Are massage guns truly worth the hype? Or are they simply just a gimmick by eCommerce companies to sell you things that you do not need?
If you are into fitness, chances are that you have stumbled upon massage guns that promises grandiose level of benefits to your recovery and performances.
These massage guns can range from as little as $20, while some may even reach close to a $1000. Lately, you may even realise that some of the massage guns look extremely identical. The only thing that sets them apart are their branding.
This comes as no surprise. A quick search on alibaba.com yields a total of 27902 Results of massage gun manufacturers and wholesalers, most of which offers free white-labelling of their massage guns if the minimum quantity order is met. The influx of such products is fuelled by the demand of self-treatment products, especially during the circuit period in April 2020 as most individuals were not able to seek professional help for their muscle strain or injuries. Improper home-based training may have also led to an increase in injuries that required self-care.
How does massage gun work?
Massage guns provide a swift and steady burst of tension on a specific area of your muscle tissue to increase blood flow to that particular recover, which in turn help with recovery because of the increased in the oxygenation due to the blood flow. Some individuals use massage gun as a tool to warm themselves up or loosen their muscles prior to their workout. This can help reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) after a rigorous workout.
Do they work?
As these devices are relatively new to the mass market, there are little empirical evidence to support the benefits and limitations of massage guns in general.
Theoratically, the mechanics of massage guns reproduce similar mechanics of other myofascial tools such as foam rolling. Further, as widely marketed by these sellers, the massage gun is a handy tool that can help individuals with a quick fix if they are experiencing any immediate tightness. However, does this mean that massage guns supersedes the benefits of foam rolling and massage balls completely?
Our team here disagrees. We believe that the use of massage guns is too static for the common athlete. Foam rollers and massage balls, on the contrary, encourages movements and the use of other supporting muscles to help reduce tightness and improve recovering. More importantly, the use of foam rollers and massage balls help improve mobility and range of motion (ROM), something which massage gun is not able to provide and it focuses too much on placing pressure point on a specific muscle tissue.
Furthermore, the use of massage guns require the individual to understand where the placement of their muscle tissue. Incorrect placement of such rapid pressure to body parts may cause permanent damage to your nerves, some of which are major nerves that connects to your spine and brain!
So, What is the verdict?
Massage guns are here to stay and we would recommend using it only as a SHORT TERM FIX and only if you have some basic understanding of the human muscular anatomy. Incorrect usage for prolong periods of time may cause permanent & irreversible damage to your nerves and blood vessels, which could end your passion for fitness and an active lifestyle.
We would recommend the use of foam rollers instead as it places less pressure and force on your muscle issues, while at the same time aid your ROM and mobility in general. Foam rollers are cheaper as well and require less maintenance (such as repairs, replacements and usage of warranty).
However, for long-term body maintenance, we would definitely recommend professional help from qualified sports therapists. Sports Therapists are trained and they truly understand the muscular anatomy. They are able to assess and identify your weakpoints and even provide recommendation for injury prevention and long-term performance.
At Aylwin Sports Therapy, we provide professional assessment to better understand your needs and perform the right type of treatments to ensure you are in optimal condition. Our prices are honest and direct (as shown in our main page). We have also serviced world-class international and national athletes. We are currently have a limited time promotion that gives your $20 off your first booking. Click here to find out more.