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Issue 7: Massage Guns - are they worth it?

When investing in anything to do with your health, you want to make sure it does what it says on the tin.

A very common question that we get asked as practitioners is whether massage guns are any good and if they’re worth the investment.

We’re here to make a bit more sense of them and maybe answer a few questions that you might have.

How do they work?

Self-massage devices have revolutionised the therapeutic industry with hype after hype and to be honest, massage guns are just the latest thing. Since vibrating foam rollers came to market, percussion muscle guns aim to provide a greater level of usability and precision when conducting self-myofascial release. It’s all to do with vibration and that’s their selling point.

In short, when vibrations are transmitted to the body, they send very short, fast and repeated movements around an equilibrium position. Using physiology, vibration therapy uses low-intensity mechanical stimuli in a non-aggressive manner to activate inhibiting interneurons to help with pain relief. With this, the stimulation of muscle spindles and alpha-motor neurons causes muscular contractions which is essentially a mini workout…

Are there any health benefits caused by vibration therapy?

Although research is still quite limited towards the true benefits of vibration therapy, there have been are several investigations of the effects on ‘Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness’ (DOMS). There are also suggestions that vibrations can reduce pain, improve muscular strength, kinesthetic awareness, range of motion and increase blood flow.

Some claim that there are effects on bone density, joint pain and boost metabolism.

Now for the price. Don’t get ripped off…seriously.

With the top brands ranging in price from £30 to £300, are the most expensive ones ACTUALLY better?

Depending on why you’re choosing to buy one, there are a few variables which can alter the price; the speed or percussions per minute (PPM), the battery life and number of attachments.

Do your research before investing as the more expensive models don’t necessarily come with a better package deal.

For novices, cheaper models will most likely do exactly what is required. The battery life and PPM may not be as great, but you’d be surprised by the number of attachments and setting some come with.

Just don’t assume that the price tag correlates with the quality of the product.

The key thing to remember is that massage guns are not a replacement for therapeutic massage from a therapist but they are brilliant for a quick relief.


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