Sunday 25th September, 2022

The simple, effective way to massage your hamstring muscles

Professional hamstring muscle massage
In this article we show you a simple, effective way to massage hamstring muscles yourself

If you have tight hamstrings professional therapists do a great job, but can be expensive, while conventional self massage using rollers can be difficult, not that effective , and you can easily hurt yourself. However, there’s a far easier, safer and more effective option: using vibration massage. In this article we’ll show you the best way to do this.


What is vibration massage
How to apply the massage
Extra hints to help you get the best results

What is vibration massage

The scientifically proven effects of vibration massage

For those not familiar with vibration massage this is where the head of a vibration massager is placed over the muscle allowing the therapeutic vibrations to penetrate and have the therapeutic effects shown in this diagram. For details please see The scientifically proven effects of vibration massage: with clinical applications. The advantages of vibration massage are:

  1. the vibrations are scientifically proven to have excellent therapeutic effects, and
  2. because it’s the vibrations that penetrate rather than needing physical penetration,
  • the vibrations can penetrate much deeper to get at the hard to get at spots
  • the is usually no pain
  • there is far less risk of causing any damage or injury
  • there is no special skill needed so you can easily do it yourself.

How to apply the massage

Massaging hamstring muscle
Massaging hamstring muscle: see video below for demonstration

It is incredibly easy to apply vibration massage to your hamstrings. We demonstrate this in the video below, and have some simple hints and precautions in the instructions section on our website, but basically all you need to do is sit the vibration massager on the part to be massaged and let the vibrations penetrate. You don’t need to press in or move the machine around. In fact that would be counter productive.

Video demonstration

To help you get the best results

  1. How long to massage for
  2. Warning about percussion massagers and percussion massage techniques
  3. How to choose an effective massager

How long to massage for

We cannot give specific advice to people who’s circumstances we don’t know, but we can tell you that proper professional vibration massagers work very fast. In one trial testing post exercise recovery 5 minutes of vibration massage gave a better result than 15 minutes of conventional massage, so applications of one minute for each spot are typical.

Don’t use percussion massagers (massage guns) or percussion massage techniques

While vibration massagers are designed to penetrate with therapeutic vibrations marketers have created a gimmick called percussion massage which is where instead the head of their machines is designed to drive into the muscle. Their advocates say that it makes them penetrate better, but if you understand anything about physics you’ll realise this is total garbage. Vibrations always penetrate much better than physical penetration. That’s why an earthquake can vibrate the ground and buildings will fall over 100s of km away. There are two main problems with percussion massagers.

Massage gun
Massage guns drive their heads in like jackhammers: less therapeutic vibration- more danger

Percussion massagers are less effective and more dangerous

As discussed in our article Do massage guns work, having their heads driving in like a jackhammer creates the possibility of doing damage while dramatically lessening the amount of therapeutic vibrations they deliver.

Axe vs chainsaw
Percussion massage techniques are like swinging a chainsaw like an axe

Percussion massagers encourage the wrong techniques

We’ve seen that vibration massagers penetrate with therapeutic vibrations, so you just need to sit the machine and let it do the work. However, because percussion massagers drive their heads into your muscles advocates teach using conventional massage techniques such as pressing in and moving the head around. To use an analogy, if you use percussion massage techniques with a genuine vibration massager it is like a lumberjack swinging a chainsaw like an axe.

How to choose a massager

This therapy works amazingly well, but you will need a decent professional strength vibration massager. Please see our article on how to choose one.They’re not that common though. Most of the massagers on the market are either ineffective consumer consumers, massage guns or both. That’s why a while back to get something decent for our patients we built our own. I’ll quickly show you them.

DrGraeme General Purpose Massager

The General Purpose Massager

This is our General Purpose Massager. We’ve had them for over a decade and they’re widely used and recommended by professionals across a number of countries. They’re very solid and reliable. The business end delivers strong therapeutic vibrations, and they have an ergonomically designed handle so you can easily use it anywhere on your body. More information

The DrGraeme Ultimate Quad Head Massager
The DrGraeme Ultimate Quad Head Massager

The Ultimate Quad Head Massager

The General Purpose Massagers do a fantastic job, but you’re limited to what’s under the head, so a while ago we built our quad head massager. It has all the benefits of the General Purpose Massager, but you can treat multiple trigger points at once. Another thing we found is that because this is larger and flatter than the single head machine it will sit nicely behind you or underneath if you use it like a chair or cushion massager. If you do that though just make sure you have about the same pressure on the machine as you would using it normally. More information


DrGraeme massagers were originally built by Dr Graeme for use in his clinic, and to prescribe to his patients for additional self use at home. Now these are used by colleagues and other professionals for similar purposes. If you are a professional and wish to know more about this therapy, or possibly get a sample massager to trial please check out our practitioner page.

We are continually adding more information on research and uses. Subscribe below to have us email them to you "hot off the press".

Dr Graeme

About Dr Graeme

Several years ago Dr Graeme, a Chiropractor practicing in Victoria, Australia was looking for a serious hand held massager his patients could use at home to get the extra quality massage they needed. The ones he found in the shops and on-line for home use looked nice but were not serious, and... read more

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