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Do Massage Guns Pay Off? 

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In recent years, massage guns in Myotherapy Fitzroy have become increasingly popular among athletes, physical therapists, and essentially anyone in pain, especially during pandemic times when many spas and health centres had to close. This year witnessed the height of online shop sales for at-home self-care items such percussion therapy massagers and exercise equipment. Massage tools are said to be beneficial because they “increase blood flow, reduce lactic acid, and break the pain cycle in the brain.” Although the most sought-after guns cost much more, such as high-end ones from Theragun ($1357) and Hypervolt ($599.95), than the basic models, which typically cost around $100. So, are these massage devices actually worth the advertising and price? We look into the advantages and the promises made by specialists in the industry of percussion massager instruments and massage guns. 

Massagers: Do They Really Help? 

Since massage guns are so new, the scientific research on them is still in its infancy and has not yet reached a conclusion. However, recent clinical investigations have shown that they do work and offer advantages, so there is now sufficient data to take them seriously. Along with other recovery instruments like foam rollers and massage balls, percussion treatment and the use of massage guns do have a place in the area of physical therapy for recovery. Massage tools assert that their finest use are for muscle soreness, lactic acid recovery following exercise, and potential range of motion expansion. You may be aware of the advantages of massage and its game-changing impact for managing muscular aches and pains, recovering from injuries, and treating chronic pain, but a massage gun cannot even come close to a trained clinical massage therapist's care. When a massage therapist uses their elbows, forearms, and thumbs to apply manual massage techniques, you experience less pain, more movement, and less tension. But can deep percussion therapy from a massage gun produce similar results? 

Massage Gun Advantages 

Percussive or vibration therapy is delivered by massage guns by repeatedly applying rhythmic oscillation bursts of pressure to muscle tissue in a swift up-down motion resembling a jackhammer. One of the main effects of massagers is that they make it easier for metabolites and other waste products linked with exercise to be removed, which lessens DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). Muscular soreness, a reduction in muscle force output, a reduction in range of motion, and discomfort are all symptoms of DOMS, which is brought on by minute muscle fibre tears. Due to a restricted range of motion and an inability to effectively absorb the shock that comes from physical exertion, DOMS increases the risk of injury. Changes to mechanical motion could put more stress on soft tissue structures. Similar to what you can achieve with foam rolling, yoga, and mild exercise, massage guns help eliminate lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) in the 48 hours following exercise and also boost blood flow, pushing nutrients into the muscle. 

Massagers function by blocking the pain receptors in a sore muscle, and they may also relieve pain by activating the GTO (Golgi Tendon Organ), a tissue that prevents muscle contraction. Similar to TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation), vibration stimulates muscle spindles and boosts their nerve impulse activity. Both of these techniques work by reducing pain perception via a mechanism known as the “Gate Control Theory of Pain.” Therefore, the neurological mechanisms of massage guns and the brain's capacity to detect tightness or laxity in muscle, tendon, or fascia are what they primarily rely on. 

According to Murray Kovesy Clinical Myotherapists at Motion Myotherapy and the Hawthorn Football Club, massage treatment has long been thought of as a healing tool for sports. Numerous advantages of massage include reduced stress, greater range of motion, less muscle soreness, and increased blood flow. According to Murray, a professional massage therapist or myotherapist who diagnoses and treats soft tissue injuries cannot be replaced by a massage gun because they offer greater advantages. The main benefit of a massage gun is that, unlike a foam roller, you can obtain the same results by simply pressing a button while sitting comfortably, as opposed to moving your body about on the floor. 

Studies in medicine have been done by scientists. In a 2014 study, the effectiveness of massage and vibration therapy in preventing delayed onset muscular soreness was compared (DOMS). According to the study's findings, massage therapy and vibration therapy both work well to prevent DOMS. Although vibration therapy exhibits clinically early pain relief and is beneficial in lowering the level of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) in the 48 hours following exercise, massage is more effective in restoring concentric strength. 

Are massage weapons secure? 

When applied incorrectly to sore muscles, tendonitis, and other inflammatory disorders like joint pain and tendon sprains, massage tools can exacerbate damage already done to the affected area. If you are hurt, you don't want to overstimulate the area. Avoid touching your neck because it is quite sensitive, or at the very least, use a very low setting. Any joints, bone prominences, nerve bundles, veins, and arteries should also not be used in close proximity because they are more vulnerable, which requires a fundamental awareness of anatomical features. The constant beating on these delicate places might cause neuropathy, hand numbness, and other circulation issues. 

When injuries are present, it is advised to first have the problem evaluated by a physical myotherapist to determine exactly what is going on. When addressing chronic pain or functional impairment, therapy is more successful. When there is inflammation, ice is advised because, during the first 72 hours, massagers can irritate the skin and exacerbate pain. Massagers have advantages, but they shouldn't be utilised in place of other crucial recovery aspects like proper rest after exercise, a healthy diet, and sleep. 


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