A body that feels tight and stiff prevents us from accomplishing many activities. Tight hamstrings, for one, prevents us from bending our knees. There are treatments available to tackle this condition, but is using a massage gun on hamstrings safe? Read on and find out for safe, informed massage gun practice.
Massage Guns Help, Up To A Point
Our question for today’s post is this – can I use massage gun on my tight hamstring? Fortunately for us who appreciate the workings of a massage gun, this device had been okayed by health experts regarding hamstring use.
Massage guns are safe to use on tight hamstrings; tight, not pulled ones. However, this device is not meant to handle just about any bodily pain or condition. For starters, massage guns are not advisable for treating sprains, strains and inflammation-related conditions.
Tight hamstrings are not serious problems to your health. However, it does affect the way your body moves. It’s also uncomfortable but the symptoms fade away after a few days or weeks. There are ways to make healing faster though and using a massage gun helps a lot in alleviating the discomfort.
To know more about the causes and how to use a massage gun on hamstrings, do read the rest of this post.
Determine The Cause Of Tight Hamstring
The Hamstrings: A Brief Primer
Hamstrings are a crucial element of the body since it plays a significant part in the range of motion. But what are hamstrings exactly?
To answer this question, the hamstrings are a group of 3 muscles called the biceps femoris, the semitendinosus and the semimembranosus. These muscles are situated on the thigh’s posterior compartment.
The ischial tuberosity is the common origin point of the muscles. Its function is to facilitate the bending of the knee plus it also helps us extend our hips with ease. Its primary activities also include knee rotation and tibial rotation.
The hamstring is an essential muscle group since our knees and hips are major joints in lower limb movements like running and walking. Those activities are high-stress though so the knees and legs are often prone to fatigue. Those who are into sports activities like competitive running, soccer, football, tennis and the like often experience an injury at some point due to stress around those areas.
Causes Of Tight Hamstrings
So, what causes tightness in the hamstring area? Taut hamstrings are often caused by repetitive movements that lack a proper resting period. The absence of rest leads to muscle spasms and in turn, cause tight hamstrings.
Incorrect training, bad posture, overworking and prolonged sitting also cause tight hamstrings. Then again, this one can be easily corrected. One of the methods to ease tight hamstrings is using a massage gun the right way.
Conditions Where It Is Not Suitable To Use A Massage Gun
The massage gun is known for its capability to increase blood flow, ease stress and reduce soreness and tension. However, just because it relieves the body of certain aches and pains, it cannot handle just about any kind of tightness or injury.
It has its limits, and in the next part of this post, we are going to discuss conditions where the massage gun is not advisable to use.
1. Muscle Strain
Muscle strain, also known as a pulled muscle, refers to muscles that have been stretched beyond their usual range of movement. Strains are often caused by sudden movements, overuse of the muscle or incorrect use.
Strains are painful and you might think that the massage gun is the ideal device to help ease them. However, the percussive functions of the gadget can damage the affected muscle even further. To treat muscle strains, remember to apply the PRICE procedure. See a doctor if need be.
A sprain refers to torn or stretched ligament. Ligaments are there to connect two bones jointly. A sprain happens whenever a body part is stretched beyond its normal range of movement. Sudden movements can lead to a sprain.
Massage guns are not ideal for torn ligaments since the device can damage the affected area further. Once it heals though, you can ask advice from your doctor in case you are interested in the percussive benefits of the massage gun for sprain treatment.
3. Inflammatory Conditions
Vibration therapy is not recommended for inflammatory conditions since the method is not beneficial and might worsen symptoms. Here are some inflammation-related conditions that should not be treated with a massage gun.
- Fasciitis – inflammation of the connective tissue or fascia
- Tendinitis – inflammation of the tendon
- Periostitis – inflammation of the periosteum
- Bursitis – inflammation of the bursae
4. Fractures Or Broken Bones
The massage gun was designed to be used on muscles, not the bones, nerves, tendons or joints. It should not be used on areas that have wounds, scabs, lesions or bone fractures. It should never be used on any part of the spine as well.
The massage gun should not be used on broken bones, whether they’re healed or not. Using a massage gun on fractures that haven’t healed fully can cause tremendous pain and at worst, damage the recovering broken bone.
5. Chronic Health Conditions
There are specific health conditions wherein the use of a massage gun necessitates caution or the advice of a health professional. If you have any of these conditions, make sure that you talk to your doctor first before using a massage gun.
- Acute varicose veins
- Muscular disorders like muscular dystrophy
- Blood vessel-related conditions like DVT (deep vein thrombosis)
- Hypertension or high blood pressure
- Gout, osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis
You might consider that massage guns are more ideal for healthy people. However, health conditions are not one and the same; one can still benefit from the functions of a massage gun if one has any of the conditions mentioned above. Then again, it is wise to ask advice from your doctor first before using the device.
For example, if you suffer from arthritis, you can adjust the device settings to a level that will be comfortable for you. Just be careful to use the device on affected areas to avoid worsening the condition.
How Does A Massage Gun Help With Tight Hamstrings?
Massage guns give effective deep tissue massages in a more convenient, faster manner. The powerful percussive element of the device is great for releasing knots and trigger points. It also helps in recovery so many fitness buffs and athletes have endorsed the use of the device.
Many have asked, “can I use a massage gun on my tight hamstring?” Yes, you can since the massage gun is helpful in easing tightness and muscle spasms. Other hamstring conditions that the massage gun can tackle are as follows:
- Muscle aches, pains, soreness and stiffness due to exercise
- Chronic body pains
- Fibromyalgia-related muscle pains
Massage guns facilitate the nervous system to obstruct pain signals that travel to the brain and increase blood circulation to the muscles, thus relieving pain, soreness and tightness on the hamstrings or other suitable muscle groups.
Step-by-Step: How To Use The Massage Gun To Relieve Tight Hamstring
To ease hamstring tautness through the device, you need to know how to use a massage gun on the hamstring properly. Here is a step-by-step procedure.
- Pick the appropriate massage gun head attachment for the condition. For tight hamstrings, the ideal attachments for the job are either the pronged head or the attachment with a round, large head.
- Fiddle with the device’s neck in a manner that it will access the back of your thigh without hassles.
- Switch the massage gun on before placing it on the affected body part.
- Slide the device along the affected body part gently. Make use of even speeds only.
- Bend your leg slightly and massage the trigger points continuously at a slow pace, around 1-2 minutes. If you prefer, you can also use a bullet attachment which was designed to maintain a lower pressure during the percussive treatment.
Today, you have learned that using a massage gun on hamstrings is pretty safe. However, you have to make sure that what you are dealing with is hamstring tightness, not a muscle sprain, strain or an inflammation-related injury.
The massage gun is beneficial for people leading active lives and those suffering from frequent body pains. It’s convenient and fast. But you do need to be aware that the device is not the answer to all bodily aches and pains. If you tend to deal with tight hamstrings every now and then, then a massage gun is a good treatment for such a condition.
1. What can I do to prevent tight hamstrings?
To prevent tight hamstrings, you need to strengthen the muscles that prop up the hamstrings. Prevent tightness by doing hamstring stretches before your exercise routine. Other activities that can prevent the condition include simple callisthenics, walking and light jogging.
2. How long does delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) last?
DOMS usually lasts between 3-5 days. The condition improves even without treatment, progressively.