Percussive Therapy vs. Vibration Therapy - A Detailed Comparison

Percussive Therapy vs. Vibration Therapy - A Detailed Comparison

What is Vibration Therapy

As the name suggests, vibration therapy uses vibrating movements in order to relax your body. It can either be localized or a full body therapy. The latter uses a platform for the individual to stand on whereas localized vibration uses a hand held device for more effectiveness.

What is Percussion Therapy 

Percussive therapy, on the other hand, applies force to a specific body part. It reaches deeper into the muscle in order to improve blood flow and oxygen required for recovery.

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How Vibration Therapy Works

When using a device for vibration therapy, keeping a pressure intensity level of 11lbs is optimal.

The time duration of each session varies depending upon the problem you are facing. Mild muscle soreness can be fixed by 15-20 minutes of therapy; however, a 30 minute session is considered effective (for the entire body).

For those suffering from cramps and muscle soreness in a specific area, a 45 minute session is a must in order to recover quickly. Research shows that regular vibration therapy sessions will help you recover within 48-72 hours.

How Percussive Therapy Works

In percussive therapy, the general pressure intensity level is 30 lbs for the most effective results. Percussion Therapy is considered to be more effective than vibration therapy as the machine goes 65% deeper into the muscles thereby allowing more blood circulation and oxygen as compared to the latter.

How often should you use a percussion massage gun for maximum benefit?

Because it is more intense, it is important to ensure that a percussion therapy session does not exceed 15 minutes on each massage group. Each interaction with the body should not last for more than 30 seconds.

In the debate of percussion vs. vibration, both are considered equally effective but they work differently. Vibration therapy is considered more effective in showing results and completely eliminating muscle soreness, whereas percussion therapy is more effective in providing immediate relief. 

Benefits of Vibration Therapy:

  •   Alleviates stress by relaxing the muscles
  •   Increases blood flow by a significant amount
  •   Causes muscle stimulation by contracting and relaxing them involuntarily
  •   Soothes pain caused by sore muscles
  •   Aids in weight loss by burning body fat
  •   Improves flexibility of muscles
  •   Can treat diseases like Parkinson’s

Benefits of Percussion Therapy: 

  •   Decreases the production of lactic acid (which is what causes muscle soreness in the first place)
  •   Improves the body’s range of movement
  •   Hydrates the soft tissue into deep muscles
  •   Highly effective in decreasing pain in deep-tissue recovery
  •   Goes deeper into the muscles as compared to other forms of therapy
  •   Increases blood flow and oxygen (more than vibration therapy)
  •   Interruptions in body contact account for increased effectiveness

Best Vibration Therapy Devices

For vibration therapy, if you prefer a full body machine, you can opt for the Confidence Fitness Vibration machine. It has 50 different speed levels and a maximum capacity of 300 lbs, which means it is generally safe for all individuals. 

On the other hand, if you are looking for a device to target a specific body area, then you can opt for the VT high frequency vibration machine. Its speed ranges from 25Hz-40Hz and it can withhold a capacity of 265 lbs. This device also comes with incl. bands.

Vibration foam roller is also used for vibration therapy. URBNFit foam roller is a very well know device for vibration therapy. Foam rolling after your workout increases flexibility, mobility, pliability, circulation, and reduces muscle soreness to help you recover quicker and get back to the gym. 


Best Percussion Therapy Devices

For percussion therapy, the best percussion therapy gun is listed below. They are easily available on Amazon as well as other sites.

The first is the Vybe Pro Model Percussion Massage Gun. It comes with 8 attachments and 9 different speed settings. The best thing about the device is that it is not too loud thus offers a peaceful and relaxing therapy. Moreover, it is portable, making it easy for you to use anywhere around the house and especially while traveling.

The Vybe V2 massage gun model is not as quiet as the Pro model but it is more powerful. You can take it to as high as 2400 strokes per minute or a minimum of 500 strokes if you prefer a lower speed. It may be a hefty investment for some as it has a price tag of $150. But it is also worth the money as it comes with high quality accessories.

The third, device that you can use for the best percussion therapy experience is the Vybe Premium massage gun. Not only is it quiet, but as powerful as 3200 strokes per minute. The premium gun lives up to its name; it comes with 4 hours of battery life and 4 different heads. It is portable and hand-held, making it convenient to use and to target specific areas of the body.

What is Vibration Therapy Good For?

While vibration therapy can be used by anyone ranging from a young adult to an elder for relieving sore muscles and pain, it is generally more effective for specific age groups and segments. The perfect example is those who suffer from Parkinson’s disease. Since it leads to stiffness and muscle tremors, vibration therapy devices can help bring body movement back to normal. Moreover, vibration therapy is also recommended for muscle strength in older adults. It also helps to stimulate bone formulation.

Is Percussion Therapy Good For You? 

Yes! Both therapies are used for the same purpose, with the main difference between percussion therapy and vibration therapy being that percussion offers immediate relief on a specific body area. However, it is important to note that every individual’s body reacts differently to massage therapy.


In the debate between Percussion therapy vs. Vibration Therapy, percussion tends to be the clear winner. It is more effective because it reaches 60% deeper into the muscles. Another reason owing to its effectiveness is the fact that since it does not stay on the body continuously so the body does not get accumulated to it. It proves to have the same impact on each touch.