Feeling stressed and tight? A therapeutic massage therapist will help work out these stress-induced kinks. But what if you happen to don’t have the finances or time to see one? 

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With an ever-increasing array of therapeutic massage weapons available on the market, you may discover that aid matches within the palm of your hand. Physical therapist Gary Calabrese, DPT, gives tips for the way to successfully use a private massager for advantages that transcend stress aid. 

What is percussive remedy? 

A percussive therapeutic massage gun makes use of vibrations to heat your muscle tissue and improve blood stream to focus on areas. You apply it to sore spots, and — increase, increase, increase! — its rapid-strike motion will get to work.  

“Think of it like a mini hammer, repeatedly impacting the soft tissue and causing blood flow to increase in that area,” Dr. Calabrese says. “The gentle pressure can decrease any tight muscle tissue or soften scar-like tissue, called adhesions. This helps to elongate the muscle fibers.” 

Stretching and therapeutic massage remedy can do that, too — however with a therapeutic massage gun, you are able to do it by yourself, from the consolation of your sofa. And you don’t should be sore or tense to make use of one.  

“They can also be good for warming up your muscles before you start an activity or helping with cool-down afterward,” Dr. Calabrese provides. 

Does percussive remedy work? 

Yep! To recap, therapeutic massage weapons can: 

  • Increase blood stream. 
  • Relieve muscle tightness. 
  • Provide stress aid. 
  • Improve post-exercise soreness.

“When used properly, portable massage guns are generally safe and effective at delivering a literal quick hit of relief to the regions of your body where you carry stress, like your neck, shoulders and lower back,” Dr. Calabrese says.

“If you have underlying medical conditions, concerns or are actively recovering from an injury it is always best to consult your healthcare team.”

Sounds nice, proper? Unfortunately, the instruments themselves might be dear — however if you add up the potential price of standard visits to a therapeutic massage therapist, it might be a worthwhile expense. 

What therapeutic massage weapons can’t do  

“People often ask me if a handheld massager will improve their athletic performance,” says Dr. Calabrese. “The research is clear that these devices have not been proven to improve speed, power or endurance. They may, however, improve your range of motion (ROM) and perception of fatigue which may ultimately benefit you.”

Limited analysis suggests one profit which may be a constructive for short-term efficiency: “Massagers could aid competitors who need to lift a weight or hit a goal just one time,” Dr. Calabrese clarifies. “They may increase performance in those instances because they prepare the muscle you’re using for that singular event.”

How to make use of a therapeutic massage gun 

Ready to get gunned? Dr. Calabrese walks you thru the fundamentals of utilizing a therapeutic massage gun on your self or another person. 

  1. Choose your required depth. Most therapeutic massage weapons have a couple of setting, providing you management over the extent of stress you need to ship to your muscle mass. If you’re new to this, it’s greatest to start out with the bottom depth to see how your physique reacts. You can improve depth sooner or later, if you happen to like.  
  2. Target your muscle. Decide the place you need to use the therapeutic massage gun and level its head atop that muscle. “You don’t want to push down or add pressure,” Calabrese advises. “The massage gun provides pressure for you.” 
  3. Go slowly. You can’t rush a very good factor. Slowwwly transfer the therapeutic massage gun alongside your muscle, once more taking care to not add any additional stress (which might truly trigger injury somewhat than present aid). 
  4. Give additional like to sore spots. If you encounter a spot that feels notably tight or sore, maintain the therapeutic massage gun there for a couple of additional seconds to supply an additional dose of consideration. 
  5. Limit your use. Even if issues are feeling nice, don’t use the therapeutic massage gun for longer than a pair minutes on anybody muscle group.

Be certain to stay to muscle mass, not bones. If you drag the therapeutic massage gun over a bony spot, just like the nape of your neck, you’ll really feel some kickback — and doubtless a little bit little bit of ache. To keep away from damage, it’s greatest to skip these areas. 

How to make use of a therapeutic massage gun for warm-up and cool-down  

Your massager could give leg day a little bit little bit of a leg up. Before a heavy exercise, goal it on a single group of muscle mass, like your calves or thighs, to assist prepared them for exercise. “By prepping the tissue, you’re less likely to cause damage during your workout,” Dr. Calabrese says. 

If you’re doing a whole-body exercise, a whole-body warm-up (like leaping jacks) could also be a greater match. “But if you’re heading into a workout that targets certain muscle groups, targeting those muscles ahead of time with your massage gun may be more efficient,” he provides. 

You may flip to the therapeutic massage gun for a bit of additional restoration. The motive you “hurt so good” after a exercise is that train creates a buildup of lactic acid, which results in muscle ache. Using a handheld massager after exercise can cut back or delay muscle soreness by lowering your muscle fibers’ means to carry onto that lactic acid. 

What to search for in a handheld massager 

Commercially out there therapeutic massage weapons are available in an array of sizes, shapes and worth factors. Whether you might want to goal one muscle or a bunch of muscle mass, there’s a right-sized massager for you.

These 4 options will help you select the massager that’ll make you say “aaahhhh”: 

  • Speed: Having a number of speeds makes a massager extra versatile. 
  • Weight: You have to have the ability to maintain the massager in a single hand for as much as 10 minutes when you work on a muscle or muscle group, so search for one within the 2- to 4-pound vary. 
  • Noise: Some fashions are quiet, whereas others might be pretty noisy. If the sound detracts from its objective (like if you happen to’re hoping for a soothing expertise), take into account a therapeutic massage gun with a brushless motor. 
  • Battery: Some massagers can run for hours on a single cost whereas others should be recharged inside about 90 minutes. Massage weapons with replaceable rechargeable batteries are usually costlier, however they might prevent cash over time.

If you simply can’t shake that soreness, there’s nothing fairly like getting an expert therapeutic massage. But a therapeutic massage gun will be the excellent funding for relieving these aches and pains — and the stress that comes with them — between visits.

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