When massage guns are misused, they can become harmful and can cause damage to your large arteries, nerves, lymph vessels, and internal organs. In professional hands, a massage gun can be a safe alternative. Still, untrained users can face some hazards as improper or excessive usage might result in further discomfort and harm.
Continue reading to learn about how massage guns can cause harm as well as how to use one correctly so as not to cause any internal damage.
What is a Massage Gun?
A massage gun is a tiny portable gadget that appears and sounds like a drill. Depending on the massage gun you’re using, it should come with a range of attachments and speeds for relieving muscular discomfort. There are many brands to choose from, with prices ranging from $40 to $500.
Massage guns are also known as percussive massage treatment or vibration therapy methods. Almost all of them are wireless and have replaceable attachments. These kinds of tools have existed for decades. Most therapists and doctors believe that activating muscle tissue improves circulation, relieves stress, and lowers pain.
To read about the Pros and Cons of a massage gun click here.
How Do Massage Guns Function?
Massage guns are known to reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and improve short-term muscle length in studies. DOMS can result in muscular discomfort for up to 72 hours after strenuous activity. You can lessen muscular discomfort and assist muscle recovery by using the massage gun on the muscles that were worked during the workout.
Are Massage Guns Bad for You?
In professional hands, a massage gun can be a safe alternative, but untrained new users may face some issues, with the most significant being connected to incorrect usage. Improper or excessive use might result in further discomfort and harm. Constant pressure or vibration in the exact location can cause tissue damage and excruciating pain.
How Can Massage Guns Be Harmful?
Damage to the Dermis
The first layer of tissue protecting your interior structure is your skin or dermis. The skin is the first layer of the body to respond to any massage treatment equipment or method.
There are numerous blood arteries and nerve terminals just beneath the epidermis. The protective layers of collagen and elastin fibres vary substantially with age, gender, and health, despite these nerve terminals and blood arteries being protected.
You may be able to withstand the high-frequency vibrations of a massage gun if you are young, muscular, and have strong skin. If you have soft, elastic skin, the force of even the lowest setting on the massage gun will likely be too much for you.
Damage to the Skeletal Muscle
On the other hand, the skeletal muscle is the skin layer that suffers the most damage from a massage gun. Skeletal muscle comprises protein, actin, and myosin and is thicker and denser than fat. Fascia is a fibrous spider web support and protective layer on the exterior of the muscle.
Every organ, blood artery, bone, nerve fibre, and muscle are encased in the fascia, a thin layer of connective tissue that surrounds and holds them in place. We may break blood vessels, promote inflammation, and ultimately cause bruising by pounding into this region with a high-intensity motor.
Massage therapy aims to enhance blood flow, which carries oxygen and nutrients to our muscles. When you press the massage gun into your muscle, hundreds of up-and-down solid repetitions are applied to the skin, fat, fascia, nerves, and blood vessels. This pounding effectively neutralizes the potential rewards by shattering these pathways.
One Can Rupture their Blood Vessels
Blood vessel rupture is a medical condition that occurs when blood vessels rupture. When blood vessels break, you may see bruising and blood leaking into muscle tissue. Have blood clots and want to know if its safe to use a Massage Gun? Click here to read more.
An Increase in Elastin Fiber and Stretched Collagen in Skin
Continuous, quick strikes to the skin with the percussive massage pistol can cause the skin to droop and stretch over time, resulting in stretched collagen and elastin fibre.
An Increase in Nerve Sensitivity
The nerve endings in your skin convey undesired impulses to your brain because of the percussion pistol’s pressure, fast strokes, and mechanical force. The impact of these elevated impulses may cause your heart rate and blood pressure to rise.
Muscle Contractions Increase
Muscles respond with needless contractions when nerves fight or fire flight impulses. Increased muscular contractions, especially under the external stimulus, are counterproductive when relaxing and releasing tension in a muscle.
How to Use a Massage Gun Safely
To successfully utilize a massage pistol, locate a tight spot on your body and begin sliding the gun over the muscle’s mass. Apply some pressure, but do not push excessively. To boost pressure, the cannon usually has a button or switch.
Keep the massage pistol in one place for up to 15 seconds or sweep a two-minute area.
Some firearms even come with a monitor that connects to an app that tells you how hard and how long to shoot.
Keep your distance from bony parts. Also, before utilizing a massage gun on an injury, consult with a physical therapist. It is recommended against touching any severe pain or damage location since this might worsen the problem.
Limit Your Massage Time and Sessions
Limit your massage sessions to a maximum of three minutes for each major muscle, such as the quadriceps. Only two minutes should be taken if you massage your neck since the force of the massage gun can be intense.
Make sure the blood is flowing, the muscle is being stimulated enough to release it, and nothing else.
Putting your muscles under duress for a more extended period of time does not always imply a faster recovery.
Want to know how to use massage gun attachments? Click here to read more
Check Your Daily Medication to Ensure it’s Safe to Use a Massage Gun.
Some medications, like blood thinners, place your body in a different health state, resulting in more damage being caused if you use a massage gun. If you’re on blood thinners, avoid using your massage gun on your legs at all costs. Instead, go to a local masseuse and ask for a Swedish massage.
If Your Senses are Impaired, Never Use a Massage Gun
People should also avoid utilizing the massage gun on any portion of their body that is numb. This is especially concerning for people who might suffer from peripheral neuropathy, frequently caused by diabetes. You might cause harm to yourself without even recognizing it if you don’t have reliable sensory input.
Do Not use a Massage Gun for the Following:
Inflammation is the body’s response to injury. The body’s natural reaction is to send more blood to the damaged area. Tendonitis, fasciitis, bursitis, and periostitis are prevalent inflammatory diseases. Patients with inflammation should avoid using a massage gun since it might exacerbate inflammation and slow recovery.
If You Have a Sprain
A sprain occurs when your muscle or ligament has been pulled entirely or incorrectly. Sudden motions that strain the muscle beyond its limitations produce this injury. When patients with sprains are harmed, they frequently hear clicking sounds. Massage guns can cause more harm to muscle and ligament sprains when used with muscular strains.
If You Have a Muscle Strain
When a muscle is strained beyond its natural range of motion, this sort of damage develops. Improper form, rapid movements, and misuse of muscles are frequently the cause. The massage gun’s forceful hammer action might injure your muscles even more.
If You Have Any Broken Bones
While this one may appear to be a no-brainer, others have attempted it before. Previously fractured bones should not be subjected to hammer motions due to percussion massage gun therapy. This also applies to patients who have been permitted to exercise. Any hammer blow can shatter or damage the mended bone.