Percussive Remedy Weapons Are Nice for Treating Soreness—Right here's Methods to Use Them


Percussive remedy weapons have doubtless been popping up in your Instagram feed for fairly a while now. First launched to the market with the Theragun in 2009, the deep tissue therapeutic massage instruments resembling an influence drill at the moment are all over the place, accessible at each value level, in each dimension and from limitless manufacturers. Earlier than you add a percussive remedy gun to your restoration regiment, you need to know precisely what they’re, how you can use them, and the way precisely they may also help your physique heal. 

Meet the Skilled

  • Elizabeth Gardner, MD, is a Yale Medication sports activities drugs physician within the division of Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation.
  • Eric Holder, MD, is a Yale Medication physiatrist and assistant professor of Scientific Orthopaedics at Yale Faculty of Medication.

What Are Percussive Remedy Weapons?

Percussive remedy weapons are digital gadgets, normally resembling an influence drill, that permit the consumer to simply give themselves a deep, highly effective smooth tissue therapeutic massage, explains Elizabeth Gardner, MD. “With a agency rubber ball or different attachment, for percussion, the gun repeatedly and quickly kilos into the muscle and smooth tissue, to be able to enhance muscle soreness and stiffness,” she says.  

Eric Holder, MD, compares the motion to “the pistoling impact seen with a jackhammer.” However as an alternative of loosening up concrete, the oscillating repetitive motion works to assist launch muscle stress and break up muscle knots.  

Whereas this may appear a bit of hardcore for some individuals, a percussive remedy gun may also be utilized in a extra mild method. Many gadgets additionally present vibration remedy—a decrease amplitude of power, provides Gardner. “Vibration remedy could also be a greater possibility for sufferers with persistent ache or with delicate muscle tissue that won’t have the ability to tolerate extra intense therapy.”

The Advantages

Analysis is proscribed as to the confirmed advantages of percussive remedy weapons, however there may be some proof that utilizing one could be useful for quite a lot of causes.

  • It Might Assist Cut back Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS): Holder factors to early proof indicating that it could scale back Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)—the ache you may expertise just a few days post-workout. A January 2014 research printed in Journal of Scientific and Diagnostic Analysis for Docs discovered that vibration remedy (50 Hz vibration for 5 minutes) and therapeutic massage remedy (quarter-hour) have been equally efficient in “considerably” lowering muscle soreness for exercisers in comparison with a management group. “DOMS is attributed to ultrastructural gentle muscle damage that may happen with finishing an unfamiliar or intense train, with peak soreness normally between 24 and 72 hours post-exercise,” Holder explains. “There may be proof that percussion remedy much like therapeutic massage may also help to scale back or stop DOMS.”
  • It Might Assist Enhance Blood Movement: Holder additionally factors to proof that utilizing a percussive remedy gun might enhance blood movement/circulation. When muscle tissues are tense, twisted up, or infected, it may possibly restrict blood movement to the realm. “Improved blood movement features to scale back muscle soreness, irritation, and related muscle stress/knots,” he explains. 
  • It Might Enhance Flexibility: Early proof means that percussive remedy weapons could also be useful in enhancing vary of movement (ROM), much like typical therapeutic massage by a therapist.
  • It Might Assist Relieve Stress: Science has lengthy since supported therapeutic massage as efficient short-term stress reduction. Whereas science is proscribed as to the stress-relieving powers of percussive remedy, many individuals declare that as a result of they perform equally, in addition they assist launch stress and relieve stress. 
  • It Might Assist Enhance Your Sleep: Therabody, aka Theragun, carried out a 2020 research and located that 87% of individuals fell asleep quicker after utilizing a Theragun Percussive Therapeutic massage Remedy system. 

When to Use a Percussive Remedy Gun

There are a number of methods and conditions through which utilizing a therapeutic massage gun could be efficient, Gardner explains. 

  • Earlier than Exercises: Earlier than a exercise is an effective time to make use of a therapeutic massage gun for heat up, per Gardner, as it may possibly assist enhance blood movement to the muscle tissues that you just intend to train. “Spend one minute on every muscle group that you’ll be understanding, in addition to on the adjoining, supporting muscle tissues,” she suggests. “For instance, if you will be operating or doing a lower-body exercise, you should definitely therapeutic massage the quads, hamstrings, glutes, decrease again, and calves.” There may be additionally some proof that utilizing one might enhance vary of movement of joints earlier than understanding, she provides.
  • Submit-Exercise: Utilizing the therapeutic massage gun after a exercise may also help maintain circulation sturdy, “to be able to proceed to ship oxygen and vitamins to the drained muscle tissues,” she says. “It might additionally assist to lower irritation within the muscle tissues, thus probably lowering post-exercise.”
  • When You Expertise Muscle Soreness: A therapeutic massage gun can also be generally used within the therapy of sore muscle tissues one to 2 days after a exercise. “When utilizing it on sore muscle tissues, you will need to regulate the pace and depth of the percussion to a degree that doesn’t trigger ache,” she factors out.
  • When You Expertise Muscle Stress: Lastly, Gardner reveals that percussion remedy could also be helpful for stress reduction and to lower common muscle stress. “Utilizing it for one to 2 minutes over every of the most important muscle teams has been advocated to assist the physique to chill out.”

Methods to Use a Percussive Remedy Gun

Holder maintains that percussive remedy weapons “are usually very user-friendly.” Nonetheless, you will need to use them accurately to reap the advantages and keep away from damage. “I typically advocate to start out on the bottom setting, monitor for tolerance, and enhance the setting as wanted,” he suggests.” 

Then, merely purpose the device on the muscle group that you’re trying to focus on and let the machine do the work. “You do not want to power/push the device into your muscle however as an alternative, let it hover or glide alongside the muscle to use the percussion therapy.” Gardner specifies that you need to spend one to 2 minutes on every focused muscle group. She additionally stresses the significance of treating not solely sore muscle tissues, or the muscle tissues that you just intend to focus on in your exercise, but in addition the adjoining and supporting muscle tissues.

Therapeutic massage weapons are protected to make use of on sore muscle tissues however ought to be prevented on the next areas:

  • Instantly on bone
  • On bruises
  • On open pores and skin wounds or abrasions
  • On areas the place you may have extreme or unexplainable ache
  • These taking blood thinners or with bleeding problems ought to converse to their doctor earlier than utilizing

There are additionally some individuals who ought to assume twice earlier than choosing up a percussive remedy gun. “It is best to discuss to your physician earlier than utilizing on injured areas, resembling sprains or strains or tendonitis, or you probably have arthritis, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, or different orthopedic circumstances,” says Gardner. It’s also really useful that ladies who’re pregnant converse to their doctor earlier than utilizing a therapeutic massage gun, “though so long as it’s not used on the stomach, it’s typically regarded as protected, and even useful to alleviate muscle stress,” she says. “Additionally do not forget that therapeutic massage weapons aren’t an alternative choice to stretching, or a correct warm-up and cool-down in your exercise,” she reminds. 

What Velocity to Use

As Holder prompt, begin with a decrease pace and depth and work your method up. “Decide a setting of pace and depth that’s not painful in your muscle,” Gardner provides. In the event you need a “deeper, extra centered therapy,” she suggests switching the top attachments. 

Potential Facet Results

There are just a few key dangers when utilizing a percussive remedy gun, and they’re normally related to utilizing the system incorrectly. “Utilizing the percussive remedy system for longer than is really useful, or with too sturdy of a setting, dangers damage to the superficial smooth tissues,” Gardner explains. “This could embody rupturing blood vessels, rising nerve sensitivity, and damaging muscle fibers.”

The Takeaway

Each medical doctors agree that when used accurately, percussive remedy weapons could be an efficient therapy for muscle soreness and gentle accidents in addition to doubtlessly stop them. “Nonetheless, when used inappropriately or excessively, they are often counterproductive and worsen ache and irritation,” Gardner reminds. It’s additionally necessary to grasp “that percussion remedy shouldn’t be a alternative for a well-formatted exercise and stretching routine, correct relaxation, and satisfactory vitamin and hydration, however as an alternative is a useful, supplementary device when used appropriately,” provides Holder. Lastly, should you do have any questions or considerations involving preexisting accidents or medical circumstances, all the time keep in mind to seek the advice of along with your medical physician previous to choosing one up.

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