Best Massage Guns for Plantar Fasciitis – Our Picks Explained
Perhaps one of the most versatile massage guns on the market right now and one of our favorites.
Ekrin launched their company with this gun and so far it’s been a great device to have. It has so much going for it, and best of all, it has all the proper aspects for a plantar fasciitis massage gun.
For starters, it has an angled handle that makes its ergonomics excellent. This reduces stress and fatigue on the wrist during a massage.
But the best characteristics of this gun come where it really matters – performance! It has a 12mm amplitude which is just perfect to relieve foot pain. It doesn’t hit too hard, and it’s not vibrational either – exactly as you need it to be.
Remember how we said that you need a bit of pressure for the quads and hamstrings? Well, this percussion massager has up to 56lbs. of stall force. This is enough to apply pressure on those large muscles.
The B37 has a percussion range of 1400-3200 across 5 speeds. We love that range because it means you can start real slow before you crank up the intensity when you need it.
It comes with 4 attachments, including the most effective heads for a good foot massage.
The build is great with quality materials used. It feels premium in hand. It’s a quiet massage gun with a more than decent battery that can last for up to 8 hours with a single charge.
If you love brands that take care of you, then you’ll love Ekrin because they offer a lifetime warranty for all their products.
It’s a good bargain as well, it usually costs $229.99 but if you use the MGA20 coupon in Ekrin’s store, you can get it for $183.99 (20% off).
PRO TIP Overall, we believe this is the perfect massage gun to treat your plantar fasciitis. If you want more power, check out their B37S model – it has 30% more stall force for each speed gear, a pressure sensor, and an extra attachment.
Achedaway Pro – For Athletes
If you are the kind of person that won’t settle for inbetweeners and would rather go for the biggest and “baddest” device available, then this one is for you.
The Achedaway Pro doesn’t kid around. It has everything switched to ultimate – especially when it comes to performance, which is what really matters if you want the pain in your foot to go away.
Now you’ve heard us talk about stall force and amplitude in this article. Well, here’s a massage gun with a high amplitude and a lot of stall force. Is it good? That depends on what your needs are. Athletes will love this device.
Athletes want a device that can dig deep into their well-developed muscles and this massage gun will do just that. With the 16mm amplitude, it can punch harder than most massage guns.
We are used to Theragun when it comes to 16mm amplitude, and this is something of that caliber.
Speaking of Theragun caliber, the Achedaway Pro promises up to 80lbs. of advertised stall force (feels closer to 60lbs. though). That is Theragun Pro-like – the best in the business. It has a percussion range of 1700-2800rpm – better than Theragun and enough hits per minute for a foot massage.
It has a 3200mAh capacity battery. Seems huge but gets drained pretty quick. The Ekrin B37 will give you more time on battery than the 2-4 hours that you can get here.
If you plan to use it extensively, you’ll need to buy it with a spare battery. It’s as quiet as the B37 above but the quietest among guns with high stroke lengths. It’s also weighty – 2.6lbs, given the power, it’s understandable.
It comes with a 2-year warranty. Not as good as Ekrin but better than most brands – including Theragun Elite and Hypervolt.
It costs $299 but with the MGA25 code, you can get it for $274 – a $25 discount.
If the price of the two devices above feel like something you cannot afford, here’s something that is wallet-friendly.
The Addsfit Max is a simple device – typical T-shape design – but it has everything you need to alleviate the pain from plantar fasciitis.
For starters, just like Ekrin B37, it has a 12mm amplitude which we have said is a sweet spot. It’s not as powerful as any of the two devices that we just saw, but we believe that 35lbs. of stall force is still enough to get most of the job done.
We guess 80% of people will find this amount of power adequate. You’ll still be able to press the gun against the skin, and it should be able to withstand some pressure.
Don’t expect it to hit as deep as either of the above guns but you can expect 1700 to 3300 hits per minute. This is a decent range to get a good massage in. It has 9 speeds, perhaps one gear too many but not as annoying as say, 20 speeds (looking at you, Legiral Le3).
It comes with 5 attachments that are nicely varied to give you as many options as you require. It weighs just 2lbs, which is great if you need to use it for longer sessions.
The battery is decent as well, 2500mAh, and you can expect it to run for 5-6 hours before you need to charge it again.
You can get an extension on the warranty from 1 to 3 years if you register your device on their website.
Also, it only costs $149.98 or just $119 if you use the code MGA20 that gives you a 20% discount. Get in here at addsfit.com.
Which Theragun for Plantar Fasciitis?
Theraguns are celebrities of the massage guns and for good reason too, they started the whole percussion massagers thing. But they are big names because they are top of the shelf in terms of performance.
The current 4th generation devices, apart from Theragun mini, which is a new category, all have 16mm amplitude. It’s the stall force that differs across the board.
But which one is the best for managing plantar fasciitis? We have seen a video of Dr. Jason Wersland, the founder of Theragun, using Theragun Pro to explain how to treat plantar fasciitis.
However, we don’t believe you need the premium $599 Pro to massage your legs and feet. In our opinion, the entry-level Theragun Prime is enough for the average Joe. It has 30lbs. of stall force to go with the long stroke length. That isn’t much power but it’s enough for a surface-level massage with enough push for areas that need it.
But if you are an amateur athlete and you want to buy a Theragun, we recommend getting the Elite model. It has better specs than the Prime. It also offers the best value for money across all the 4th gen devices. To top it all off, it has 40lbs. of stall force. That falls within our recommended range and then some. It’s also quieter than both Prime and pro. But Theraguns are slightly noisier than our picks above.
- Even the entry-level Prime costs more than any of the guns we’ve mentioned above. Elite is even more expensive, and the Pro costs $599 – extortionate!
- Warranty is disappointing with just 1 year for all the guns except Theragun pro which has a 2-year warranty.
Which Hypervolt for Plantar Fasciitis?
Hyperice Hypervolt is another household name as far as massage guns are concerned – head to head with Therabody and their Theraguns.
But is any Hypervolt good enough to treat plantar fasciitis? Yes, but which one?
Is there a difference between the two available choices?
Well, there is, and it’s quite clear. The original silver Hypervolt has only 10mm of stroke length and a stall force of about 30-35lbs. The Hypervolt Plus on the other hand has a respectable 14mm amplitude (we had to measure it because Hyperice doesn’t say what it is) and an estimated 45lbs. of stall force, which makes it a proper percussive therapy device.
PRO TIP You can find all the differences in our detailed Hypervolt vs Hypervolt Plus comparison.
To treat plantar fasciitis, if you just want to massage your feet, shins, and calves, the silver Hypervolt is an acceptable choice. It won’t be good enough for deep tissue – especially for large muscles – but it will get the easy job done.
However, if you want a serious Hypervolt, we suggest going for the more expensive Plus model. The price difference is about $80 but you are getting a percussive device rather than a vibrational one. You are also getting plenty of power to dig into large leg muscles.
But the good news is that Hyperice recently reduced the prices of their devices again. The regular silver was $299 but now it’s down to $249, while the Plus version is down to $349. There is only a 1-year warranty for any of the 2 devices and you won’t get any carrying case.
Massage Gun for Plantar Fasciitis – Conclusion
If you have leg pain or you have been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, massage guns can help alleviate the problem. We wanted to explain that you don’t necessarily need the most powerful massage gun to help with the problem.
One of our recommendations above can be the best massage gun for plantar fasciitis.
Theraguns and Hypervolts are good devices from giants in the industry and you can absolutely go for them if you have the budget.
But if you want the best bang for your buck, Ekrin B37 is the gun for you.
Or, if you prefer a higher amplitude and more stall force, then the Achedaway Pro has got you covered. All at an affordable price!
- Christopher Yelverton, corresponding author Sunil Rama and Bernhard Zipfel. Manual therapy interventions in the treatment of plantar fasciitis: A comparison of three approaches. U.S. National Library of Medicine, Published online 2019 Sep 25. doi: 10.4102/hsag.v24i0.1244.
- Federica Petraglia, Ileana Ramazzina and Cosimo Costantino. Plantar fasciitis in athletes: diagnostic and treatment strategies. A systematic review. Published online 2017 May 10. doi: 10.11138/mltj/2017.7.1.107.
- Melvin TJ, Tankersley ZJ, Qazi ZN, Jasko JJ, Odono R, Shuler FD. Primary Care Management of Plantar Fasciitis. W V Med J. 2015 Nov-Dec;111(6):28-32. PMID: 26665894.
NOTE: We only use high-quality sources and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations to support the facts within our articles.
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