Best deep tissue massage gun, are they essential to Pain relief ?
Percussive massage guns and massage therapy — it’s foam rolling turned up to eleven and, though it may look and sound brutal, massage guns are designed to reach deep into your tired muscles, speed up recovery and get you back to training at your best. A quick scroll of #recovery on Instagram will show you a roster of athletes pummeling their muscles in the name of better performance. And though it may look and sound brutal, these massage guns are designed to reach deep into your tired muscles, speed up recovery and get you back to training at your best. In the age of softly-softly self-care, this is the physiological version of tough love.
You can use massage guns before training, to prime your muscles for a session, or post-workout to ward off any potential DOMS. You’ll recover quicker, boost your circulation and lymphatic drainage, increase your flexibility and extend your range of motion – ultimately improving your performance across the board.
Plus, it’s super easy to use. Just point the gun at your fleshy target – around an inch away from your skin over whichever muscle you’re trying to loosen or warm up – and hit the trigger for instant relief. Move slowly up and down the length of the muscle for around 30 seconds – if you find a particularly sore spot (or ‘trigger point’), spend a little more time on it. And try not to wince.
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Ideally, your purchasing priorities should focus around noise, battery life and quality. Generally, a higher price tag will indicate a more reliable product and, when fully charged, a decent massage should go for a few days to a week without a charge, based off around 15 minutes’ use per day.
Ready to banish your foam roller for good? Below, we’ve picked four of the best massage guns money can buy. Allow us to drill into the details.
How Do Deep Tissue Massage Guns Work?
The short answer: it’s not entirely clear how these devices work on the body. They may help relax sore muscles by stimulating the GTO (Golgi tendon organ), a structure within a muscle that inhibits contraction. Massage guns may also override the sensation of pain within a sore muscle in the same way you might if you rub your forehead after smacking it on a door jamb (this is what’s known as the “Gate Control Theory of Pain.”)
But the most likely mechanism of soft tissue work—whether it’s a foam roller, a massage gun, or the trained hands of a massage therapist—is neural, says performance coach and physical therapist, Dr. John Rusin. “Mostly you’re affecting your brain’s ability to sense tightness or laxity in soft tissue, whether it’s a muscle, tendon, or fascia.” The therapist’s hands (or the roller, or the massage gun) focuses your attention on the tight muscle allowing your brain to zero in on the tension and let it go.
Are deep tissue massage gun Vibrations Safe?
If you’ve ever used a vibrating foam roller or platform, you’re familiar with vibration therapy: you mount the unit, push a button, and let the device shake your fillings out. The back-and-forth oscillation is small, creating a pleasant, miniature muscle-quake inside the target tissues.
Early massage guns worked in a similar manner, vibrating the muscle to help it relax and stimulate blood flow. More recent models go beyond vibration, penetrating an inch or more into the target muscle: “It’s like a muscle jackhammer,” says Los Angeles-based massage therapist Art San. That’s percussion: a deeper, more intense stimulation of the muscle.
Effects of Massage Guns
Early research suggests that, when performed before exercise, vibration therapy is as effective at preventing soreness as traditional massage in untrained women. Does that mean it’s “effective” at preventing or relieving soreness, period? It’s not clear.
Massage guns increase blood flow, which shuttles nutrients into the muscle while also removing blood that may have pooled in the muscles—a common occurrence, often following long periods of inactivity, that can result in swelling in the extremities. If you use the gun directly after a workout, it may facilitate the removal of metabolites—waste products—associated with exercise, which can cause burning in the muscles.
“It’s an out-with-the-bad, in-with-the-good effect,” says Rusin, similar to what you can achieve with foam rolling, yoga, and light exercise.
Best way to use a deep tissue massage gun?
“With massage guns, a little goes a long way,” says San, who works with MMA fighters, NFL players, and other elite athletes. 1-2 minutes on a large muscle group—like the quadriceps—is plenty.
“You don’t want to over-stimulate the muscle,” he explains. Excessive use drives fluid into the muscle without allowing it to flow out again. “It’s a powerful tool, so keep it on a low setting.” Higher settings are reserved for truly massive folks, he explains—NFL linemen and other heavyweights.
Rusin suggests that novelty is part of the tool’s effectiveness and that the effects may diminish with frequent use. So instead of using the massager every day, rotate your approach: foam roll one day, use contrast baths on another, the massage gun on a third day, and so on.
How NOT to use a deep tissue massage gun!
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