The Hydragun HeatPulse massager is perfect for the walking golfer for recovery and pain relief
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The Hydragun HeatPulse massager is perfect for the walking golfer for recovery and pain relief


I'm reluctant to admit it, but I'm getting old.

I am about to turn 41 -- the day after when this article is published -- and the occasional pains of life are starting to creep up on me more frequently.

That's not a reason to stop being active, though. I'm not going to stop being a walking golfer just because a few things might hurt the morning after a day of 9, 18 or 36 on my hilly home course. And that's to say nothing of the occasional run, hike, swim or afternoon of racquet sports.

Between golf, tennis and pickleball, the two things that bother me most are my knees and my right elbow. They're the classic pain points for a person like me. While I can occasionally use a hot tub or a soaking tub to help with those pains, it's just easier to have something I can put on, lay on the couch and get some relief.

That's why I wanted to try out the Hydragun HeatPulse knee massager. I know that my small pains are only going to get more annoying as I get older, so I wanted to see what it would be like to have a convenient product that can both heat and massage my knees and elbows. Hydragun sent the product to me for review.

The Hydragun HeatPulse knee massager, which retails for $169, is a bit of a misnomer. The product can be worn on your knees, elbows and, with the extending strap, shoulders. The versatility is quite appealing.

This is the second generation of this product, and it has several apparent improvements over the original version, including being able to use the massaging and heating functions independent of one another. After all, sometimes you just need one or the other, not both.

The product fits comfortably around my leg, and that's where a lot of my muscle mass sits, so that's great. The improved, longer straps are easy to adjust to get the right fit on where you need it.

There's a control pod that connects to the sleeve magnetically and is charged over USB using the common charging cables we all have (one is included). It'll take a few hours to charge it in full, but then the control pod can be used for up to three hours -- or six of the recommended 30-minute sessions. The pod is easy to use, with touch-sensitive buttons for power, heat control, massage control and a lock function.

On the heat side, temperatures start at 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) and go up to 70 degrees Celsius (158 degrees Fahrenheit). The heat is delivered via infrared graphene technology, which offers constant, gentle heat.

There are three speeds on the massager, and there are two pulse, vibrating cores in the pad that target both sides of the knee, elbow or shoulder blade.

I had never really used a product like this before, and it was wonderful. I waited to try it specifically until I had some pain from a long day of walking the course. I put it on in the morning, used the controls very easily and then just sat around and waited for it to work on my knee. They recommend either sitting or lying down when using it on the knee, and I could feel the relief right away. The combination of the pulsing massage on both sides of my knee cap (and then my right elbow after that) and the heat is just what I need. The pulsing was just the right frequency, even at the highest speed, and the heat felt constant and consistent throughout the heating zone. I could just set it and forget it.

After the half-hour massage, it turned itself off, and I took it off. My knee felt great. I rinsed and repeated on the elbow.

For the foreseeable future, I'd use the product for recovery, not for daily use. This could be something I take on a buddy trip when I need to power through multiple rounds of golf in a day or a long week. Use it in the morning before playing or right after before bed.

However, the company recommends using it for 30 minutes each day for consistent pain. That could be especially helpful for people with chronic problems, including arthritis.

There are cheaper versions of this product on the market if you went looking for them, but this is the kind of product that is worth paying for the proper design. The utility is tremendous, and the convenience makes it so easy to use. If you're hurting, why not use something that can diminish that or take it away entirely with just a little bit of effort? This product is a winner for me.

About the author

Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for nearly 20 years. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He is currently a +2.6 USGA handicap, and he has covered dozens of major championships and professional golf tournaments. He likes writing about golf and making it more accessible by answering the complex questions fans have about the pro game or who want to understand how to play golf better.

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