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Is Vibration Therapy Safe?

This centuries-old technology is experiencing a trendy resurgence. Find out if it stands up to the buzz. 

Athletic woman on the floor massaging her quad muscle with a green ekrin b37 massage gun

Massage guns exploded in popularity over the last couple of years, but the type of therapy provided by massage guns has been around for quite some time: In 1867, a Russian doctor and inventor developed a therapeutic vibration device to treat poor blood circulation.

Back then, vibration therapy involved sitting, standing or lying on a vibrating plate supported by a chair or table. These days, however, the technology is much more advanced (that’s good news for you!). Ahead, learn how vibration therapy works, whether or not it’s really effective, and if it’s safe to use.  

How Does Vibration Therapy Work? 

Vibration therapy works primarily on two body systems: your circulatory system and musculoskeletal system.  

Blood Flow

When you use a vibration massage gun on, say, your left hamstring, the sensation triggers your body to send more blood to that muscle. Increased blood flow means an increased flow of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles undergoing vibration therapy, helping them recover faster.  

Connective Tissue  

Vibration therapy breaks up adhesions in the fascia, a type of connective tissue that surrounds muscle tissues, as well as deeper muscle knots. The impact of the vibration massage device forces taut tissues to relax, relieving pain and tightness.  

Skeletal muscle flat illustration. Fascia, endomysium, fiber. Connective tissue that separates muscles and internal organs. Can be used for topics like anatomy, human body, myofascial release, massage

Are Vibration Massage Guns Safe?

Vibration therapy is not only 100-percent safe, but as evidenced by the benefits above, hugely helpful. As long as you use your device in accordance with the manual or instructions, localized vibration therapy (the type provided by massage guns) is safe to use on soft tissue areas.

Research shows vibration therapy can effectively and safely reduce post-workout muscle soreness, offer relief from symptoms of fibromyalgia and benefit people with osteoporosis. Though this research holds promise, talk to your doctor about vibration therapy before using a massage gun if you have a musculoskeletal medical condition such as arthritis, osteoporosis or fibromyalgia.  

How to Safely Use a Massage Gun

Before trying vibration therapy, keep these precautions in mind. 

Avoid bony areas and injuries

Don’t use a massage gun if you’re not sure how to use it or if you haven’t read the instructions. Avoid using vibration therapy on bony areas and protrusions (like your collar bone or kneecap), as well as on injuries such as sprains, strains and bruises.

If you’re not sure where to use your massage gun, think about traditional massage therapy: Where would a masseuese provide therapy? The shoulders, back, arms, calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, and feet. These areas all tolerate vibration therapy very well. 

Blue Ekrin B37S massage gun massage calf muscle

Don’t overdo It

Your massage gun should come with instructions that stipulate how long you should use the device. Using a vibration massager for too long on one area can cause sensitivity or numbness, so monitor your usage. This goes for pressure and speed, too. Start off with slower settings and work your way up as you get more comfortable with the sensation.

The bottom line? Vibration therapy, such as that provided by our line of massage guns, is an effective and safe tool you can use to improve your fitness, provided you follow device instructions and talk to your physician when warranted. 

This article is for educational and informational purposes only, and is not intended for use as medical or health advice. For any and all health concerns or conditions, please talk to your doctor.

Written by Ekrin Athletics Staff

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