What Does Massage Guns Do?

Everything You Need To Know About Massage Guns

At first glance, it may look like a power drill (and sound like one), but massage guns like but some popular brands are actually the most desired muscle recovery tool.

What do massage guns do?

Massage guns offer what is known as percussion or vibration therapy. This type of massage provides quick bursts of pressure on the muscle tissue of the body(hence the rippling effect of massage guns) as your head swings back and forth. Masseurs have traditionally used a series of light strokes from the hands or wrists to the muscle group to obtain this effect. However, massage guns allow athletes to reap the same benefits, but in the comfort of their own homes (and without the need to routinely pay for luxury spa services).

Percussion therapy does not completely eliminate muscle pain. But what it does is increase blood flow to a specific muscle area, which can help reduce inflammation and muscle tension and break down those pesky knots that seem to linger after a hard workout. Massage guns are also used before intense workouts to help warm up muscles before activity.

Do massage guns really work?

As percussion therapy becomes more popular, more studies are published on its benefits and possible limitations. A 2014 study suggested that vibration therapy and massage (which are part of percussion therapy) are equally effective methods of preventing DOMS, late-onset muscle pain, which means you are less likely to feel muscle pain or tightness 24 to 72 hours after an intense workout.

However, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence to support the idea that massage guns do help.

How to use a massage gun in 5 steps

Whether you want to relax your quadriceps at the end of a Crossfit session or simply want to reduce stress after a hard day at the office, the massage gun works by following these steps:

Turn on the appliance before applying it to the body. Although it seems silly we want to have total control of the gun and avoid hurting ourselves when we start.

Gently position the massage gun without applying pressure. In this way, we will realize if we are exercising the correct intensity.

Begin to gently slide the gun around the muscle. move it slowly, but without pause, so that the massage gun floats on our muscles, without exerting pressure.

If you find an area where tension builds up, let the massage gun work for a while without applying more force. Avoid spending more than 2-3 seconds in each zone.

Most important: Enjoy! Take a deep breath and feel relaxed with the experience.

How long should I use the massage gun?

Depending on the type of percussion massage we want to perform, we must use our massage gun at different times. In order not to hurt ourselves, we must keep these three rules in mind:

Do not exceed two minutes in each muscle group

Sessions should not exceed 15 minutes in total

Allow at least 2-3 hours to pass between sessions

It is very important not to overdo it using massage guns as we can injure ourselves. Like everything in life, let’s use it with caution.

Nor is it good to influence too much on a specific area for a long time. Therefore, another rule that we must remember is not to be more than 2-3 seconds without moving the massage gun.

We can use massage guns both before, during, and after each exercise session, we do. In each of these phases, it contributes in a different way, and the times that we have to apply the machine also vary.

What are massage gun heads for?

When buying a massage gun, it will come with different heads.

Each of these heads is used for a type of massage and a specific area of ​​the body. So it is one of the key factors when choosing a massage gun. Next, we will see how the most common heads work:

The big ball:

Possibly the one that we are going to use the most of all since it is the most versatile. Depending on the model of massage gun, they will be made of foam or rubber.

This head is perfect for treating the largest and most voluminous muscles, such as the glutes, hamstrings, or quadriceps.

Head with a flat head:

This accessory gives us a more intense massage than the large ball. Indicated for the whole body in general, when we want more intensity than the big ball.

Bullet or cone-shaped head:

its design is specially manufactured to impact on specific areas. Therefore, it is the best accessory that works for muscle knots.

U-shaped head:

on the one hand, it allows us to massage around bones without actually touching them, the best example may be the spine. On the other hand, it is also a good tool for the Achilles heel, calves, or forearm.

How does the massage gun work for inflammations or other ailments?

Percussion massage can be beneficial in treating some ailments or at least alleviating your symptoms. Each case is unique, so, again, we recommend that you consult your specialist first.

Some of these ailments, which massage guns work well for are:

  • Tendinitis
  • Fasciitis
  • Bursitis
  • Periostitis
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

How to use the massage gun to improve our sleep?

One of the applications of these muscular devices is to relax the muscles, thus promoting the release of stress and allowing us to sleep better . This is based on the fact that we manage to relax the central nervous system.

If this is our goal, it is recommended to use a massage gun a maximum of 2 minutes before sleeping. In this case, we will have to gently massage your arms, buttocks, legs shortly before going to bed.

How to use the massage gun for muscle contractures?

In the event that we have a knot or an area where tension has accumulated, it is important to remember that it is not advisable to influence a specific area for a long time. Therefore, what we will do is move the gun around the knot, smoothly.

Although massage guns work well for these ailments, we recommend that you let the area rest for about 24 hours, as we do not want to hurt it.

Here we refer to mild contractures, if this is not the case, it is convenient that, before self-massage, you resort to the opinion of your doctor or physiotherapist.

Other Considerations When Using Massage Guns

Good hydration

With the percussion massage, we increase blood flow, helping to eliminate toxins and lactic acid, which cause muscle fatigue.

For this reason, it is very convenient to “help” the blood a little more by keeping us hydrated. Although there is no consensus on how much water we should drink, between 2 and 3 liters of water a day is accepted as good.

If this is our goal, it is recommended to use a massage gun a maximum of 2 minutes before sleeping. In this case, we will have to gently massage your arms, buttocks, legs shortly before going to bed.

Hot or cold after a massage gun?

By using a massage gun we promote relaxation of the muscles. Releasing all that accumulated tension can leave our muscles a little soft and tired.

For that reason, it is not advisable to apply heat after percussion therapy. The blood is flowing and the muscles are hot, so warming them up doesn’t seem like the best idea.

Final Thoughts

On the contrary, it is beneficial to apply a little cold. A good idea may be to use a cold massage cream or take a cold shower.