Many women, upon recommendation by their doctors, go for massage to ease aches and pains that go along with pregnancy. Traditional massages are safe for expectant mothers after the 1st trimester, but what about percussion message therapy from massage guns? In this article, we are going to discuss in length all you need to know about massage gun safety during your pregnancy.
What You Need To Know About Massage Gun Safety During Pregnancy
Lots of changes happen in a woman’s body during pregnancy. The muscles of the body often make an effort to adapt to such changes and in turn, lead to tense, tight and sore muscles. Thus, lots of women go for massages to release excess pressure, fatigue and anxiety.
Earlier on, I have mentioned that massages are generally safe during pregnancy. However, many women often face this question – can a pregnant women use a massage gun? At the moment, there haven’t been any studies done that indicate the safety of the device for expectant ladies. Then again, it is important that you get advice from your doctor first, especially if you are still on the 1st trimester and want to use a massage gun.
In addition, know that there are certain areas of the body that you should never go over with a massage gun. Areas like the neck, back and shoulders are fine. However, you must steer clear of the body’s lower parts.
The massage gun is not advisable for pregnant women experiencing the following conditions:
1. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
During pregnancy, blood flow becomes insufficient due to the increase in blood volume. Hormones responsible for averting haemorrhage throughout delivery can also lead to possible formation of blood clots. Thus, if you have DVT, the use of a massage gun should be avoided since it may lead to worse conditions like pulmonary embolism.
2. Placenta Previa
Placenta previa happens when the placenta totally or partly conceals the cervix, which serves as the outlet of the uterus. Pregnant women with placenta previa might experience severe bleeding during delivery.
3. Gestational Diabetes
Expectant mothers are advised to keep track of their blood sugar levels to determine gestational diabetes. If you plan on using a massage gun during pregnancy and have a blood sugar level that is higher than normal, it is best that you seek the advice of your doctor first before using the device.
4. Pregnancy with High-Risk Factors
If you experience early contractions, bleeding or were diagnosed with preeclampsia during pregnancy, the use of a massage gun is not recommended since this may lead to worse conditions. Have yourself cleared by your doctor first before using the device.
The use of a massage gun is also not recommended during the 1st trimester of the pregnancy. At this rate, the fetus is progressing quickly thus it is more open to risks that can endanger its life and the mother’s condition.
So, for the safety of your body and your baby, talk this one over with your doctor first. There are still things that need to be discussed while we’re in this topic, so hang on and let’s touch base on extra-crucial massage gun and pregnancy info.
Massages During Pregnancy: The Advantages
Pregnant ladies often endure lots of pressure on the lower back which eventually causes pains around the back and the legs. That tight, sore feeling is something expectant mothers want released, so they get advice from their docs about getting massages during this period.
Other than back and leg pain, pregnant women also endure oedema, cramps, fatigue, sleeplessness and muscle spasms. A therapeutic massage can be helpful during this stage since it eases these discomforts. Research has also shown that a massage benefits pregnant women and their baby in lots of ways.
Massages also promote the surge of hormones called dopamine and serotonin. These hormones are responsible for making us feel pleasant and happy, thus massages are beneficial for pregnancy as shown in this 2020 study published in Midwifery.
Where Can You Use A Massage Gun During Pregnancy?
So, it’s settled – your doctor gives you the go-ahead to use a massage gun. There are still some important things you need to consider first before using the device – aka the areas around your body where it’s safe to use the massage gun.
Pregnant women can use a massage gun on the upper back, which is often prone to fatigue during this stage. The device is also safe to use on the shoulders particularly on the sore points of the trapezius muscle.
If you experience tightness or aches on your neck, make sure to only use the massage gun on the backside of the neck. Do not use it on the front of the neck or your throat.
It is not advisable to massage the lower legs, the abdomen, the lower back, and the thighs during pregnancy. A deep tissue massage or a massage gun used on areas like the thighs and the lower legs carries risks of extricating a blood clot. The blood clot can move up to the lungs and lead to pulmonary embolism, which can threaten the life of the mother.
Stimulating the lower back can also lead to harmful complications during pregnancy which is why many doctors and massage therapists do not recommend doing this.
You also need to remember that even though those areas are safe for massage gun use, you must only utilise the device on those parts for a limited period. Excessive or lengthy application of the massage on those areas might do your pregnant body more harm than pain release.
How Do You Use A Massage Gun Properly During Pregnancy?
Massage guns often come with manufacturer’s instructions on the correct, safe use of the device. There are standard massage guns while high-end ones often come with lots of features. Be sure to read those instructions carefully and learn how to use each application accurately.
There are also some things that you should never do while using the device. For starters, massage guns should not be used on the joints, the bones, or the nerves.
Areas that feel swollen, injured, wounded or severely painful should not be touched by a massage gun. Also, it is best that you avoid going over your abdomen while pregnant. Here are additional recommendations on proper massage gun use:
- Begin by passing the massage gun gently for 10-15 seconds over target areas
- Apply 3-5 strokes on one spot, then make the transition to another spot
- Do not allow the gun to remain on a single spot too long since this can result to a sore, bruised area
- If the area feels painful after application, stop using the massage gun immediately
You also need to consider the manner in which you are holding the massage gun. To guarantee that you will not put lots of strain on your target areas, you must hold the device as near to the body as much as you can.
Make sure that you keep your wrist positioned in a neutral manner – the hand should be in line with the forearm and should not move from side to side. For a more comfortable position, you can use a pillow, a blanket roll or yoga block to prop your arm up.
When looking for a massage gun, focus on the feature that is most helpful to you. Take into consideration the force and speed the model provides. You can also opt for one that has a wider PPM (percussions per minute) so you can test out a variety of speeds. If noise concerns you, go for a model that’s built to operate soundlessly.
Know When To Stop
Proper use of a massage gun should not lead to pain, numbing or excess discomfort.
If you are using a massage gun during pregnancy, stop using it in case you experience vaginal bleeding, undergo pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness, experience contractions or have high blood pressure. Contact your doctor right away if you go through any of those conditions.
In general, massage guns are safe; however, you do have to keep track of medical advice and remember relevant precautions. If you have doubts that you are using the massage gun properly, it is better that you get in touch with your doctor or your massage therapist for advice.
If you want a massage badly for your aches but are wary of a massage gun, it is better that you consult this over with your doctor before setting an appointment with a masseuse. Medical professionals are knowledgeable in this regard and women can always get their doctor’s blessing once she gets past the 1st trimester.
When your doctor gives you the green light, make sure to set an appointment with a registered, professional massage therapist who is trained and focused on providing pregnancy massage. This is to guarantee that the procedure will be safe and effectual for you.
Using a massage during pregnancy has its benefits. It eases aches and pains, tension, anxiety and fatigue. It also allows for better blood flow. A massage following your first trimester might even do wonders not only for yourself, but also for the baby.
There are some crucial things that you need to learn before using a massage gun during pregnancy. Massage guns are not recommended for pregnant women in their 1st trimester and ladies who experience preexisting health conditions. That is why the advice of a doctor is recommended first before using the device.
1. How do you use a massage gun correctly?
First and foremost, you must learn how to use each application that the device offers. Make sure to go slowly, gently and steadily on target areas. Use the device’s lowest speed setting only.
2. What massage gun attachments are best used on achy feet?
The ball attachment is excellent for treating all areas in the body. It provides gradual control for better intensity and force adjustments on areas like the feet. The padded round attachment is also a good item to use on the feet. The feet have a bony prominence and the cushioned feature of this attachment makes it more comfortable to use on such areas.