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Are massage guns worth it? Only if you find feeling better valuable

There's only one inconvenient drawback to this fine machine.
Written by Chris Matyszczyk, Contributing Writer
Reviewed by Alyson Windsor

It works.

Chris Matyszczyk/ZDNET

I was in a vulnerable position.

Face down and in considerable pain.

Suddenly, a man's voice: "Right, now I'm going to gun you."

"You're going to what?"

"You've never had this before?" said the man. "It's really good."

And so it was that buzzing began and incited a very strange sensation.

I should point out that the man was a physical therapist and no one was harmed in the making of this column. I had a hamstring injury, thank you for asking, and my physical therapist was committed in his gun-toting faith.

This gun, you see, was called a Hypervolt.

The Hypervolt, quite naturally, has a florid description on Amazon: "Hypervolt Bluetooth, Featuring Quiet Glide Technology - Handheld Percussion Massage Gun | 3 Speeds, 5 Interchangeable Heads | Helps Relieve Sore Muscles and Stiffness (Hypervolt w/ Bluetooth)."

Equally naturally, if you've named your product the Hypervolt, you're prone to hyperbole.

Hark at this from the manufacturer, Hyperice: "The game changer. The first percussion massage device to deliver so much power so quietly, the original Hypervolt changed the game for premium percussion devices worldwide."

Also: Hyperice Normatec 3 Legs review: Recharge like a pro athlete

I'm always concerned when a company claims to have changed the game. I keep wondering which game they're talking about. I will confess, though, that after my physical therapist had gunned me for at least 20 minutes, my hamstring felt less tight.

So much so that I decided to invest in one of these Hypervolts.

It has five attachments. However, I tend to use the sharpest one that feels like it gets through the most aggressively. I also tend to turn it up to the fastest of the three speeds because that's what my physical therapist did and I take orders easily.

There's another aspect to the Hypervolt that some may find attractive. In the manufacturer's words: "Do not disturb. Keep the conversation going -- the Hypervolt won't interrupt. Thanks to our patented QuietGlide technology the Hypervolt provides relief almost silently."

In my words: Well, that's mostly true. But it does make something of a buzzing noise at the highest speed, but certainly not loud enough to put you off or to stop you from lying down and letting someone else gun your hamstring.

Here, you see, is the one slight drawback of this very fine machine. It's not exactly easy to gun your own hamstring. You can't get yourself into a comfortable position, unless you're an extremely talented contortionist (disclosure: I'm not), and maneuver the gun into the most sore of places.

It's great for calves, legs and arms. But the hamstring, not so much. I therefore have to negotiate with my wife for Hypervolting time.

I bought my Hypervolt three years ago and it still functions perfectly well. I imagine, then, that the later versions function even better. That's how technology is supposed to be, right?

Is it worth the $199 that I currently see on Amazon? I can only answer that by asking how much is it worth to you to feel at least a little better?

Or, indeed, to help someone else feel a little better during this difficult holiday period.

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