Here at Defy Sports Performance and Physiotherapy, we want to be up to date on anything that can help empower our clients to perform at their highest level. There seems to be new products and influencers constantly circulating social media with bold claims discussing the best exercise or recovery tool. These influencers or posts make claims regarding tools that are supposed to help with pain, circulation, mobility and other possible benefits. We want to use this series of blogs to break down these ideas or products, and how they may or may not help you. In this blog we will look at massage guns.
What is a massage gun?
They go by many names: percussive massage therapy, muscle gun or massage gun. These handheld devices use percussion to “massage” your body and muscles. There are varying price ranges that are often differentiated based on the quality of construction, power, speed, frequency and extra attachments.
What do they do?
You may hear many claims that these devices reduce muscle soreness, increase blood flow, increase muscle activation, reduce pain and improve performance. Often on social media, many athletes endorse these products with claims that they help them recover after their sport. Are any of these claims true?
Many of the benefits reported from massage guns are still based on theory and personal experiences. This is not to say that these claims are untrue, it’s simply because these products are relatively new and don’t have studies to back up the benefits. Recent studies have made the following claims about massage devices:
- They improve lower body range of motion when compared to foam rollers and other muscle release devices.
- They reduce delayed onset muscle soreness when used after training or exercise
- They do not increase muscle activation prior to exercise
- They do not improve force output of muscle before exercise
- They do reduce the perception of pain with muscle related pain
Should you use a massage gun?
Percussive massage devices are a tool that can help improve range of motion, decrease muscle soreness and reduce muscle pain. Also, they do not negatively impact force output or muscle activation. Based on these benefits, using a massage gun can be a beneficial tool to warm up and increase range of motion, to cool down to reduce muscle soreness, and for general maintenance to reduce muscle pain. However, this product is not recommended for everyone, and there are contraindications and precautions to using the massage gun. If you are unsure if massage guns are right for you, or if you are unsure how to properly use them, please consult any healthcare professional here at Defy.
- Can a massage gun harm you? It can if used improperly. You should not use it on an injured area such as a sprain, strain or bruise
- Which massage gun works best? Massage guns have varying degrees of settings and attachments making it difficult to determine which is best. Most on the market will achieve the results you are looking for.
- Is a massage gun really worth it? It can be a great tool to aid with muscle soreness and pain post workout. If you are constantly dealing with muscle soreness after exercise, it may be worth it to you.
WANT TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR MASSAGE GUN?
- We are able to help individuals of all ages and at all activity levels (recreational to competitive).
- We offer direct billing to most major insurance companies for the convenience of our clients.
- We have appointments as early as 7am and as late as 7:30pm to accommodate busy lifestyles.