Massage guns have become popular for good reason: they can aid in better recovery and soothe fatigued muscles. But did you know that there are times when you shouldn’t be using a massage gun?
The best massage guns use a fast, motorized percussion motion to relieve tension, increase blood flow, and lengthen muscle tissue. Using it in your workout routine, whether as a warm-up or post-workout, could make the difference between waking up stiff and sore (or worse, injured) and waking up ready to take on the day.
However, massage guns are not appropriate for every body or situation.
Not using massage guns directly on a broken bone (or any bone) is a no-brainer, but we should also avoid using it around areas where a bone is healing. The significant force that a massage gun produces can damage the joint or bone, increasing the chances of re-injury.
sprains or strains
Sprains and strains often have the same symptoms (pain, sometimes swelling or bruising, and a restricted range of motion), but they are different injuries. A sprain is the result of ligaments being stretched beyond their intended range (such as “twisting your ankle”), while a strain occurs when muscle tissues or tendons are overextended.
Usually, sprains and strains are painful enough that the thought of using a massage gun seems like torture. Additionally, blunt vibration can cause further damage to healing tissue in the acute stages of an injury.
One of the many benefits of using massage guns is increased blood flow to the treated area, which can cause temporary swelling. In most cases, this is not bad. However, when we already have an inflammatory injury (such as tendinitis, bursitis, and fasciitis), increased inflammation in the affected area could also increase pain and ultimately delay recovery.
Inflammatory medical conditions
Massage guns can cause inflammation, so we should avoid using them if we have an inflammatory medical condition like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, or certain cancers. We must not increase inflammation when the body is already in an inflamed state.