Skin is the largest organ of the body. It might seem like wrapping paper made up of cellular membranes, but it is responsible for important bodily functions. Our skin protects our body from microbes and regulates our body temperature.
This organ does have one huge flaw. Skin (dermis) cannot be regenerated. Instead, it forms scars. Even though scars demonstrate the healing power of our skin, they can cause pain, discomfort, swelling, altered sensation, and limited mobility. We cannot control how the body scars. However, we can do certain things to break up scar tissues and adhesions. One of those is massaging the scar tissues. That's where a massage gun can be very helpful.
What are scar tissues?
A scar is the natural result of your skin knitting itself back together after it’s been hurt. Like every other soft tissue in the body, scar tissue also consists of collagen fibers. Healing is a complex process that consists of many steps. Wherever injury affects healthy tissues, the first response of the body is to stop bleeding. Blood cells called platelets gather to form a clot and seal the wound. Later, cells called fibroblasts start making collagen and growth factors to mend the wound as fast as possible. This repair process is very fast.
The body prioritizes healing the injury quickly rather than organizing the newly formed collagen fibers in the same way as the original pre-injury tissue. That's why scar tissues are not as strong or as elastic as healthy tissues. Scars also don't produce hair, oil, or sweat, and their color and texture may be different from the surrounding tissues.
Scar tissue can develop anywhere in the body in any shape or size. For example:
- Scar tissue will develop after surgery at the site of the surgical incision
- Scar tissue will develop in the muscle after muscle injuries: like hamstring tear or rotator cuff tear
- Bony scar tissue, known as callus, will form on the bone after a fracture
Scars may look displeasing depending upon their size, type, and location. They may even cause pain, discomfort, and difficulty moving. Not all scars require medical attention, and many fade away on their own over time. Different treatment methods are available for scars that are bothering you and causing pain. Massaging is one of the best methods.
Are scar tissues permanent?
No, scar tissues are not permanent. After formation and healing, the scar undergoes remodeling. In the remodeling process, the body rebuilds the scar tissues to make them stronger and more like the tissues that were there before the injury. It is a necessary step to enable scar tissues to bear the daily stress that the body usually experiences.
If scar tissue does not remodel properly, it can lead to mobility issues and joint contractures (difficulty in movement because of shortening and tightening of fibers). Massage on the scar tissue helps in the remodeling process.
Is massage helpful in breaking up scar tissues?
Yes, massaging scar tissues is the most recommended method for remodeling and breaking up the scar tissue in a healthy way.
Massage helps in breaking down collagen cells that are clumped together. In doing so, it restores their natural structure so that lumpy and unattractive scar tissue cannot develop after surgery or an injury.
Massage therapy techniques prevent the scar tissues from sticking to each other and the surrounding tissues. It loosens restrictive fibrous bands and increases circulation. This results in decreased pain and restriction and increased mobility in scar tissues.
Some research shows that massage helps in healing scar tissues. According to one study, massage therapy may improve post-surgical function and healing. Another study suggests that massage can help reduce symptoms of pain, itching, anxiety, and depression in burn victims.
Always remember, before starting the massage of scar tissues, be sure that the scar is fully healed. Premature massaging of a scar could cause tearing or reopening of the wound which can lead to an infection. Speak to your doctor to make sure it's safe to massage your scar tissues.
What is a massage gun?
A massage gun is a portable, handheld massage device. It looks like and sometimes sounds like a power drill. Massage guns use a type of percussion (vibration) therapy. They swing back and forth to apply mechanical pressure that reaches deep into the tissues. They help warm up and loosen up the muscles by providing rapid, brief bursts of pressure in concentrated pulses. They are usually wireless devices that have a rechargeable battery and a variety of replaceable pieces. Different speed settings can be utilized for gaining the desired effect.
Is a massage gun good for breaking scar tissues?
Massage guns are not only good for muscle therapy after exercising. They are also useful for massaging scars after surgery or injury. Using percussive therapy, they provide a deep tissue massage, help breakdown scar tissues, and heal the affected region. The mechanism by which massage guns prompt a cellular response and help remodel scar tissue structure is called mechanotransduction.
What are the benefits of using a massage gun for healing scar tissues?
A massage gun helps break up and heal scar tissues. The following are some of the healing benefits of massage guns.
Increase blood circulation
Massage guns help increase the blood flow towards scar tissues. This further helps drain excess fluid and reduce inflammation in the area.
Break down scar tissues
After any surgery or injury, the body may not arrange the collagen cells in proper alignment. Its priority is quick wound healing. As a result, collagen cells start clumping together with neighboring tissues and lose their natural structure. Massaging a scar using a massage gun helps to break it down and align tissues properly.
Alleviate pain and discomfort
Adhesions due to scar tissue are the main culprits of pain and restricted movement. A massage gun helps in reducing the sensations of pain and hypersensitivity. It breaks down adhesions through deep tissue massage.
Reduce the tightness of the scar tissues
Massage guns help in decreasing the tightness of scar tissues by breaking them down and making them softer and more malleable.
Reduce the build-up of scar tissues
The body forms a scar after injury by growing new collagen. If excessive tissues form, a patient's muscles can become weak and stiff. Massage guns help decrease the build-up of these excess scar tissues.
When a scar forms, the nerve fibers detect the difference in the skin of the scar from the surrounding skin. These nerves send signals to the spinal cord – which results in a feeling of itchiness. Massage guns help manipulate the body’s soft tissue structures, and in turn, reduce itchiness.
Massage guns are also helpful in improving the appearance of scars by remodeling scar tissues and making them more aligned.
Massage guns help prevent scars from becoming bulky. They flatten the already bulky scars.
Massage guns help decrease numbness. They help people regain the feeling in their scar areas by increasing the blood flow around the scar tissues.
How to use a massage gun for scar tissues?
To use a massage gun for breaking up scar tissues, first select the desired head of the massage gun. Next, select the speed that is most comfortable for you. Then, place the gun in the affected area and slowly move it in a circular motion.
One method to break up scar tissues is to apply a specified amount of pressure to trigger points. Trigger points are neuromuscular junctions that can be unpleasant when crushed. The massage should start with light pressure and slowly progress towards high pressure. Stop immediately if it causes any pain.
How long can you use a massage gun?
Massage guns are powerful massage tools. They use percussion massage therapy to penetrate deep into muscle tissue. Massage guns should only be used in short seasons. Use them for a maximum of 2 minutes on any given muscle group. It’s recommended not to use a massage gun more than 2 or 3 times a day.
How to choose the right massage gun?
It is very important to choose the right massage gun for you. If you are spending money on it, you should choose the best among the rest. Furthermore, different people have different needs. That’s why getting the right gun, according to your conditions, is very important. Your massage gun needs to address your pain. It's also important that it doesn't cause further injury in the process.
Here are a few things that you should consider when you buy a massage gun.
Stall force: This is the amount of pressure that a particular gun takes to stall the motor. The gun can hit deeper with a higher stall force number.
Amplitude: This is the distance that the head of a massage gun covers by moving back and forth. It is also called percussion per minute.
The combination of the stall force and the amplitude can give you a clue of what the gun can do for you. For big muscles, a gun with a higher stall force and longer amplitude will work well.
Some more things to look out for before buying a massage gun include:
- The number of speed levels
- The number of attachments
- The battery life
We recommend our Health Plus, a gun that has a stall force of 60 lbs and 16 cm of amplitude. It offers 9 speeds and goes up to 3500 RPM. It has 8 different massage heads, a touch screen display, and more than a 5-hour battery life.
Another good massage gun is the Z Smart Gun. It has 20 speeds and goes up to 3200 RPM. It also has 8 different massage heads, a touch screen display, and more than a 5-hour battery life.
If your purpose in buying a massage gun is to just relax your muscles and increase blood circulation, then the Mini Massage Gun from Zarifa USA is best for you. It has 5 speeds, 4 attachments, a 4-hour battery life, and a USB C charger.
Things to keep in mind before using a massage gun
Massage guns are safe to use if they are used according to the manual instructions. There are certain precautions that you should consider before using them to obtain maximum results and ensure safety.
Don't apply too much pressure
The massage gun should never cause pain. If it's painful, your muscles can't relax. If the use of a massage gun is painful for you, you may be pressing too hard, or the speed may be too high. Stop right away or adjust the pressure so that it's right for the area of the body you are massaging.
Avoid touching nerves
If pain from a massage gun feels like pins-and-needles or has an electrical quality, it means you've touched a nerve. If this happens, you should stop the massage gun immediately.
Use massage guns on muscles only
Avoid using a massage gun on nerves, bones, joints, or tendons. It is meant to be used on muscles only.
Avoid using on an area that has impaired sensation
Do not use a massage gun on any body part that has impaired sensation. This is a concern particularly for those who have peripheral neuropathy, a condition often caused by diabetes. If you’re not getting precise sensorial feedback, stop massaging that area. Chances are you are hurting yourself more than healing.
Avoid using while taking blood thinners
Avoid using massage guns while you're taking prescription blood thinners such as heparin and warfarin. Anticoagulants can make your body bleed and bruise easily. As such, the repetitive pressure of the massage gun will create problems. Taking daily aspirin shouldn't be an issue. Speak to your doctor to make sure your medication isn't contraindicated for massage gun use.
Avoid using with the following medical conditions
It is recommended to seek medical advice before using a massage gun if you have any of the following conditions.
- Inflammatory disorder
- Muscle strain
- Varicose veins
- Ligament sprain
- High blood pressure
- Conditions affecting blood vessels like thrombosis
The bottom line
A scar is a natural outcome of the healing process. It appears because of your body trying to repair itself. While scars are natural, they can cause limited mobility, itching, and pain. That's why scars need to be taken care of. Massaging the affected area is the most common way to do this.
A massage gun is a remarkable tool and a revolutionary breakthrough in massage therapy. It uses percussive therapy to deeply massage scar tissues and break them down. You can easily use this device by yourself within the comfort of your own house or office. It is always advised to consult a health professional before starting use.
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!
- What to know about scar tissue https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/
- Scars https://my.clevelandclinic.org
- The benefits of scar massage https://www.britishskinfoundation.org.uk/
- Should You Massage Your Scar? https://www.biodermis.com
- Everything You Need to Know About Massage Guns https://www.everydayhealth.com//
- Can a massage gun fill in for your therapist? Here’s what you need to know. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle