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Massage Guns – What do you think?

Discussion in 'Injury Recovery and Prevention' started by Zillagreybeard, Oct 21, 2020.
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  • Oct 21, 2020
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Lets talk about massage guns, or in a fancy science-ish way, vibration/percussion therapy. If you watched the video you saw me cover three different areas. Muscle soreness from the gym, performance in the gym/sport, and its use in rehab/therapy.

There is good evidence that suggest that it helps with delayed muscle soreness after exercise (even if new research suggest we still don’t know the exact way it is caused). Other than feeling good it does show benefit in reducing chemicals that we normally see in the blood that are linked to delayed onset muscle soreness.

Performance. Vibration works at the neurological level by activating certain receptors. We know vibration provides stimulation to muscle spindles and increases afferent activities and input to the brain. There is research that shows that vibration before an activity will increase motor fiber recruitment of that muscle. But before I waste anymore time with the what ifs and hows.. The research is poor. Its scarce as a whole, and the data that is published uses a wide range of frequencies and duration of treatments. Until they start studying similar protocols it is hard to know.

Lastly for Rehab purposes. This is what we call a passive treatment. It has the potential to make you feel better in the short term (maybe). It opens up a window of time where your symptoms may decrease (MAYBE). So that you can move or tolerate more movement in ways that you could not before. This is called the window of opportunity. Passive treatments do not “fix” your underlying drivers of pain. Passive treatments are a double edged sword in our profession because if used wrongly they promote dependence on a device/technique. I think passive treatments have their place in certain context with certain patients, but I also believe in being truthful about how/why something may “work”. There has to be buy-in that if we open up this “opportunity” to move by using a passive treatment that we take advantage of it so that real change and progress can be made.

All in all, for personal use I think it’s great. In a rehab setting, we need context first. Have you ever used one? If so, how was your experience?

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