What Is a Massage Gun?
Whether you exercise regularly or are a weekend warrior, at some point, you are going to experience muscle pain and soreness. Weightlifters, bodybuilders, and athletes are especially familiar with the cycle of training and soreness. And, until recently, the only break in the cycle came in the form of sleep. Yes, there was also a traditional hand massage. But few have the time, not to mention the resources, to get a daily massage by a licensed massage therapist. Enter massage guns.
If you are wondering, what is a massage gun? You are not alone. While they are increasing in popularity, massage guns are still very new. Basically, a massage gun is a power tool device that manually stimulates the sore muscles to reduce pain and accelerate recovery. Massage devices can do everything traditional massages can do—all at a fraction of the cost and in far less time.
How Do Massage Guns Work?
Massage guns work not only to reduce pain but also to increase flexibility, range of motion, and improve recovery time.
When it comes to regular muscle pain or soreness, in the past, many have turned to over-the-counter drugs like Ibuprofen to help manage their pain, while others have simply accepted that it was something they needed to get used to dealing with. Massager guns are the ultimate alternative. By increasing blood flow and blood circulation, decreasing lactic acid, and interrupting the pain cycle in the brain, the best massage guns have an immediate impact on how you feel. Then, with longer-term usage, some of the other benefits of massage become more pronounced, such are greater flexibility and less inflammation. Massage guns are great at treating both acute and chronic pain.
The technique used by high-quality percussive therapy also known as “percussion massagers" and “vibration therapy." In effect, percussion therapy is a series of light, fast movements done against the muscles that act to both relax and stimulate them. It is commonly used by chiropractors to loosen the muscles in the entire body. By relaxing your tight muscles, percussion therapy loosens “knots" and helps the muscle tissues and fibers heal. By stimulating the pain center, percussion therapy increases blood flow and reduces lactic acid build-up. The immediate result is you feel looser and better. The longer-term results can be felt when you wake up the next day, feeling fully recovered and far less sore than you would normally be.
What Can A Massage Gun Be Used For?
A massage gun can be used for short or long-term reduction, recovery minimization, or even to increase your flexibility and range of motion.
Who Uses Massage Guns?
Massage therapy guns are a great option for all kinds of people. Including:
- Climbers: Climbing is a growing sport that can be hard on the joints and muscles. The last thing you want as a climber is to start developing premature arthritis, joint pain, or other ailments that can limit the activity you love. The regular use of a massage tool gadget can help.
- CrossFitters: CrossFit is a high-intensity style of working out that, while in many ways effective, can also be quite hard on your body. Those who regularly participate in CrossFit classes or who do CrossFit workouts on their own may stand to benefit from incorporating a percussion massage gun as a recovery tool into their recovery routines.
- Dancers: Requiring both flexibility and strength, dancing is one of the most physically demanding things you can do. If you are dancing at a professional or near-professional level, constant aches and pains may be something you think you have to deal with. But, with the regular use of a massage gun, you may no longer need to.
- Executives: Executives in high-stress work environments often suffer from any number of physical injuries. These can range from back pain to carpal-tunnel, tennis elbow, and more. Many of these injuries are chronic and cause regular discomfort. A massage gun can help.
- Runners: Running is the most popular form of exercise on the planet. While running and jogging are great for your overall health, it comes at the cost of joint pain and muscle soreness. Massaging guns can greatly improve your recovery time as a runner and may even have long-term positive benefits on your joints and muscles.
- Weightlifters: Serious weightlifters and bodybuilders and constantly dealing with major muscle soreness. Not only that, because of the nature of what they do, but many weightlifters also get injured due to “cold" muscles that have not had enough of a warm up to take on the weight. Percussive massage guns can help with muscle recovery as well as activation in and before the gym.
What to Look For in a Massage Gun
When considering buying a massage gun, you want to think about speed settings with different speeds, price point, power, battery life, portability, massage heads, inclusion of a carrying case, and muscle-depth. The best massage guns will not only be portable but will also pack a punch equal or greater than that of your typical deep-tissue massage. Also, unlike traditional massages, the best massage guns only require anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes to work.
Benefits of Using a Massage Gun
There are a variety of benefits to using a massage gun. These include pain-reduction along with any number of the following:
- Accelerated Muscle Recovery: By using a massage gun after a strenuous workout or any other kind of physical activity, you can significantly decrease your recovery time. If you have ever woken up after a good night’s sleep still feeling sore, you know what it means to train hard. There are some types of training that require more than just your standard 8-hours of rest. The use of a massage gun following your workouts can help ensure your muscle recovery quickly and fully.
- Better Blood Flow: Blood flow plays a major role in both pain reduction and the development of larger, stronger muscles. Massage guns stimulate blood flow in a beneficial and targeted way.
- Better Flexibility: Flexibility is a serious advantage in any sport. The regular use of a massage gun can potentially make your muscles and body more limber and flexible.
- Better Muscle Responsiveness: By using a massage gun to “activate" your muscles before any kind of physical performance, you are effectively waking them up and preparing them for what they are about to do. Activated muscles perform better and are less likely to get injured.
- Decreased Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS): Muscle soreness is not only a nuisance; it can actually impact your success. The person who is less sore can go harder and for longer in the gym or on the field the next day. You want to avoid excessive muscle pain or soreness whenever possible.
- Improved Muscle Growth: Better blood flow and less soreness resulting from the use of a massage gun can, ultimately, lead to greater muscle growth.
- Improved Range of Motion: Poor range of motion can lead to serious muscle and joint injuries. Massage guns can help.
- Lactic Acid Reduction: Lactic acid is one of the primary culprits when it comes to muscle soreness. By reducing lactic acid in your muscles, massage guns act to reduce soreness and improve your recovery time.
What Types of Injuries Can Massage Guns Be Used For?
Massage guns can be used to help with a variety of upper and lower-body pains and ailments. Here are some of the most common.
- Bicep Tendonitis: Bicep tendonitis is a common ailment experienced by professional weightlifters and even casual gym-goers. While tendonitis can be painful, you do not need to resort to a regime of pain relievers to mask the problem. Regular massage gun usage can decrease the pain you feel from tendonitis in the short-term and, in the long-term, help your body heal.
- Bursitis: Bursitis can be painful and can affect several parts of the body. It is most common in the knees, elbows, and hips. Regardless of where you are expiring bursitis, massage guns can help reduce your pain.
- Carpal Tunnel: Carpal tunnel from working long hours on the computer or making some other repetitive motion with your hands can be painful and can even put a hit on your productivity. Using a massage gun can help alleviate the muscles and joints in your hands and get you back to normal.
- Feet: If your job has you constantly on your feet, you may suffer from a variety of foot-related ailments. A high-quality massage gun can help significantly reduce your foot pain.
- Hamstrings: Hamstring injuries are both common and dangerous. Often resulting from a lack of activation, many athletes suffer hamstring injuries. Massage guns can both help you avoid hamstring injuries as well as help you recover from them.
- Hands: Aside from carpal tunnel, a massage gun can help you recover from a variety of joint and muscle injuries and ailments in your hands.
- Plantar Fasciitis: Plantar fasciitis can be difficult to deal with. With a massage gun, however, you can quickly relieve plantar fasciitis and quickly return to walking and running like normal.
- Shin Splints: Shin splints are common to runners and other athletes and can be greatly reduced with the use of a massage gun.
- Tech Neck: Working on your computer all day can be hard on your neck. A massage gun can help.
- Tennis Elbow: You don’t have to play the game to get tennis elbow. Tennis elbow sufferers can dramatically reduce their pain and decrease their recovery time with help from a massage gun.
Now that you know what a massage gun is, you can decide if you want to stay in pain and deal with muscle soreness the old-fashioned way (by sleeping it off), or if you want to jump into the 21st Century and optimize your performance by reducing your recovery time, increasing your muscle flexibility, and cutting down on muscle pain.