Are massage guns worth it? We asked experts to find out
Although high-tech, the principle of operation of the best massage guns in the UK remains quite simple: the motor draws its energy from the integrated rechargeable battery (sometimes removable) to deliver more or less quickly percussions on the skin acting in-depth on the muscles.
The desired goal is to mechanically reproduce the massage usually delivered by the health professional to reduce the pain caused by the micro-tears of muscle fibers following a sporting activity or more simply said, to dissipate muscle stiffness. The result is improved sports performance through more frequent repetitions without pain or even daily well-being.
physiotherapist using portable percussion massager
There are, however, some general rules that should be followed scrupulously to benefit from an optimal massage:
do not massage the same muscle and joint area for more than a minute except in cases of tendonitis: it is possible to go up to two minutes per point of tension,
exert a light and harmonious pressure while moving (back and forth) slowly the massage gun a few centimeters every second from one point of attachment of the muscle to another,
do not use on a body region comprising bone parts: use only on the indicated practice areas (arms, buttocks, calves, thighs, soles of the feet, Achilles’ tendon, shoulders, etc.) and not on the skull, chest, the inside of the arm between the elbow and the armpit … or on open wounds or likely to reopen.
In order to know the peculiarities of your massage gun, it is strongly recommended to read the instructions for use delivered with it before your self-massage session at home or in the gym.
WHAT TYPES OF TIPS TO USE WITH YOUR SELF-MASSAGE GUN?
The self-massage gun had not known such evolution since 1870 when the Swedish doctor Gustav Zander invented it in the treatment of atrophied muscles. Now, its design has been perfected to fit easily in the palm, guaranteeing a good grip, both natural and effective.
For example, Theragun offers a patented design with an ergonomic triangular handle while Hyperice engineers have worked for a non-slip arm. As for Complex, the people in charge of development have, among other things, studied a grip using a pole handle (removable handle) on their Fixx Mini model.
which massage gun tip to choose
The interchangeable tips, also called massage heads, are the more or less essential accessories supplied with the massage gun.
They guarantee the transmission of the benefits of the massage gun to its user. Their roles differ according to their shape and the desired needs, which is why a wide and varied range of tips are available under names specific to each brand.
However, we notice that the shapes of these tips are often similar, here is an overview of the most frequently encountered:
the large spherical head is indicated for targeted treatment of large muscle groups such as the glutes, hamstrings and other muscles of the posterior compartment of the thigh, the anterior compartment of the thigh located in front of the femur, the superficial muscles calf …,
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOUR SELF-MASSAGE WITH THE MASSAGE GUN?
The duration of a self-massage session with the massage gun depends on the user’s goals and varies depending on the model. But as a general rule, it is advisable to work five to fifteen minutes per session with no limit on the number of times per week. Once a day can be a good pace, but always for everyone.
In any case, it is important to refer to the instructions for use. It is not necessary to charge your device each time you use it, the latest generation massage guns are cordless and their high-performance battery (mostly lithium-ion) guarantees an autonomy of generally two to three hours.
ARE THERE ANY CONTRAINDICATIONS TO MASSAGE GUNS?
In general, the use of massage guns is not suitable for children. We also know that there are real contraindications if:
- you are pregnant,
- you have had any recent surgery,
- you have a pacemaker,
- you have diabetes, a herniated disc, venous thrombosis, phlebitis, neuropathy or retinal damage
- you notice open wounds or edema,
- you have a fracture or a sprain,
- you have a neurovascular disease,
- you are taking anticoagulant medication.
- use massage gun on children
It is necessary to read the contraindications noted on the instructions for the device or to seek advice from your doctor in case of doubt.
WHICH SPEED INDEX TO CHOOSE?
As a first step, it is recommended to stay on the first level of speed and to gauge your sensations. If they don’t feel strong enough and you aren’t relieved, you can gradually increase the speed rating. The same goes for a relaxing massage therapy gun session, for daily well-being, or at the start of a warm-up.
In the case of a developed musculature, the massage intensity can be increased to the next level. After a warm-up or when your muscles are activated (physical activity) or for muscle recovery in-depth in high-level athletes, the number of percussions per minute may be higher.
The higher the speed selected, the more the device will be noisy, however many advances have been made by manufacturers compared to the first generations of devices, which are now developing patented techniques drastically reducing noise during use.
CAN WE USE THE BLUETOOTH MASSAGE GUN?
Yes, it is possible to use the Bluetooth self-massage gun to launch the program according to the models offered by the manufacturers. With good reason, the massage gun stands out as your best ally to relieve muscle pain and boost your performance, provided that the precautions for use are respected. If in doubt and before you start, do not hesitate to consult your general practitioner or sports doctor.