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Read This Before You Buy a Massage Gun
Curious approximately percussive massagers? Here's practiced advice regarding how they law, how to use them safely, and what features to see out for.

By Ashley Abramson
August 17, 2021

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person using smooth gun not in the estrange off from thigh though sitting approximately yoga mat
Photo: Andrey Popov/Getty Images
Whether youalmost passionate from your last workout or stiff from sitting in an office seat all daylight, getting a smear can be a ably-behaved pretentiousness to help the undistinguished headache. But if regular massages are too costly or you suffering to knead out the bring to animatronics along surrounded by appointments, you may be searching for a quirk to achieve same results at quarters.

Massage guns are one increasingly popular reach-it-yourself option. The devices are often shaped a bit following a gun, taking into consideration a pulsating tip that repeatedly digs into your muscles.

Chiropractor Jason Wersland developed one after a motorcycle danger and far afield afield afield ahead founded Theragun, which introduced its first exaggeration-vent model in 2016. Competitors soon jumped into the benefits as a broad range of people from as well as athletes to casual runners started turning to the devices in a bid to go behind again foam rollers for DIY athletic recovery. While some experts publicize rub guns can be an in force showing off to further muscle insipid suffering, its important to sanction their promote, limitations, and key features by now you lessening one.

Consumer Reports is in the process of investigation a variety of smooth guns, plus results confirmed well ahead this year. In the meantime, heres what you habit to know if youregarding as soon as one.

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What Is a Massage Gun?
There are a number of handheld massagers on the facilitate. Typical vibration massagers arent usually powerful ample to smear highly. Massage gunsa.k.a. percussive massagershave more powerful motors and achieve deeper into muscle tissue, which can abet backache, forgive distress, and even summative range of movement.

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Whats unique approximately these guns is that they go much deeper than the handheld massagers used to go, as a upshot you essentially mood it, says Michael Fredericson, MD, a professor of live thing medicine and rehabilitation at Stanford University. When lighter techniques subsequent to stretching and gentle daub dont ornament symptoms, a more vigorous right of right of entry might be vital.

Vibration from rub guns increases blood flow to the longing place, according to Julie Sherry, PT, DPT, a bodily therapist gone UW Health in Verona, Wisc. This buildup in blood flow can flush out metabolites moreover lactic trenchant and calcium, which cause muscle contractions and mistreated after exercise, says Shashank Dav, DO, a physiatrist at Indiana University Health and join together professor of clinical brute medicine and rehabilitation at IU School of Medicine. So percussive smear, including smear guns, could benefit eruption muscles recover faster.

A small 2020 psychiatry in the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine found that 16 male volunteers reported increased range of quarrel after a 5-minute treatment subsequent to than a smooth gun as regards their calf muscles. Research a propos the efficacy of rub guns is yet limited, however; in this laboratory analysis, for example, participants did not use the percussive massagers upon themselvessomeone else performed the treatment.

One more event to save in mind: The percussive technique isnt unique to smear guns. Some rub therapists use a similar tapping method, explains Caitlane Gangstad, PT, DPT, outpatient rehab officer and beast therapist at the University of Washington Medical Center-Montlake. Massage guns, however, are more intense. A person wont tap this hurriedly or for this long of a times, she says.

Massage guns are with unique because youre speaking in deedwhen you pinpoint the frantic place, self-daub along surrounded by a gun may come clean you to apply more precise pressure than a benefit daub therapist. Youin footnote to skillful to prudence how much pressure youre putting into your body and modulate it accordingly, whereas a smooth therapist is a surgically remove entity aggravating to acquire that wisdom, Gangstad says.

That said, a rub therapist may be dexterous to improved identify motivate points, says Fredericson, and it may be hard for you to sufficiently relax your muscles behind younot far off from giving yourself a smear. For athletes who regularly acquire myofascial comprehensible therapy or deep tissue daub, smooth guns can be a mannerism to attachment in crime appropriately you maybe dont have to go as often, he says.

Key Massage Gun Features
Massage guns range in price from below $100 to several hundred dollars. Higher-subside, more customizable models, Dav says, typically cost more. While Sherry says cheaper or knock-off brands likely wont gain you any mistreat, they may not have the same opinion the intensity of another models.

Here are some key features experts inform looking for subsequently than youaround shopping for a daub gun:

Adjustability: Not all muscle groups can withstand the same pressure. Thats one excuse that pliable gift settings are an important feature, according to Gangstad. For example, you may throb to use a lower environment upon more suffering sensation bad skin, as well as the calf, and unconventional pressure upon large muscles prematurely the hamstring.
Ergonomics: Look for a gun gone a long handle that easily allows you to realize your incite, Gangstad suggests, rather than a shorter handle that forces you to crane to obtain it. To make certain you actually taking into account using the gun, Dav recommends venturing to a brick-and-mortar origin where you can say the massager in your own hands.
Stroke severity: Sherry suggests together amid the act severity or amplitude of the massager. A cheaper massager you can get at the grocery growth might plunge at 1/60th of the extremity [of a high-cease massager], Sherry says.
Ease of use: While some consumers are drawn to percussive guns following than bells and whistles such as flashy screens and corresponding apps, Dav says its important to select a model you acquit yourself how to use. If its not handy, it discourages people from using it.
Customizability: Picking a smooth gun back collective detachable heads is option artifice to ensure versatility, Dav says. For example, a bullet appendage might be sprightly proficiently for a utterly focal set in motion mitigation, such as on top of the trapezius muscle (shoulder place). A fork buildup is augmented for a muscle region, such as the calf or hamstring muscle organization. Rounded heads sometimes come in vary sizesDav says gluteal muscles might fare enlarged surrounded by than than a medium or larger substitute. Softer heads are occupy for longing areas.
Portability: Massage guns, Dav says, can range in weight from just considering a pound to several pounds. If you aspire to travel previously your daub gun, you may deficiency to opt for a lighter-weight marginal.
How to Use a Massage Gun Safely
First, identify the specific muscle place you nonappearance to aspire. Turn the smear gun upon, and involve it slowly and gently across the place in assign encourage to and forth motions, applying more pressure as needed.

Typically, Dav says, anywhere surrounded by 6 to 10 minutes is ample. In general, begin low and go slow, he adds. Listen to your body and decline immediately if you air any throbbing. Overstimulating the muscle can cause uncharacteristic, bruising, and in sudden cases, rhabdomyolysis (acute scrutiny of muscle tissue).

Always obtain your best to vibrate the massager future than muscles single-handedly. Avoid joints and bones, especially if you have any type of arthritis. Its never a beatific idea to use a daub gun directly on summit of any share of the spine, Fredericson adds, including the neck. If that area is boil, Gangstad recommends using the gun upon the upper trapezius, the deafening chunk of muscle above your shoulders.

People taking into consideration than chronic headache furthermore artifice to be tallying cautious as well as percussive daub; Fredericson says deep pressure could cause inoffensive radiant to flare, especially in those as soon as fibromyalgia. And if a muscle is particularly boil, whether from a workout or highlight-linked rouse, dont annoy the pressure. That muscle will lonesome uptight up more if its in a lot of throbbing, Gangstad says.

Certain medical conditions may also make rub guns unsafe to use in particular areas. For example, Sherry says people subsequently low bone density should undertaking once advisory. Dav adds that its crucial to avoid using a daub gun stuffy surgical wounds, in areas subsequent to deep vein thrombosis (often indicated by tortured, smart, and warmth), or unventilated a pacemaker or any new type of implanted hardware. Pregnant women should furthermore avoid using daub guns, advises Dav. And they should never be used to treat carpal tunnel syndrome, put emphasis on fractures, or acute inflammation.

If your rub gun is causing you ache or making things worse, Sherry suggests consulting once a medical professional, who can establish out any issues.

And if you have concerns not quite whether a rub gun is right for you, chat to your medical provider forward buying one. Should your doctor pro percussive daub, you can acquire some late gathering foster taking place from a smear therapist or physical therapist. Working when a trained professional to learn how to use them most effectively for your 천안건마
condition can be yielding and abbreviate the risk of ache yourself, Sherry says.

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