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Can Massage Guns Cause Serious Consequences?

Can Massage Guns Cause Serious Consequences?

The short answer is yes. Major arteries, nerves, lymphatic vessels, and organs might be damaged by massage guns when improperly used. A massage gun is a great tool in qualified hands. Untrained users could be in at risk for injury. Inappropriate or excessive use could do more harm than good.

A John Hopkins study claims that every organ, blood vessel, bone, nerve fiber, and muscle is held in place by a tiny layer of connective tissue called fascia.  A powerful motor can break blood vessels, produce inflammation, and cause bruising.

The purpose of massage treatment is to enhance blood flow, which supplies our muscles with healthy nutrients and oxygen. By damaging blood vessels, you negate these potential benefits.

What are massage guns, and how do they work?

Small and compact, a massage gun resembles and sounds like a drill. Massage guns usually come with a variety of attachments and speeds that ease  muscle soreness. Alternative names for massage guns include vibratory or percussion-based therapy instruments. These kinds of tools have existed for a very long time.

Most medical professionals and therapists concur that stimulating muscle tissue reduces pain, increases circulation, and relieves tension. Studies have shown that massagers promote short-term muscle length and diminish delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Following intense exercise, DOMS can cause muscle soreness for up to 72 hours. Massage guns can reduce muscle soreness and speed up muscle recovery in areas worked during exercise.

Is using a massage gun harmful?

A massager gun is a safe choice in the hands of a competent user. Inexperienced new users may encounter various problems due to improper handling. Improper or excessive use of massage guns could cause discomfort and injury. Continuous pressure or vibration in a specific area can cause tissue injury and unbearable pain.

How can massage guns be dangerous?

Massage guns can be dangerous in the following ways.

Damage to blood vessels

When blood vessels break, a medical disorder known as blood vessel rupture results. You may notice bruises and blood pouring into the muscular tissue as blood vessels rupture.

Dermal damage

Your skin, or dermis, consists of the primary tissue layer that defends your inside organs. Massage therapy tools and techniques initially affect your skin. Just below the epidermis, there are many blood vessels and nerve endings. Even though these nerve endings and blood vessels are protected, the protective coatings of collagen and elastin fibers change significantly with age, gender, and health.

If you are young, muscular, and have thick skin, you'll probably be able to handle the high-frequency vibrations of a massage gun. The massage gun's lowest setting will probably be too intense for someone with soft, sensitive skin.

Pulled skin and muscles

Repetitive fast blows from the percussive massage gun stretch the collagen and elastin fibers in your skin and muscles. The percussion massage gun's quick, constant strikes to your skin over time may cause your skin to become sagging and stretched.

Skeletal muscle damage

Skeletal muscle is heavier and thicker than fat. It's comprised of protein, actin, and myosin. The fascia is a protective covering of fibrous spider web-like tissue. A massage gun could damage the skeletal muscle if improperly used. 

Every organ, blood vessel, bone, nerve fiber, and muscle are covered in fascia. Fascia is a thin layer of connective tissue that surrounds them and holds them in place. By hammering into this area with a high-intensity motor, you can damage blood vessels, increase Inflammation, and eventually cause bruising.

Massage treatment improves blood flow, which supplies our muscles with oxygen and nutrients. As you push the massage gun into your muscle, the skin, fat, fascia, nerves, and blood vessels receive hundreds of firm up-and-down pulses. Damage to these systems can cancel out the prospective rewards.

Nerve sensitivity 

As a result of the percussion therapy tool's pressure, rapid strokes, and mechanical force, your skin's nerve endings can send unwanted messages to your brain. Your blood pressure and heart rate may increase due to these strong impulses.

Muscle contractions

When neurons fire fight or flight signals, muscles react by contracting. Increased muscle contractions, especially in response to external stimuli, are ineffective when a muscle is trying to relax and release tension.

The following situations warrant not using a massage gun:

Sprain

A sprain is a form of muscle or ligament damage. A quick movement that stretches the muscle past its breaking point causes this injury. Sprain victims frequently hear a popping sound when the damage occurs. Massagers can exacerbate ligament and muscle sprains.

Strain

Whenever a muscle is strained beyond its usual range of motion, an injury of this sort results. This is frequently the consequence of poor form, quick movements, and misuse of the muscles. The massage gun's intense pounding action can worsen strains.

Inflammation

Damage-related inflammation is the body's natural reaction to injury. The body sends blood to the injured region, causing inflammation. Tendinitis, fasciitis, bursitis, and periostitis are a few common inflammatory disorders. Patients with inflammation shouldn't use a massage gun. It might make things worse and delay recovery.

Fractured bones

Even though this one might seem obvious, some people have attempted it. Fractured bones shouldn't be subjected to percussion massage gun therapy. This also applies to individuals who have been cleared to exercise. Any amount of hammering can shatter or fracture the repaired bone. Never do it!

Safety Guidelines for Using a Massage Gun

Don't go overboard

Extended periods of massage may not necessarily result in faster recovery. Due to the strength of the massage gun, you should keep your sessions to a maximum of three minutes for any big muscles, such as the quadriceps, and a maximum of two minutes smaller muscles like those around the neck. Get the circulation flowing and stimulate the muscles just enough to relax them.

Don't use if you are on blood thinners

At all costs, avoid using your massage tool on your legs if you take blood thinners to prevent clotting. Visit a nearby massage parlor instead, and request a Swedish-style massage.

Don't use if you are highly susceptible to nausea

Do loud, high-frequency vibrations make you queasy? If so, proceed cautiously when using your massager close to your head. A standard massage gun's beat is strong enough to displace the fluid in your inner ear, which can result in nausea and vomiting in some people.

Don't use if you have sensory deficits

Additionally, people should avoid using the massager on any numb parts of their bodies. This is particularly problematic for those who may have peripheral neuropathy, which is usually brought on by diabetes. You could hurt yourself without even realizing it if you don't have dependable sensory input.

Read the cautions and restrictions

  • Avoid using it when pregnant without first seeing your doctor.

  • Never administer to minors, the elderly, or anybody with a medical condition for whom it is not recommended in the unit's documentation. First, speak with your healthcare practitioner.

  • Use only as long as instructed.

  • Use is not permitted on the breast, face, or head.

  • Never rest your body against a massager before bed.

The bottom line

Spending money on physio sessions, sports massages, and other rehabilitation techniques can add up quickly. A single investment in a product like a massage gun can save you a ton of money over time.

A note of caution before you use a massage gun: make sure you use your massage gun safely and follow instructions for the best results. Massage funs can be wonderful healing tools, but they can also be dangerous in the wrong hands.

Lastly, don't fall for the lies of other manufacturers that massagers are a miraculous new invention. They are just new versions of decades-old vibrating massage gadgets. 

All Zarifa USA products are HSA and FSA eligible. This means you can contribute your health savings funds towards the purchase of any of our products!

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