Whether you’re a professional athlete or simply a hobbyist gym-goer, looking after your fitness is of paramount importance. If you don’t keep yourself healthy, then you could do yourself some serious damage, making it more difficult for you to work out in future and potentially even causing lasting and permanent harm to yourself. That’s why you need to make sure that after every training session, workout, or game, you’re doing everything you can to keep yourself fit and well.
One of the best ways you can do this is by massaging muscles if they’ve been used. Deep tissue massage therapy can lower blood pressure, reduce pain, and help scar tissue to build up, strengthening your muscles for future workouts. However, many people either can’t afford a massage therapist, don’t live close to one, or simply would rather carry out the therapy themselves if possible. That’s where massage guns come in. These devices can work wonders on aching muscles. Here are 5 key benefits of using a massage gun.
1. You can use massage guns as a supplement for massage therapy
While you shouldn’t replace traditional massage therapy with a massage gun, you can definitely use the device to augment any actual massage therapy you’re receiving. This works for muscle injuries and tears, too; on the advice of your therapist, you can use the gun to help recover more quickly from these injuries, getting you back on the field and ready to perform. There’s nothing more frustrating than being out of commission due to an injury, and massage guns can help to speed up the recovery process if used properly.
Again, it is worth making sure you get in touch with your therapist to discuss whether a massage gun is right for you in your particular circumstances. Not every muscle injury is right for a massage gun; if you don’t use the device properly, you could end up exacerbating the issue, so talk to medical professionals about it before you decide to use a gun.
2. Massage guns can reduce pain after a workout
The best time to use a massage gun is immediately after your workout. This is the point at which lactic acid is building up and your muscles are starting to respond to what you’ve just put them through. Immediately after your workout, take some time out to apply a massage gun to the affected areas. Be gentle with yourself; percussive massage therapy can be pretty intense, so it’s not a good idea to hammer any affected muscles heavily.
If you do this correctly, you can improve your recovery time and help your muscles to feel less sore after your workout. You should also make sure you’re using your massage gun on a regular basis; once per day for around ten to fifteen minutes should be enough to notice a real difference in the way you recover. If you don’t feel like it’s having an effect, you can increase the frequency to around two to three times per day, but be careful not to hurt yourself.
3. You can use massage guns after surgery
Because of the way massage guns work, they’re not just good for post-workout relief. You can also use massage guns to help tissue recover after surgery. This is because massage guns can break down scar tissue, preventing it from restricting muscles and causing you pain. The gentle pressure and sensation of the massage gun can also help with your mental health; if you’re experiencing mild yet demoralising pain, massage guns can relieve this too.
Be sure to exercise caution if you’re using a massage gun after therapy, though. While they are excellent devices for pain relief and muscle recovery, it’s very easy for someone who doesn’t have much experience with them to use them incorrectly. Read your massage gun’s instructions thoroughly and make sure it is safe to use in your particular situation.
4. Massage guns enhance your range of motion
One of the most frustrating things about a post-workout bout of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) is not being able to move the affected area within its usual range of motion. Massage guns can help to offset this issue significantly. Research has shown that applying a massage gun before stretching your muscles can improve range of motion by up to 80%. This is even more important if you’re using the gun before a major sporting event.
Massage guns improve range of motion by increasing the flexibility of your joints. They don’t just work on muscle; since they’re percussive in nature, they’ll work on your entire motor network, including joints, ligaments, and connective tissue. Again, if you apply a massage gun on full blast to an affected area, you likely won’t notice a benefit; you need to be sparing with your usage, but if you can keep it light and frequent, you should notice some tangible improvements to your movement range.
5. Massage guns improve blood circulation
Whether you’re an athlete or not, your blood circulation is critically important. If not enough blood reaches certain areas of your body, you could experience a range of problems, including pain, aches, cramps, numbness, and plenty of other symptoms that may be unique to you. When you’re using a massage gun, you can improve your circulation to a noticeable degree, offsetting any pain you may experience and helping you to get back into your workout routine.
This means you can use a massage gun to help ease you into a regular workout regimen. Not exercising regularly is one of the leading causes of poor circulation, so using your massage gun for a minute or two before you begin exercising can help, even if you’re just going for a brief walk. In addition, if you have a medical condition that causes poor circulation, a massage gun could help to alleviate the symptoms of that condition. Again, we’d recommend talking to your doctor or to a physiotherapist in order to confirm that this could be a good option for you.