Are massage guns worth it?

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You just got a new massage gun and were looking forward to using it to solve your problem with muscle soreness. Massage guns resemble a drill with a battery.   They have different heads that can be added on depending on the shape of the area you want to treat. They also offer different speeds and intensities.

How do massage guns treat an area?

Massage guns perform high-intensity tapotement, which is the laying on of hands using either the palms or the sides of the hands and rhythmically striking the person when performed by a massage therapist.   Wikipedia offers a nice explanation although the effect is thought to be stimulatory for circulation and lymphatic drainage. Using a massage gun for a few minutes will do all of these things and will also leave the area very sore for a day. The question I always ask patients is what they were treating.   Most patients will tell you that they were working on a sore calf, a tight shoulder, or a stiff muscle and that the overall effect may or may not have helped.   Some say the effect is temporary and the problem continues to return. Others have told me the device made them sore and had no benefit. People will use these tools to treat something they feel is tight or sore.   The problem is that we are poor at interpreting what that tight or sore area means.  Is it just tight because...things just get tight?  What if that tightness is actually strained tissue?  Can you tell the difference?  Most of us will get this wrong which is why self-help methods such as foam rolling are recommended to be used generally. The truth is that we are interconnected being of movement and move as a unit.   Watch people in the park and try to find a sore shoulder in the wild.   Here is a helpful clue; it doesn't exist, but you will see people walking with shoulders attached to moving bodies. As the warehouses empty out of massage guns while the prices drop, it reminds me of another fad which was the matching with the moving fingers that dig into your body part.   There is likely one in many basements no longer being used. My professional advice; avoid the massage gun and buy a self-massager instead which is more beneficial and less traumatic.  Better yet, get a great massage from a licensed massage therapist.   Even better, make an appointment with a chiropractic sports physician and find out why your body part is tight and dysfunctional. You can request an appointment using this helpful link.