Should You Reach for a Handheld Massage Gun?

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

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With an ever-increasing array of therapeutic massage weapons, you may
discover that aid suits within the palm of your hand. Physical therapist Gary
Calabrese, DPT, presents tips for successfully use a private massager —
for advantages past stress aid.

Massage weapons: How they work and use them

Portable massagers use vibrations to heat your muscle tissue
and enhance blood movement to the world. “Think of it as a mini hammer, repeatedly impacting
the mushy tissue, inflicting blood movement to extend in that space,” says Dr.
Calabrese. “The mild strain can lower any tight muscle tissue or soften scar-like
tissue, referred to as adhesions, thus serving to to elongate the muscle fibers.”

Dr. Calabrese says moveable massagers, used correctly, are secure and efficient at delivering a fast hit of aid to the areas of the physique the place folks typically carry stress (just like the neck, shoulders and decrease again). He additionally finds them efficient at warming up the muscle mass earlier than exercise or serving to with cool-down:

Muscle warm-up

Targeting a massager for six to 10 minutes on a gaggle of
muscle mass just like the calf or thigh helps get these muscle mass prepared for exercise. By
prepping the tissue, you might be much less more likely to trigger harm.

“Some folks may desire leaping jacks or one other type of
whole-body warm-up,” says Dr. Calabrese. “But in the event you’re working solely sure
muscle teams, concentrating on the massager to these muscle mass could also be extra environment friendly.”

Muscle cool-down

A buildup of lactic acid within the muscle mass is likely one of the causes you expertise muscle ache after train or exercise. Using a handheld massager after exercise can scale back or delay muscle soreness by lowering the flexibility of the muscle fibers to carry onto the lactic acid.

What to search for in a handheld massager

The commercially out there massagers are available in an array of
sizes, shapes and worth. Whether it’s essential goal one muscle or a gaggle of
muscle mass, there’s a right-sized massager for you.

The worth level for home-use therapeutic massage weapons is anyplace
between $100 and $500. These 4 options might help you select the massager that’ll
make you say “aaahhhh”:

  • Speed: Having a number of speeds makes a
    massager extra versatile.
  • Weight: Being capable of management the
    massager with one hand is essential, since you’ll maintain it for as much as 10 minutes
    whereas engaged on a muscle or muscle group. Look for a massager within the 2- to 4-pound
    vary.
  • Noise: Some fashions are quiet, whereas some can
    be pretty noisy. If the sound detracts from its function (like in the event you’re hoping for
    a calming expertise), contemplate a massager with a brushless motor.
  • Battery: Battery life can fluctuate
    significantly. Some can run three hours on a single cost whereas others have to
    be recharged after 90 minutes. Guns which have a replaceable rechargeable
    battery are typically dearer however could prevent cash over time. The ones with out
    a replaceable battery may be much less cash, but when it goes kaput, you’ll have to
    purchase a brand new massager.

Personal massagers received’t enhance your sport

“People often ask me if a handheld massager will improve athletic performance,” says Dr. Calabrese. “The research is clear that these devices have not been proven to improve speed or endurance. In general, they are not used as performance enhancement tool.”

However, analysis does level to at least one profit, says Dr.
Calabrese, which will be the constructive potential for bettering short-term
efficiency. “Massagers might assist opponents who have to raise a weight or hit
one thing one time,” he says. “The massager could enhance efficiency in these
situations as a result of it’s prepares the muscle you’re utilizing for that singular occasion.”

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