How to Use a Massage Gun for Knots: A Complete Guide

Who isn’t familiar with the excruciating discomfort that comes with a painful knot or sore muscle? But surprisingly, not many know the root cause of the problem or how they should go about treating it.

The hot water bath method doesn’t always work for everyone, and you may still be left with aching muscles and uncomfortable knots. However, the best massage gun can be a game-changer and relieve you from pain.

Here you’ll learn how to use a massage gun for muscle knots. The right percussion gun can help you focus on the target muscle group or knots for instant pain relief.

Get Started With a Massage Gun for Knots

A massage gun can surely reduce your pain, but we recommend you use one carefully. They’re only meant to be used for muscle and joint pain — not on your bones. 

Using a massage tool on a bony area can put it at risk for further injury, which is why you should avoid using massage guns on your face, forehead, spine, and other bony areas.

Remember, a massage gun won’t always rescue you and can even do more harm than good for muscle recovery and tension if not used properly.

However, adopting these necessary precautions will mean effectively using a massage gun and percussive therapy to relieve yourself from stubborn knots:

  • Make sure to check out the speed settings and attachment heads before you use the percussion massager on your muscles. This will help you maintain control over the gun and its application.
  • Gently place the massage gun where you feel the tension or knot. It’s not necessary for you to apply any force or pressure on the gun; simply allow it to rest on the knot for some time.
  • Start moving the gun slowly over the affected area. Keep in mind the movement should not be faster than one inch per second. Steady and controlled movements will ease the pain sooner.
  • Let the gun rest on knots and other tenuous areas for some time.
  • Take calm and steady breaths while you use the gun. This will help you relax, enhance the blood flow, and ease muscle tension, muscle soreness, and tight muscles.

How Does a Massage Gun Help With Knots and Muscle Relief?

how to use a massage gun for knots

A massage gun is a handheld device that mimics traditional massage therapy by using vibrations of varying intensities. It uses vibration therapy, or percussive therapy, and repeatedly targets the affected area to treat painful knots. 

The vibration penetrates deep and helps break up the knots and tension built up in the muscles. A massage gun repeatedly loosens the knots, improving blood supply and decreasing inflammation and tension in joints and muscles.

Improved blood circulation means more blood and oxygen for the affected muscle parts, relaxing them and breaking up the troubling muscles’ knots.

How to Use a Massage Gun for Knots: Risks and Precautions

A percussion massager is an excellent device for getting rid of bothersome muscle knots, provided that you use it in line with some precautions. After all, like any other apparatus, they also carry some risks.

Also, each individual is different, and there’s no single massage gun that suits all. One person may feel extreme relief after using a percussion massage gun, while for another, the muscle pain may worsen and become more unbearable – it’s all a matter of proper usage.

Look out for the following while using a massage gun to ensure you get all the benefits:

Improper use

Muscle tissue is pretty resilient, but that doesn’t make them immune to injuries and damage resulting from significant and repeated pressure. Excessively deep pressure on affected areas is one of the main reasons the pain worsens after using a massage device.

Muscle Contractions

Massage guns can stimulate extra contractions in a muscle that’s already overly tense, resulting in even more pain. This generally happens when you try treating a muscle injury that’s not meant to be treated by a massage gun. When in doubt, ask your doctor.

Possibility of Additional Damage

A massage gun can damage a part of your muscle that was initially fine while attempting to treat another area. This happens when sensitive nerves get disturbed or, perhaps, a blood vessel gets ruptured. 

But the primary reason for this mishap is the massage gun’s uncontrolled movement and wrong placement. Always use a massage gun with great caution or hand it over to an expert, such as a massage therapist.

Prevention of Muscle Knots

Muscle knots restrict your movements and cause pain and sore muscles. Some common causes of knots are:

  • Poor posture
  • Sitting in the same position for too long (prolonged sitting)
  • Stress, sudden movements or jerks, etc.

Muscle knots are often found in the shoulders and back. They’re also common among athletes and sportspersons, probably due to their intense training regimens and tough workouts.

If you’re knot free, we know you’d probably like to keep it that way. Keep these tips in mind to help prevent muscle knots from forming:

  • Stretching: This relaxes any muscle stiffness and releases tension.
  • Hot and Cold Compressions: Apply hot and cold compresses or use a hot water bath or ice pack to stop knots from forming. Cold reduces the swelling of muscles, while heat relieves tension from the knots.
  • Exercise and Movement: Move your muscles regularly and do simple aerobic exercises from time to time. This improves blood flow and relaxes muscles.

Bottom Line

A muscle massage gun is a handy tool that you can carry anywhere and use when you feel pain or discomfort. It’s essential that you know how to use a massage gun for knots and the areas it’ll be most effective on.

That said, we cannot stress enough the importance of buying the best massage gun for your needs, be it for knots, pregnancy, or even cellulite.