- What types of electric massage guns are there and which ones are the best for pain relief?
- What kind of pains can be relieved with percussion massage therapy?
- What are the benefits of percussion massage therapy?
- How to use a massage gun to relieve aches, pains and speed up muscle recovery?
- Contraindications: What kind of pains should not be treated with the massage guns?
- What are the best alternatives to electric muscle massagers?
One of the most appealing purposes of percussion massage therapies is that they provide immediate pain relief, and although this is a temporary benefit, it is useful when you want to continue with the activities you require.
Electric massage guns can also shorten muscle recovery time, when tissues are injured and need extra support for cells to start regenerating. In this article you will learn everything you need to know about this type of stimulation.
What types of electric massage guns are there and which ones are the best for pain relief?
There are different designs of percussion guns on the market, all of which offer the same relief effect, but not all of them are of high quality, like the ones you find on our website.
Currently, you have two high-end models at hand:
- Mini massager gun: this has a single stimulator head, which has a round shape and a smooth, soft texture. It is ideal for working on both dense and fine, fragile muscles, making it the best choice if you have no previous experience with the use of this type of product.
- Professional massager gun: this is a more robust product, better suited for people with proven experience in applying vibration and tapping massages. This model has different interchangeable heads so that you always have several ways to stimulate the tissues. This model is most useful for professional sportsmen and physiotherapists.
What kind of pains can be relieved with percussion massage therapy?
It is important that you know the real benefits you have with the stimulator guns, so you will be clear about what you can address with each model:
- Muscle injuries: there are muscle injuries of all kinds, such as contractures and tears. The massage gun should be used in cases of minor injuries such as muscle contractures resulting from excessive sporting activities.
- Chronic injuries: even when there are chronic, long-lasting muscle injuries, there may be acute pain that can be addressed with massage guns provided you already have the guidance of a qualified physiotherapist.
- Stress and tension pain: this product fits the needs of people who work in stressful environments, and who require daily stimulation to prevent mental and emotional stress from having an effect on muscle function.
- Feeling of fatigue: this is the tiredness felt by the muscles when the body has not cooled down properly after training. And although it should not be the norm, the pistol allows the muscle fibres to relax and activates the trigger points that will alleviate the most frequent discomfort.
- For vascular problems: another of the advantages of the percussion pistols is that they create bridges in the circulatory system that facilitate the irrigation of the blood. It is not about improving circulation to avoid fluid retention, it is about bringing more nutrients and oxygen to the cells.
- Trigger points: the professional massage gun will allow a gradual approach to trigger points, especially in hard-to-reach areas such as the lower back and the back of the thighs. Trigger points should be stimulated with the hardest heads.
- Low back pain: the professional gun has a U-shaped head that massages the complex dorsal muscles close to the vertebrae without compromising the integrity of the bones that make up the spine. The only disadvantage is that an additional person is required to support the use of this product.
- Plantar fasciitis: this is a condition that, if treated in time, can prevent a large number of complications, such as tears in the tissue that connects the heel to the metatarsals. In this area, it is important to use soft, rounded heads, as the plantar arch is quite sensitive.
What are the benefits of percussion massage therapy?
Check out this list of the main benefits of using both models of percussion guns:
- Improves resistance to fatigue: this is the fatigue that the soft tissues have when the body is exposed to changes in the intensity of training and when people perform physical activities out of the ordinary.
- Improves muscle oxygenation: muscle fibres need more oxygenation to stay healthy, so massages are beneficial because they bring a greater amount of oxygen to the connective tissues and muscles, so they can better cope with aches and pains.
- It releases tension better: muscle tension prevents people from being able to move freely without pain or stiffness. Massage guns cause the fibres that remain contracted in some areas and overstretched in others to unravel.
- Protects joint movement: when an athlete makes frequent use of massage, he or she can ensure that muscles, tendons and ligaments can function better. By protecting the soft tissues, it ensures that joints have a greater range of motion.
- Promotes cell regeneration: Massage creates the conditions that cells need to multiply when healthy and when the body needs it, it is part of the accelerated recovery process that every athlete seeks to remain active in training.
- It dilates vessels and veins: this also aids muscle recovery by allowing more nutrients to travel through the bloodstream to the muscle fibres and connective tissues. It also prevents poor venous return which leaves swollen feet in most cases.
- Inhibits pain: the strokes of the massage guns interrupt the function of pain receptors that send signals to the spinal cord and brain when there are physical injuries of any kind. By blocking these receptors, people can continue with their daily activities.
- Prevents further injury: using the pistol whenever there is minor discomfort will protect the muscles and make them better able to cope with the constant muscle stretching that can leave damage such as contractures and tears in one or more parts of the muscle structure.
- It serves as a warm-up: it prepares the musculature and increases the temperature when you need to do intense workouts or when you are going to change to a new intensity in your sports routines. It is an indispensable tool when you want to stay healthy and at the same time increase the pace of physical activities.
- Serves as a cool down: as this is an important phase of training, the percussion gun will serve to address possible muscle groups where there are likely to be relapses in old injuries, which have not been able to be healed over time and require special care with massages.
- Protects myofascial tissue: although there are specific products such as the Foam Roller, massage guns also stimulate trigger points that trigger myofascial releases in the places where you apply this product.
How to use a massage gun to relieve aches, pains and speed up muscle recovery?
The effectiveness of the gun will depend on the type of technique you use and the length of time you want to apply the therapy.
For cervical pain
For the cervical approach, you should use a U-shaped head to avoid stimulating the vertebrae in the neck, which are susceptible to this type of stimulation.
- You can be seated if you are going to perform self-massage.
- Our suggestion is to have someone else use the gun and you lie face down on a bed or massage table.
- Turn on the massage gun and apply gentle strokes to the sides of the neck.
- Avoid concentrating on one spot.
- When massaging the back of the neck, position the head so that it does not touch the vertebrae.
- All stimulation should not last more than two minutes
For the back
In this area you can use the ball head type at first, then you can move on to the U-shaped head.
- It is advisable to have someone else do the massage for you.
- Use the round, soft massage head.
- Make gentle strokes on all muscle groups.
- These strokes should last no longer than 15 seconds on each muscle.
- Give yourself a 10-minute break and use the U-shaped head.
- Place the gun in the lumbar area, at the beginning of the vertebrae.
- Gently raise the massage gun up to the mid-back.
- Keep a straight line in the movement.
- The whole session should not exceed two to three minutes.
For legs and calves
In these cases, it is better to use the soft heads at the beginning and then use the bullet-shaped head, so that the trigger points are better addressed.
- You should be seated comfortably.
- Turn the gun on and begin to stimulate the calf muscles, at the back of the shin.
- Make linear movements, not circular.
- Follow the shape of the muscles.
- If you want to warm up before workouts, the suggested time is 30 seconds on each muscle.
- During workouts, you can massage if you feel pain and tension.
- In these cases, you should only massage for 15 seconds.
- Stimulate the lateral (peroneal) muscles and the posterior aspect of the tibia.
- You can also do gentle strokes on the Achilles tendon.
- The whole stimulation session can last between two to five minutes.
On feet and plantar fasciitis
For foot complaints, you can use only the soft head, it is the best way to get relief without overstimulation.
- You should be seated in a comfortable place.
- Turn on the device and make light strokes on the sole of your foot.
- If you feel pain, you should stop the stimulation immediately.
- The massage session should not last longer than two minutes.
- Direct touches on the arch of the foot should be as short as 60 seconds.
- Please note that you should be careful when massaging the feet, you should take your time to do it calmly.
On shoulders and arms
Massages on these parts of the body should be done first with the round head to prepare the musculature for when it is time to address the trigger points.
- You should be seated in a comfortable place.
- Turn on the device and start massaging.
- Follow a linear direction, not a circular one.
- Be careful not to touch bones such as the collarbone.
- Detect the points where you feel the most tension.
- Now change the head to a bullet-shaped head, which is harder.
- Place the gun on the places where you detected the most tension.
- You can only stay at these points for 15 to 30 seconds.
- The repetition of the session will depend on your tolerance and the relief you feel.
- If you exceed the time of use, bruising may occur immediately.
Contraindications: What kind of pains should not be treated with the massage guns?
If you think you are already an expert in the use of percussion guns, then you should know the types of pain that should not be treated with massage.
- Pain that forces you to bend your body.
- Aches and pains after injuries such as fractures, sprains and dislocations.
- Pain in organs such as the kidneys, gall bladder and appendix.
- Pain from degenerative joint diseases.
- Pain from trauma following road traffic crashes or falls from stairs
- Pain from open wounds.
- Pain associated with pregnancy.
Please note that if you have any additional doubts about which cases can or cannot be used, it is advisable to seek the support of a general practitioner and a physiotherapist. The important thing is that you always use these types of massagers correctly and safely.
What are the best alternatives to electric muscle massagers?
You may be wondering what other options are available on our website to address different types of ailments or that have similar effects to percussion guns, check out this complete and interesting list of new possibilities.