This article is a transcribed edited summary of a video Bob and Brad recorded in April of 2021. For the original video go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EcimMpcaGI&t=496s
Bob: We're going to talk about, why you should not buy a massage gun, and but we're also going to tell you why you should.
Brad: Sure. Yup.
Bob: And let's get right into it.
Brad: Put it right out there.
Bob: Number one, if you have hard to reach places, you might need a partner if you're using a massage gun.
Brad: Right. Right.
Bob: Obviously your back and upper traps.
Brad: You just cannot reach.
Bob: Yeah, you can't get the leverage on it. So yeah.
Brad: Are we going to talk about that now?
Bob: Yeah, this one would work better for that, the handheld massager. But this doesn't have the power as much as a massage gun.
Bob: It's fine. It's going to be fine for someone who is maybe a slighter build or not as muscular.
Brad: Yeah. You may want to get one and have a massage gun too. These are not too expensive and they have their place.
Bob: All right, next one, for disc herniation or sciatica, this is not going to heal a disc herniation or sciatica.
Bob: You might feel better for some secondary reasons, like the muscles have tightened up because they're, sore from the sciatica, but really don't buy one of these if you think it's going to heal your sciatica.
Brad: Right. Again, you may feel better, but the nerve is still pinched.
Bob: Brad, do you want to talk about neck pain and headaches?
Brad: All the time. Yeah. If you have neck pain, we're talking like base of neck up. You're not going to use a massage gun on the neck here. The muscles are there, but you cannot do it without hitting the bone, the spine. And that spine is very delicate if you will.
Brad: When you're hammering on it, because that's what's going on, the gun is traversing back and forth. You could hurt your spine, as a matter of fact, you could cause a problem. I made a mistake years ago, with one of these.
Bob: I did the same.
Brad: I was massaging a patient's shoulder, and then I went up to the neck and I saw by the look on his face, I was doing the wrong thing. And I felt really bad as a therapist.
Brad: I said, “what am I doing?” And anyways, it worked out fine.
Bob: You try it on yourself, and you’re like, “Oh my God.”
Brad: Don't go directly on the spine either.
Bob: And the same with the head. You wouldn't be doing it for a headache. It's just not good.
Brad: Oh! You're not going to do it to your temples. Your head, you can do it with your hands.
Bob: Right. And that leads us kind of to the next one, Brad. You really want to avoid bony surfaces. There might be some exceptions like when you have quadriceps tendonitis or you have the suprapatellar pouch, sometimes you hit the knee cap a little bit and you use the air-filled one.
Brad: Yup. They're soft and squishy. If you hit the edge of the bone, it's not so bad.
Bob: Yeah. Even tendonitis. Like, if you have a tennis elbow or golfer's elbow.
Brad: You'll know if you get too close, it's going to hurt.
Bob: Yeah, it's going to hurt.
Brad: You don't massage that kind of, in that fashion.
Bob: Next, you shouldn't go over a pulse.
Brad: The arteries in the neck, or the brachial artery in your arm.
Bob: Right. On the back of the knee, a lot of nerve, artery, veins there. I won't go over your heart either. It's never a good idea.
Brad: Yeah. The other thing, I don't know if you had this on the list, but don't go over lymph nodes.
Bob: No! I don't. That's a great one. That’s a good point.
Brad: Particularly, in your femoral crease right here.
Bob: Right in the groin.
Brad: They're very superficial, right under the skin.
Bob: Well, obviously right under the armpit too.
Brad: The axillary, yup. Because if you hit those lymph nodes, I mean you could cause some problems. If not anything, you just irritate them. And I know I had some lymph node issues and the doctor, I thought it may be cancer, well, he ruled that out. He says, “if it's bothering, you just stay away from them. Cause this is going to make them worse.” So when you irritate a lymph node, it just gets worse and it's no good.
Bob: Gotcha. All right. During pregnancy, obviously don't go over the fetus. I mean, we always want to say that.
Brad: Yeah, obvious.
Bob: Generally, you wouldn't do it over a bursa if it's inflamed. And a bursa is a fluid-filled sac.
Brad: It'll be tender.
Bob: Right. It'll be tender and I wouldn't go over that.
Brad: And you have bursas in almost every joint in your body.
Bob: All the joints. So you have to be careful.
Brad: Yeah. You go over the muscle belly there not the joint or you'll feel it. Bursas hurt.
Bob: If it makes pain worse, and the pain hurts afterwards yet, you shouldn't do it.
Bob: All right, if you have a bleeding disorder or bruise easily, obviously you're not going to want to do the massage gun. It is pounding, I mean, it's percussion.
Brad: Yeah, if you're one of those people, when you bump into a piece of furniture, you got a bruise there, you're going to bruise from this if you're getting aggressive particularly.
Brad: So, yeah. Don't even think about it if you're really a bruiser, you know, easily bruised.
Bob: Now, if you've had surgery, I want to make sure you have it approved by your physician or medical provider before you do massage because after surgery, you're actually at higher risk for developing blood clots.
Bob: Let's say you do a massage in your calf, you loosen a blood clot and send it up to your lungs and it kills you. So, we obviously don't want that.
Bob: So we want to avoid that. This is, I would say again, you want to get it approved by your doctor. If you have some type of nerve disorder, like if you have multiple sclerosis or epilepsy, unless it's approved, I wouldn't do it then either.
Bob: Open sores, obviously, skin tears, you don't want to go over. This is very obvious to us, Brad, you would think everybody would know this but it's not. I guess people have done this before. They've had a broken bone or a healing fracture and they start massaging all over it.
Bob: So, they want to make it feel better.
Brad: I mean, that could be well after it's healed, and you've been walking on it or many weeks after. Then you may want to have scar tissue break up but not during the healing process.
Bob: All right. Well now, why would you buy one? And there actually are very good reasons why.
Brad: Yeah. Indeed, a lot of them.
Bob: One, it's very easy to use. You don't have to get on the floor like a foam roller. So, if you can't get on the floor, and you want to massage an area.
Brad: Foam rollers work well but, it takes more effort.
Bob: Yes, they do. And you know what? The cost actually, like, if you use one of the less expensive ones, like the handheld, is almost comparable to a foam roller.
Brad: Yeah. Or even one of these smaller ones, like the Q2 mini, that really do a heck of a job.
Bob: Yup. Many people believe it or not, Brad, and I have used this in our clinics for years and, I found 50% of the people actually prefer the gun over our hands, or our assistant’s hands.
Brad: Again, we're not professional massage people.