The question ‘can you use a massage gun if you have blood clots?’ seems to be one that has a difficult answer. Depending on who you talk to or where you get your information from, it can yield very different opinions.
Some people believe that a massage gun might be able to break down blood clots and get the circulatory system moving better, while others think that massage guns might even cause blood clots.
Massage Guns and Blood Clots
Overall, we suggest that if you have any major blood clots, don’t use a massage gun without consulting your physician first. Your doctor will always know what is best for your body and the condition that it is in.
Can using a massage gun dislodge a blood clot?
If you have a blood clot, it’s common sense to think that a massage gun could potentially dislodge it. Because massage guns provide a targeted treatment that help to increase blood flow and muscle repairment, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this means it could target a blood clot in your leg.
However, this sadly isn’t true – the chances are that a massage gun wouldn’t dislodge your blood clot, but instead potentially make it worse.
The same goes for getting a deep tissue massage by a massage therapist (which is what massage guns were designed to replace) – unless the person has specific experience with blood clots or your doctor has given specific clearance for you to receive that treatment, it could be potentially fatal to do so.
While it is largely unknown as to whether a massage gun could potentially dislodge a blood clot – they’re a relatively new technology, after all – you definitely shouldn’t try it without consulting a professional first.
The one thing that massage guns might be good for is preventing a blood clot in the first place. Doctors and other professionals have begun to recommend massage guns to people who spend long periods of time sat down.
This has been especially prominent in the gaming community recently, for instance, after multiple gamers have died over the past decade by deep vein thrombosis, caused by their long periods of sitting down and not getting any physical activity.
When you do this consistently, the circulation in your body gets worse and worse, and blood clots eventually start to form. Blood clots can be fatal if not treated properly. So, while a massage gun won’t necessarily dislodge any blood clots that you already have, you can begin using one if you don’t currently have any blood clots but are concerned you may be at risk of developing them.
Can you use a massage gun on blood thinners?
Blood thinners, also known as anticoagulants, are any medications that literally thin your blood slightly in order to make it pass through the body better. This helps to prevent blood clots, help to reduce the size of any pre-existing blood clots, and is also sometimes used for heart problems such as heart disease.
By and large, if you are taking properly prescribed blood thinners such as apixaban or warfarin, you shouldn’t use a massage gun. This is because your body is more likely to bruise or even bleed when under external pressure from something like a massage gun, which could do you more pain and damage. This would defeat the object of using a muscle gun!
If you are taking a regular, over-the-counter blood thinner such as aspirin, then you should be fine. It is only with the blood thinners that have a much higher anti-coagulating effect that you might begin to experience problems when using a massage fun.
To learn about the pros and cons of using a massage gun check out my article here
Do massage guns increase blood flow?
Yes! The whole point of a massage gun is that it targets the tissue of your muscles by increasing blood flow to the area. Increased blood flow means that the area will repair itself much quicker.
This means that massage guns are especially effective when used after heavy workouts to reduce muscle soreness. However, it also means that it can be used as a helpful preventative for blood clots or conditions such as deep vein thrombosis, which are often caused by a low level of blood flow throughout the body.
If you sit down for many hours on end – whether that’s in an office job or because you’re a gamer – then your circulation massively drops. Besides getting regular exercise and taking intervals away from your sitting position to stretch and move your body, incorporating a massage gun into your daily routine can also really help to boost your circulation.
This will reduce your chances of getting a blood clot, especially in your legs (which are particularly prone to blood clots), as well as provide your body with relief from the pressure that comes with sitting down all day.
It also increases lymphatic flow, meaning your body can drain itself of toxins quicker and more efficiently.
When should you not use a massage gun?
If you’ve been scouring the internet looking for the answer to ‘can you use a massage gun if you have blood clots?’, then our final answer is no – just to be on the safe side.
There are also a number of other factors that you ought to be careful with if you’re considering a massage gun. For instance, you shouldn’t use a massage gun when you’re in a lot of pain.
If you’re already in a lot of pain, or you continously hit the same area of your body with a massage gun, then you actually aren’t helping the muscles to relax but are in fact doing the opposite. Your muscles will clench in order to resist the blow being dealt to them, and ultimately this clenching will cause them to be overworked and can even increase lactic acid and cramping.
You should also be careful using a massage gun if you have problems with specific parts of your body such as your joints, as you may cause further damage to them.