Whether you’re new to massage guns or a regular user, this article is for you. We’ve got all the tips and instructions as to when you can use and when not to use massage guns. When used properly, massage guns are magical tools to recover from injuries as well as pre and post-training routines.
When to Use Massage Guns
You can use massage guns in several situations such as to alleviate tension, muscle soreness, and pain. We have put forth some of the common situations in which a massage gun may be beneficial.
1. Before Exercise
Making use of a massage gun before you start to workout helps to warm up muscles and also improve flexibility. This, in turn, helps in reducing the risk of injury.
2. After Exercise
One of the best things you can do after you finish working out is to use a massage gun. Besides improving circulation, the massage gun also helps to reduce muscle soreness. All these factors contribute to speeding up recovery time.
3. To Relieve Chronic Pain
Massage guns provide a lot of relief when it comes to chronic pain caused by conditions such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, or back pain. Trust me, it works wonders.
4. Prolonged Periods of Sitting
Sitting continuously for long hours tends to cause stiffness and tension in the neck, back, and shoulders. Making use of a massage gun helps to reduce this stiffness and tension, leaving you feeling calm and relaxed.
5. Standing or Walking for Long Hours
Prolonged periods of standing or walking not only lead to aches and pains but also cause muscle soreness. Well, a massage gun works wonders when you use it after a long hectic day. It reduces muscle soreness in your thighs, calves, and feet and also alleviates fatigue.
When to Not Use a Massage Gun
In the above section, you have seen many many scenarios in which it is advisable to use massage guns. However, there are many situations which prohibit the use of massage guns. We have penned down all these situations for you to keep you well informed. Ensure you read through them all.
1. Open Wounds
By using a massage gun on an open wound, you are increasing the risk of infection and also delaying the healing process. Therefore, if you have an open wound like a scrape or cut on any part of your body then please avoid using a massage gun on the wound. In fact, to be on the safer side, it is best to avoid using the massage gun even in the area surrounding the wound.
2. Pregnant Women
Generally, using a massage gun is safe during pregnancy. However, certain massage techniques should be avoided by pregnant women. Also, massaging certain areas should be avoided when pregnant. Each individual’s body is unique and each woman’s pregnancy phase is different. For some women, it’s a normal pregnancy but for some, there might be complications or a history of miscarriage. Therefore, it is best to consult your gynaecologist or any healthcare professional before using a massage gun.
3. Body Areas with Decreased Sensation
If you experience numbness or decreased sensation in any part of your body that resulted from nerve damage, then you need to stay away from a massage gun. Or, at least keep the massage gun away from those areas of your body. If you use a massage gun on body areas with decreased sensation, then you are increasing the possibility of causing injury or further damage. So, be mindful.
4. Acute Injuries
There are many types of acute injuries. To name a few, some of the common ones are strains, sprains, and tears. Using a massage gun on an acute injury will definitely aggravate the injury and hamper the healing process thereby increasing recovery time. Therefore, it is best to give the injury considerable time to heal before you start using a massage gun on that area.
5. If you take Blood Thinners
Making use of a massage gun can increase the risk of bleeding or bruising if you are taking blood thinners such as aspirin or warfarin. The best thing that you can do is consult your doctor or a trusted healthcare provider and ask him/her if it is safe for you to use a massage gun.
Additional Tips on Using Massage Guns Safely
Now you know when to use massage guns and when not to use them. Here are some tips that will help you massage yourself safely and appropriately. Ensure you read through this section mindfully.
1. Avoid Using the Same Head Attachment for Every Area
Massage guns come with several head attachments to suit specific areas. You can’t use the same head attachment in every body area. Simply choose a head attachment that is appropriate for that specific area of your body. Additionally, you also need to keep track of your comfort level. Generally, massage gun manufacturers suggest which attachment will suit which area on the basis of muscle size and characteristics.
2. Don’t Use Directly over your Abdomen, Bony Prominences, and Front of your Neck
The next thing you need to keep in mind is not to use a massage gun over your abdomen, bones, vital organs, front of your neck, and sensitive and inflamed areas. It will hurt and may also damage those areas and your organs. As a matter of fact, massage guns work on soft and contractile tissue.
3. Always Use Pressure and Frequency that’s Comfortable
Don’t assume that high frequency is always better. Massage guns are manufactured in such a way that they are within therapeutic frequency ranges across their speeds.
4. Don’t Overuse and Don’t Overdo it
We want our massage gun and our recovery methods to boost recovery and not to further damage the muscle. So, please don’t overuse the massage gun. Also, don’t overdo it. Don’t be under the impression that using it for prolonged hours will give you faster results or speed up your recovery. Using it excessively will do worse than good.
Use the massage gun for only 2 minutes per muscle group before exercise. Post-exercise, you can use the massage gun for about 2-5 minutes. Clinical research has proved that this duration is adequate to maximise benefits and promote a speedy recovery. Ensure you set a timer on your phone to help you stay in the required time frame.
5. Avoid rushing, take it slow
In a relaxed state, cover the whole muscle slowly using your massage gun. You need to pay special attention to tight and tender areas, if any. Generally, every manufacturer offers a certain recommendation for how to move massage guns over various muscle groups (side-to-side or up-and-down) both, before and after exercise. Normally, a slow up-and-down motion is recommended after exercise. Ensure you pause and take it really slow over tight areas.
Massage the Right Way!
You’ve seen how crucial it is to use a massage gun appropriately. Ensure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid any injury. If you are facing any health issues or suffering from any illness then do talk to your doctor or GP before using a massage gun. Also, don’t forget to keep a track of your nutrition, quality sleep, physical, and mental health.