Today we will explain a little more about how to use a percussion massage gun. For example, using it with a patient who has stiffness, a muscle pain between the scapula and the spine… we are going to explain benefits, uses, when yes and when not.
What is a massage hammer gun and why does it work?
The percussion massage gun quickly stimulates the tissue with a frequency and intensity that we can gradually modulate. The effect that is produced by something called “autogenic inhibition” – a neurophysiological effect that lasts for a short time – in which the receptors found in tissues such as muscles, tendons are stimulated, and that repetitive stimulation does is that those mechano-receptors captures and process this information and cause muscle relaxation instantly.
The effects of this process are short-term and will last as long as the training or physical activity that we are going to perform.
Myth: We are going to deny that there is no evidence that the massage gun helps prevent injuries or what and achieve structural changes on certain tissues.
That is, it will help us relax stiffer areas, and it will help us to improve any discomfort, for example, in the case of a cross fighter, a weightlifter, or before a football game, will help in that short amount of time, but we can’t use it to prevent injury or make major changes.
|Keys to Prevent Injuries|
- We are going to select the head of the gun depending on the area we want to treat. If we treat the vertebral area we are going to do it with a soft head, going down the spine to the lumbar area, without irritating the vertebrae, that is to say, with the gun, we seek to treat the muscle but not to strike directly on the bone structures.
- You can always change the pressure and the frequency of the percussion, that is, the number of pulses. Make pressure throughout the entire muscle. If the patient holds, we can raise the frequency a little.
- What we are looking for is that reflex relaxation mechanism, of that autogenic inhibition that is going to be achieved, normally, between 30 seconds and 2 minutes, for which the treatment between these periods is more than sufficient.
- If we find a more painful point, we stay in the area and percuss there for 30 seconds making small circles or directly without moving it.
When we should NOT use is more important than knowing when to do it.
We will not use it even in inflammatory problems, inflammatory joints such as rheumatic diseases, we are not going to use it in acute phases in the direct area of the injury since we can irritate it more and worsen or prolong the healing time of the tissue. Neither in case of bone fractures directly percussing the bone, nor should we use it in cardiovascular problems such as deep vein thrombosis or others.
When we feel stiffness in the muscles, the percussion gun will help us to relieve those muscular states. It will facilitate that training window with less pain, less stiffness and will allow us to train better, without falling into the error that we are going to achieve an injury preventive effect.
It does not replace a good warm-up with good active mobility. Any active therapy is always going to be superior. Knowing that the effects are neurophysiological effects and not so much structural.
There is no compelling evidence to tell us that one gun is better than another. They always depend on the result you want to get. These hammer massage guns are also used by professional physiotherapists to combine techniques, depending on the result to be achieved.
If you live in Michigan, check out one of the best physical therapy clinics in Warren, MI, Miracle Rehab Clinic which already uses some of these modern techniques.
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