Almost every professional or amateur athlete deals with muscle stiffness after a workout. To get back on track faster, many have included a therapeutic massage as a part of their post-workout recovery. However, going to a therapist regularly is both time-consuming and costly. Recently, an increasing number of people have been giving trust to massage guns, which have proven to be as effective as massage therapy — but much more affordable in the long run.
Be that as it may, many people still have doubts wondering are percussion massagers safe to use at home. In this blog, we will provide you with the answer to this question and all the do’s and don’ts of massage guns, so make sure to read it all the way to the end.
Are Percussion Massagers Safe?
Let’s cut to the chase and give you the answer immediately. Massage guns are perfectly safe as long as you use them properly. But, what actually is the proper use?
Although it may seem pretty straightforward, it’s still worth mentioning the right steps in using a massage gun. First of all, we recommend following the manual included for everything you need to know about your model of massage gun.
Generally, what you need to know is to point the massage gun at a targeted area about an inch away and let it pulsate back and forth. It’s advised that you turn the massager on before applying it, otherwise, it may sometimes cause bruising.
Also, you should begin at the lowest speed, especially if you are a first-time user. Don’t apply additional pressure on the muscles, as you can end up with damaged tissue as a result. Make sure to assess your tolerance level so you don’t cause any strong pains; that does more harm than good.
When To Use a Massage Gun?
Massage guns work as a vibration therapy and target specific areas to help promote blood flow and reduce tension. They are mainly perceived as a post-workout recovery device, however, the benefits of percussion massage go beyond the after-training recovery. There are also other situations when it is desirable to use a massage gun.
Before a workout
A massage gun can also be used as a warm-up tool before you start exercising. It increases blood flow and prepares muscles for the workout. For the best muscle activation, apply the gun for 30 seconds and make sure to aim at the muscle group you are going to train.
During a workout
You can also take advantage of a massage gun during a workout. After one or two sets of exercises, your muscles usually feel tightened, so try using percussion massage to relax them. Boost your muscles with a 15-minute massage treatment mid-workout, and you will be ready for the next set in no time.
After a workout
As the primary goal of a massage gun is to lessen muscle soreness and stiffness, they are most commonly used as a part of post-workout recovery. The best practice is to use it within 48 hours following a workout. This process should last 2 minutes and can be repeated throughout the day with at least 1-2 hours rest in between.
Do’s of a Massage Gun
The benefits of using massage guns are numerous. Among other things, it is safe to use a massage gun to:
- Reduce muscle soreness and stiffness
- Lessen muscle pain
- Promote relaxation
- Enhance tissue repair
- Improve range of motion
It needs to be reiterated that massage guns are safe only if you use them correctly. If you have any injury or medical condition, you should ask your doctor whether a massage gun is the right choice for you.
Don’ts of a Massage Gun
However, every health-related device can come with certain risks. That is why it is of the utmost importance to get familiar with the right procedure for using that device. When it comes to massage guns, this is what you should know.
Massage guns should not be used for:
This condition occurs when muscles are stretched over their normal range of motion, usually resulting from overuse or sudden movement that tears the muscle. Muscle sprains are very painful, and if you apply a massage gun on that spot, you could cause further damage.
When there is an overstimulation of a specific area, inflammation can happen as a result. In this case, massage guns should be avoided as they can only increase the problem. These are inflammation concerns:
- Inflammation of connective tissue
- Inflammation of any tendon
- Inflammation of the periosteum, which is a connective tissue surrounding bone
- Inflammation of the bursae, which are fluid-filled sacks that cushion bones from tendons and muscles
Never use a massage gun on, or near a broken bone. Even when you are cast-free, and the pain lessens, it is not recommended to start with a massage because the percussion force can cause severe pain and damage your newly mended bone.
If you have some of the following conditions, you should be very cautious when it comes to a massage gun. That doesn’t mean you definitely have to steer clear of percussion therapy, but make sure you talk to your doctor before giving it a try. The conditions are:
- Severe varicose veins
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Osteoporosis (bone degeneration)
- Other conditions that affect your blood vessels, such as atherosclerosis, peripheral artery disease, deep vein thrombosis, or arteriosclerosis
- Muscular dystrophy or other muscle disorders
- Autoimmune conditions such as lupus, scleroderma, and multiple sclerosis
- Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, or gout
Now that you have become familiar with all the positive sides and necessary precautions you must take when it comes to percussion massagers, you are ready to give it a try and reap the benefits. We need to reiterate the answer the question are percussion massagers safe; massage guns are completely safe if you use them in a proper way. So, give it a go and enjoy!