Percussion massage therapy is becoming increasingly popular in locker rooms and on the sidelines, as athletes turn to percussive massage therapy for quick relief for aching muscles.
The scientific concept behind this type of therapy is based on the gate control theory, which holds that a non-painful stimulus (in this case, vibration) can suppress the feeling of pain. When the vibrations and jabbing movements of the dense foam ball attachment combine and strike the muscle, it relaxes, allowing you to get into deeper layers of the tissue.
How does Percussion Massage Therapy work?
“When a person gets a massage or just uses a foam roller on their own, you can’t get into that spot as effectively,” says physical therapist David Reavy. “The vibration is so fast, you don’t feel the pain and the muscle actually relaxes.”
Why do Athletes and Therapists love massage guns?
These devices are easy to use, lightweight and portable, and athletes such as Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving and Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Marcus Peters have been spotted using it to loosen up stiff areas before sessions, and even during competition, to treat and prevent cramps.
“If you have a body, you have tissue and you have muscles, the [TheraGun] doesn’t care if you’re going to throw a football 70 yards or if you’re going to go out and play catch with your son,” says. Dr. Wersland. “In less time with much less pain, you can provide better therapy and better healing with vibration.”