Have you ever wondered what else you could be doing to increase your post exercise recovery or even simply help your day to day muscle tightness? With a specialist interest in Sports Osteopathy, we are often asked by our patients what our thoughts are on massage guns.
Massage guns have become a hot topic in the wellness industry with very mixed views on whether they have any benefit to your recovery. The first massage guns were invented in the 1970s, hitting mainstream market in late 2010's, becoming more 'trendy' as we seek easy, fast alternatives to reduce pain and muscle tightness around exercises, so we can train harder and recover faster.
So, what are the benefits of using a massage gun?
Reduce Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)
Reduce muscle stiffness/ tightness
Increase joint range of motion
Reduce muscle tightness
Give relief from muscle aches
When to stop massage gun use ?
If you are noticing that the muscle is becoming irritated when massaging then this is a sign to stop using your massage gun on that area of the body. Similarly, if you are bruising in the days following massage gun use then a) lighten the pressure; b) modify the amount of time/ approach (instead of direct application to the tight spot, sweep over the muscle group as a whole); c) if this continues seek advice, to get to the root cause of the muscle tightness.
How often should I use a massage gun as part of my recovery?
To get the best results from your massage gun use locally on an area of tightness for 15-20 seconds or similar to foam rolling cover a muscle group/ region of the body for up to 2 minutes. Repeat 2-3 times if needed. Using your massage gun can become a daily event, as a minimum we recommend using it following exercise, or 3-5 times a week if you're regularly experiencing muscle tightness.
Massage guns are a great tool to use alongside stretching, foam rolling and sports massage or Osteopathy. We are advocates of massage guns and believe we should be doing more to make ourselves accountable in our post exercise recovery. After all your warm down recovery time marks the start of your preparation to your next activity.
If you want more tips on how to use your massage gun effectively for your specific injury or symptoms like muscle tightness in a particular muscle group reach out and send Laura an email at email@example.com