What is Percussive Therapy and How It Helps Your Muscle ?
August 23, 20216 min read
What is Percussion Therapy?
Over the decades, massage guns have been used increasingly for dealing with muscle-related medical complications. These massage guns have become more and more common among people of diverse age groups. Percussion therapy is a massage-based treatment designed to cure soft tissue pain and mostly uses a massage gun for the purpose. The gun works by delivering strong vibrations to the affected muscle tissue. Such rapid strokes and pulses enhance blood flow and in turn cures the soreness of muscles. Improved blood circulation results in greater flexibility, improved range of motion, and speedier recovery from injuries.
Percussive therapy works very effectively with all muscles in the body as the machine targets trigger points and affects muscles deep down in the body.
7 science reasons behind why percussive therapy is good?
Currently, a range of scientific evidence exists to support the use of percussive therapy in treating muscle pain. Research has proven that deep massage is ideal for stimulating blood flow. Enhanced blood circulation is one of the most essential factors in ensuring that your muscles are in healthy condition. The following seven reasons suggest that percussion therapy is a great solution to muscle-related problems.
DOMS refers to muscle soreness and stress that results from intense physical activity that is beyond your body’s capacity. DOMS can last as long as 72 hours after your workout and can be extremely distressing. Percussive therapy is a great preventative measure for this because research has proven that vibration therapy not only improves muscular strength but also enhances power development and muscle performance, thereby preventing DOMS. Percussion therapy is slightly different from vibration therapy but the underlying mechanism is the same. Both improve motor unit activity and prevent muscle damage resulting from an intense workout.
2. Percussive therapy improves flexibility
Not only does it minimize pain, but also affects your range of motion and flexibility positively. It does so by synchronizing the muscle spindles. This, in turn, makes your muscles less prone to injuries.
3. It increases blood circulation
Muscle pain and soreness following intense workout results because of lactic acid build-up. Lactic acid build-up can be countered only by improved blood circulation. Research has proven that vibration and percussive therapy can enhance blood flow in your muscles and minimize tension and inflammation.
4. Percussive therapy works wonders for your lymphatic flow
A better lymphatic system is the key to reduced muscular knots and tightness. Only if your lymph is allowed to move freely can your body excrete toxins and other waste materials effectively. Therefore, if your lymphatic system is healthy, your immune system and metabolism will work to their best ability as well.
5. Percussive therapy gives effective and quick pain relief
The best part of percussive therapy is its instant and efficient results. Massage guns are a great instant and portable solution to muscle pain. You can carry it around in your gym bag. Research suggests that percussive therapy is a very time-effective and quick treatment solution.
6. It breaks scar tissue and heals other adhesions
Damaged muscles can cause pain and massage machines can help the body recover from this quickly.
7. Percussive therapy removes toxic fluids from the muscles
Deep muscle massage pushes out toxic fluids from the muscles into the circulatory system so that they can be removed from the body.
How to use a deep tissue massage gun?
A deep tissue massage gun is a device designed for muscle recovery. It is a high-intensity device that has a pulsating and vibrating body that massages the muscles deeply. The device is made for athletes and trainers in particular but can be used by others as well. It is the perfect quick relief tool for muscular pain.
A massage gun is super easy to use. All you have to do is aim the gun at the affected muscle and keep it steady at a distance of about an inch. Then switch it on and let it pulse on the muscles. Switch it so it begins pulsating before you use it on your body. Let it float lightly over the affected muscle without pressing extra-hard. The pulsating machine gun will deeply massage your sore muscles and promote better blood circulation. Just like a vibrating foam roller, this will relax your muscles. When using the machine gun, try to find the trigger point. This appears as a tight and knotty area where the gun is more painful than the rest. Use the gun in this area specifically.
Remember the following when using a massage gun:
1. Start low and slow
When you are using a deep tissue massage gun for the first time, be cautious. It is a very powerful device so you should start by using it lightly and slowly. Higher pressure is not always ideal. Some have a lower tolerance than others and too much pressure can damage the muscles instead.
2. Let the massage gun float
Don’t apply pressure, regardless of whether you prefer it that way. Just let the device glide on the skin and do not force it.
3. Move the gun around and don’t stay in one place for too long
Keep moving the gun around to attain the best results. When moving the device, begin with the larger muscles and avoid touching any bone.
How do I Know if Percussive Therapy is Right for Me?
Percussion therapyis a very useful remedy for even the slightest of muscular pains. Usually, you should consider percussive therapy when you are suffering from prolonged or intense muscular tension. Alternatively, it is also a very simple strategy for treating temporary and mild muscle tension. Before or after an intense workout, you can use a massage gun to warm-up or reduce muscle stiffness respectively. Using percussive therapy within 48 hours of an intense workout can prevent DOMS.
In general, percussion therapy deep tissue massage should be the right treatment for you if you have a physically active lifestyle and suffer from sore muscles quite often. If you have any of the following medical problems, a massage gun should be considered: muscle soreness, shin splints, TMJ syndrome, bulging disks, carpal tunnel syndrome, or Sciatica. Other than these, athletes often use massage guns as a way to ‘wake-up’ the muscles and warm up the body for an intense workout.
In general, percussive therapy is an effective treatment for both intense and mild muscle stiffness, unless you suffer from deep vein thrombosis, nerve sensitivity, or are pregnant. In such cases, do consult your doctor before you use a massage gun on your sore muscles. If you suffer from inflammation-related muscular injuries, sprains, strains, fractures, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, or take blood-thinning medication like heparin, do not consider percussive therapy without seeking medical advice first.
FAQ's (Frequently Ask Questions)
Are percussion massages healthy?
Yes,percussion massages are both safe and effective in treating muscle soreness. By breaking scar tissue, improving blood circulation, and removing lactic acid, percussion massages can cure muscle stiffness readily.
Are percussion massagers harmful?
Percussion massagers are safe to use in general except in a few circumstances. Firstly, using a percussion massager on a pulled muscle (also called muscle strain) can do more harm than benefit because the muscle is already pulled past its stretch capacity and the massage worsens the problem. Secondly, if you suffer from deep vein thrombosis, nerve sensitivity, or are pregnant, percussion massagers can be harmful.
Are percussion massagers harmful?
Yes, percussion therapy is an authentic and scientifically proven treatment for muscle pain. A lot of research has suggested that massage therapy is as effective as vibration therapy in preventing DOMS and treating muscle soreness, lactic acid build-up, and muscle pain.
Percussive therapy used in pregnancy for severe muscle cramps?
While percussive therapy can be used during pregnancy, it must be used with extreme caution and while following the right guidelines. It should be used only to treat muscle cramps in certain areas of the body. Only use percussion massage when pregnant if your doctor allows you after a thorough physical exam. If done incorrectly or when the doctor advises you against it, it can increase the risk of a miscarriage.