These days, more and more people are going online and searching about massage guns. Maybe this is because of the fact that fitness influencers, celebrities, and even professional athletes swear by these portable, handheld devices which can be used to target a muscle area. However, there is a question that people are asking – Can I use a massage gun on my neck?

Massage guns can help manage general muscle pain, but that does not mean you can use them on any part of your body.

You should not use a massage gun directly on your neck as it can cause carotid dissection, a condition where your carotid artery gets torn. Carotid dissection can affect the brain’s blood supply and may cause a stroke, so it is best not to use a massage gun on stiff neck.

On the other hand, do not be so quick to write off massage guns as just another fitness fad because they have a number of benefits. They can also be used on many other parts of the body. Read on to find out more about massage guns and how using them can help you.

How Does A Massage Gun Work?

A massage gun comes with several interchangeable attachments. It uses percussive therapy, which means the attachments “percuss” the muscles when the massage gun is turned on. A massage gun applies pressure on muscle tissues, which can release tension and fluid build-up from the area. Aside from promoting recovery from workouts, using a massage gun is said to improve overall performance and reduce soreness.

How Can I Use A Massage Gun?

Find an area which feels tight. Move the massage gun over the muscle. When you add pressure, do not do it too aggressively. It is common for massage guns to have a button or switch to increase pressure. Make sure that you do not apply the massager in one spot longer than 15 seconds. You should also sweep an area for only two minutes.

Do not use the gun on bony areas and check with your physical therapist first before you use the gun on an injury. It is also recommended not to use the gun on an area where there is acute pain as doing so can worsen it. Soreness after you use a massage gun means you have pushed too long or too hard.

Benefits Of Using A Massage Gun 

If you are wondering whether massage guns are worth all the hype, decide for yourself after reading the health benefits of these devices. 

1. Vibrational Healing And Pain Relief

Vibrational healing is based on subtle energies and vibrations and it does not depend on other healing systems. Known to be efficient, this form of healing is based on your unique energy field. A massage gun can provide the same benefit by delivering vibrations into the muscle. This technique is called “percussive therapy.”

The vibrations help in improving the circulation of blood and lymph around the body. This means your muscles can get more oxygen and nutrients, which results in a speedy recovery and pain relief. It can also relieve muscle soreness and fatigue and improve range of motion. Neck, shoulder and lower back pain can be relieved with the use of massage guns.

2. Improved Sports Performance, Prevention Of Injury, And Promotion Of Recovery

The percussive massage which a massage gun provides can improve muscle contraction. This results in the strengthening and lengthening of fascial tissues and muscles. Including massage therapy in your post-workout routine is great for relieving stress. A massage is meant to help relieve tension and relax the muscles, and this could help shorten the time needed for muscle recovery between workouts.

When you use a massage gun for deep tissue massage, tension and fluid within the deep muscles are released, resulting in improved circulation. The tissue cells and blood also exchange substances which can boost tissue metabolism. Nutrient and oxygen supply can be improved by a massage, which can increase blood circulation in the body.

Overtraining can also be prevented because of the sedating effect of a massage on the nervous system. Aside from that, a massage can help prevent and heal injuries since the improved circulation can aid in breaking down adhesions and improving delivery of nutrients and fluids, which could help with tissue repair.

Massage guns can help increase performance and power as they increase muscle flexibility and efficiency. This means they can also help improve sports performance.

3. Rehabilitation

An effective form of therapy for rehabilitation from injury, massages are known to speed up the recovery process and prevent re-injury. Using a massage gun can be a supplement to the process of injury rehabilitation.

It can also promote healing and recovery in atrophied muscles caused by trauma or disease since improved circulation into fascial tissues and muscles helps the injured areas heal more quickly and become more flexible.

4. Increases The Flow of Blood And Lymphatic Fluid

If you use a massage gun, you can get a deep tissue massage. This type of massage stimulates nerve receptors that are responsible for blood vessel dilation, thereby increasing blood flow. As for the lymph, it removes toxins and waste from the body. Muscle contractions control the lymphatic flow, so how active you are could affect your lymph circulation. Ineffective lymph circulation could result in conditions like lymphedema. However, a massage gun can help improve lymphatic circulation.

5. Lactic Acid Release

If the level of oxygen in your body is low, your body will compensate by transforming lactate into energy. This is when lactic acid forms and it often happens when you do intense exercise. The lactic acid builds up in the bloodstream and you may feel nauseated, exhausted, and you can have a cramp in your muscles.

However, a massage gun can help reverse this since it aids in lactic acid release. It also helps in releasing other toxins. This reduces the risk of having soreness in your muscles, which often comes after lactic acid accumulates due to prolonged exertion. 

6. Relief From Muscle Stiffness And Spasms

Using a massage gun can help in relieving stiffness and spasms in the muscles which can be caused by working out intensely. If the blood flow to the muscles is inadequate, it could result in painful spasms. A massage gun applies pressure to the muscle, ligaments, and tendons. This can help them to relax, so it reduces painful contractions and spasms.

7. Activates Muscles And The Nervous System

The nervous system maintains the body’s homeostasis and regulates muscle activity. Every time the muscles get activated, the nervous system is notified. Using a massage gun can help stimulate sympathetic nervous system receptors. This results in the dilation of blood vessels in the muscles and skin, helping to release tension and to make the muscles relax.

8. Improve Range of Motion

Aside from working on the muscles, massage guns also work on joints, tendons, ligaments, and connective tissues, all of which are responsible for mobility. Using a massage gun consistently can help make joints more flexible, thereby making you less prone to sprains and strains.

Your range of motion and flexibility will be improved by having relaxed fascial tissue and muscles and improved blood circulation. The improved range of motion could result in added benefits like improved stimulation of the natural lubricants of the body which help maintain the body’s flexibility and enhance athletic performance.

9. Breaking up of Scar Tissue

Scar tissue helps with damaged fibre repair in the body. However, these collagen fibres are not as elastic as the body’s natural muscle tissues. Since a massage gun can provide deep tissue massage, it can help break down scar tissues to alleviate pain and relieve restriction. Aside from sports injuries, massage guns can also be used for scar tissues after surgery. 

10. Wellness

Massage guns do not only aid in alleviating pain and relaxing the muscles. They have other health benefits, such as increased mobility, improved immunity, and improved sleep. They are also useful for conditions like anxiety and depression, digestive disorders, fibromyalgia, and stress-related insomnia.

Conclusion

If you use a massage gun correctly and on appropriate areas of the body, you can experience its benefits. Massage guns are not just fitness fads. They can be helpful in many ways, but they are also not the answer for everything. It is still better to consult a professional when it comes to using a massage gun.

Related Questions

1. What are some ways to relieve a stiff neck?

You can try some stretching exercises or applying heat or ice to it. Also, try to keep moving but make sure to avoid jerking movements.

2. Can a chiropractor help with neck pain?

A chiropractor does joint manipulation to help reduce pain. When it comes to neck pain, they do cervical manipulation, which loosens up the joints in the neck.

3. How to use a massage gun properly?

Be sure not to be too aggressive when adding pressure. Also, the gun should not be left on one spot for more than 15 seconds. Sweeping an area should only take up to two minutes.

Emma Pyke
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