“Yes, You Need A Massage Gun” – Physical Therapist

If you are the type of person who finds relief and relaxation in getting a good massage, you’re probably one of those who love visiting spas. There is no denying that it has become challenging for some folks today to book a massage from spas because of the lockdowns.

You may find yourself looking on the net for an alternative tool so you don’t have to go outside and catch Covid-19, right?

So, what would physios like me can recommend in addressing your problem for a more professional approach? My answer would be, if you’re thinking what I’m thinking, “Yes, you need a massage gun”.

Massage guns are for the pros, will it work for a regular joe?

Though it is a fact that a massage gun was first introduced in the professional scene, this piece of innovation has evolved into many faces and uses. You’ve probably seen this equipment with athletes and gym enthusiasts incorporating it in their pre-and post-workout routine. But owning it is not limited to fitness, physical therapy, and sports.

While most people would be hesitant to get a massage gun because of the complexity of using it. I’d have to say devices like this have become user and client-friendly with the addition of some smart safety features.

But how does owning one reap the same rewards that health buffs enjoy?

Let’s discuss further some of the most important benefits of having an effective massage gun.

Better sleep

It’d be nice to have at least an eight-hour sleep daily.  But if some localized muscle stiffness gets in the way, you’re probably lucky to have a good six-hour sleep.

To relax before going to bed, it’s advisable to use the massage gun on painful areas for at least 3 minutes. This way the aching muscle relaxes with the massage gun’s action on blocking some pain signals in the brain; it prevents lactic acid from building up.

Improves muscle and joint flexibility

In the case of muscle spasms, strains, and sprains, it will be difficult for a person to move around or perform even simple muscle stretching. This is because the body’s range of motion (ROM) is limited by the injured and painful muscle or joint.

This is where a massage is beneficial if the acute body aches and pains limit a person to perform his activities of daily living (ADLs). A massage gun’s soft blows help relaxes the soft tissues and improve blood circulation in the affected area. By releasing the tension build-up on the muscle or joint, the expected result will be flexibility and an increase in ROM.

Decreases muscle spasm or tension

What is a muscle spasm? One form is commonly known as muscle cramps; it happens when a muscle involuntary and forcibly contracts and is unable to relax. This makes a muscle harder than normal to touch, tight, and may feel wrinkled. While another form can be the spasm that you feel on your upper back when the muscle tenses. Later on, builds up to bolts and knots of pain called-trigger points.

A properly angled massage gun with the appropriate attachment head to use on a tensed muscle helps treat hard to reach areas. And the adjustable intensity settings make the massage personalized for all types of people who have different pain tolerance. When used properly a massage gun may just be able to quickly pound the pain away from your painful knots.

Pain relief

Body pains are inevitable parts of our daily lives, it’s just a matter of what type, causes, and how we get them. For the athletic ones, the factors that trigger them may vary from insufficient stretching, lack of conditioning, and post-workout muscle soreness. As for the non-athletic and working class, the most common culprit can either be poor posture, physical exhaustion, or work-related stress.

A massage gun offers immediate pain relief. It works in such a way that once you feel the soft blows on your skin down to the deeper tissues, you’ll feel the tension breaking up. Once the tension is released, the smooth blood flow follows and, in the course, allowing the muscles and tissues to relax thus decreasing the pain.

Improved blood flow

Nutrients are supplied throughout the entire body via the venous channel through the circulation of good ‘ol oxygen. That is from the brain down to our toes blood passes through our veins. This process ensures that all the parts of our human anatomy are fueled to function well. One of the basic reasons why pain is felt in a specific body part is disrupted blood circulation.

How do massage guns play the role in addressing the disrupted blood flow to soft tissues? The rapid percussive motions and soft blows promote increased blood flow in the affected area. This process is similar to removing the blocks in the hole of a garden hose. Doing it doesn’t only increase the water flow but decreases the water pressure at the same time. The same thing goes to blood circulation, it promotes increased flow and decreased blood pressure.

What to look for in an effective percussive device?

Now that all the benefits of having a massage gun had all been laid out. Let’s check a few criteria on what to look for in a cost-effective yet premium one. Though it’s hard to keep the balance between the price and quality, there’s a great chance that you can buy one from a trusted brand.

Since I’m fond of mnemonics, it will be nice to have a reminder on what to buy this way…

B-P-W-A-S

Battery Life- should last for more than 3 hours to save you from the hassle of frequent        charging

Price Range- should be a quality device yet practically-priced ranging from A$300 to A$500

Weight- should not exceed 2.5 lbs. so as not to put so much stress on your hand when using it to glide around the affected body part.  

Amplitude- should be 12mm or higher to achieve an effective massage that can penetrate deeply into the muscle

Sound Level- should have a noise range that is 50-60 dB and below that is similar to just a hum of a refrigerator. What I have is about 50 dB, and this particular brand-Hydragun that I’ve got is by far the quietest.  

Some final thoughts about owning a massage gun

Just like any regular household appliance that has its precautions on the manual, I’d like to emphasize two points. First, serious injuries and chronic musculoskeletal conditions, it is always best to consult with your doctor before using any massage gun. Lastly, for pregnant women, it is not recommended to use it in all stages of pregnancy to avoid venous and lymphatic problems.

If you want to experience any one or all of these benefits: better sleep, improved muscle and joint flexibility, decreased muscle spasm or tension, pain relief, and improved blood flow, you need not just a massage gun, but the best massage gun Australia can offer.  

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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