Years ago, Jason S. Wersland, DC, was involved in a debilitating motorcycle accident that caused a disc herniation and intense pain. As a passionate chiropractor, he was faced with a few problems; the injury prevented him from doing his job and he determined that the tools available to the general public lacked proficiency in minimizing or eradicating pain. So he set out to address both.
This led to the creation of the TheraGun, a device that relies on what he calls neuromuscular percussive therapy to intercept the brain’s response to pain, treat lactic acid-filled muscles and other muscular conditions.
“Similar to Randy Hetrick's story behind creating the suspension trainer, Dr. Jason Wersland never intended to create a product to sell,” says Lissa Bankston, Lissa Bankston, director of human performance at TheraGun and TRX Senior Course Instructor. “As a chiropractor, Dr. Jason just wanted to be pain-free so he could get back to doing what he loves: helping others. Like the TRX suspension trainer, TheraGun was created out of necessity and brought to life to help others. It is the combination of sacrifice and passion that pioneered the first handheld percussive device built to help others live a better, pain-free life.”
Before discovering the TheraGun, Bankston regularly used a foam roller for myofascial release and recovery, but felt that it had its limits in effectiveness and user proficiency.
“It’s not pleasant; I cannot reach all spots, and there is a skill to proper and effective foam rolling that takes time to learn and achieve,” says the coach. “Most of my clients are not patient enough or not disciplined enough to do this well.”
She now uses the TheraGun as her primary tool for improved myofascial release, pain management and better mobility for herself and her clients. She says that it’s also useful for muscle activation, joint range of motion and enhances exercise recovery—all things that lead to a better quality movement experience.
Here, she explains a bit about the science behind the device and neuromuscular percussive therapy:
“Pain typically manifests as one specific frequency and the brain has a hierarchy and sequence to how it recognizes and responds to that frequency. TheraGun's specific frequency (33-40Hz/ 2000-2500 RPM's) interjects that hierarchy and blocks the pain signal. This stimulation changes our perception of pain while the amplitude (range) allows for a full half-inch (16mm) of penetration to reach more depth and breadth of the muscle. The combination of the frequency and amplitude provides a deep percussive massage which eliminates pain, increases mobility and enhances performance.”
Bankston will share insights on these topics and why the TheraGun is her go-to myofascial release tool at the TRX Summit.
“It goes back to our specific high-amplitude, high-frequency and no-bottom-out torque,” she says. “Because you can get a half-inch of penetration into the muscle, you can treat more muscle—both area and depth—with less pain.”
Bankston has also found that it’s been helpful to improve movement dysfunction.
“TRX course education is built around foundational movement standards which increase results, prevents injuries and ultimately makes us move better,” she says. “Many times the standard of movement is compromised based on our client’s personal foundation, i.e. previous injury, previous training habits, poor posture, etc.”
This makes activity preparation and recovery an essential component to any individual’s training program, Bankston says. If a client’s structural deficiencies get in the way of her ability to crush a workout, then she’s less likely to achieve her goals.
“Using TheraGun prior to movement significantly changes the body's readiness and response to movement,” she explains. “Taking 1-2 minutes to sweep the body with the TheraGun G2PRO™ wakes the body up by stimulating the muscles and increasing blood flow. This reduces pain, increases mobility, and improves muscle acceleration contributing to a better standard of movement. It can also reduce warm-up time so that you can get into the workout quicker without compromising the body.”
She concludes, “Without a doubt, using TheraGun helps you and your clients recover quicker and more effectively so you can get back to doing more of what you love.”
Who doesn’t want a piece of that?
TheraGun is an official sponsor of the 2018 TRX Training Summit, which will take place on May 4-5th in Austin, Texas.