If you're wondering whether you should get a percussion massager, you're in the right place. This blog post will answer your questions.
If you prefer to learn via video, here's a link to my YouTube video where I give an in-depth, honest review.
What is it?
A percussive therapy tool is used to improve mobility and blood flow to the applied body region by sending repetitive taps to the region applied to, like a jack-hammer. This can be used to reduce recovery time or reduce pain. As a physical therapist, I would apply this as a supplement to my normal treatment methods. But this would definitely save my hands in terms of soft tissue work for patients. Soft tissue including tendon, muscle, capsules, and fascia. I can use my hands more for joint mobilizations that the percussion tool isn't able to perform.
Who is it used for?
People with muscle aches or pains. It can be used for athletes including runners, weight lifters, cyclists, basketball, baseball, you name it. It can be used for office workers looking for relief in between the shoulder blades or in the pec region. It should not be used for patients with chronic pain disorders that are hypersensitive to stimulus.
- Saves hands from doing soft tissue work
- Reduces time in treatment spent on manual therapy so it can be spent on therapeutic exercises or functional training
- Easy to use
- Increasing mobility and range of motion
- Reducing aches/pain
- Stimulates an increase in blood flow to the region being targeted
- Hard to access areas like the upper back and around neck/lower back when performing on self
- Cost, not covered by insurance
- User error, if you don't know how to apply it, its effect may not be great
What it does NOT do
- Evaluate or diagnose musculoskeletal conditions
- Joint mobilizations
- Treat pain in isolate
- Eliminate the need for a proper warm-up
Which one to buy?
I've tried a couple of different types and one of my biggest factors is the sound.
Some percussion devices are LOUD and the one that I've liked is relatively quiet which is the Back Hammer (BH$50 saves you $50 from the sale price).
This device has speed settings from 1-20 and can tolerate being pressed pretty hard on the muscles by the person handling the device. It also has 6 different attachments that vary based on the target tissue.
Send me a message on my page here with the subject line "Percussion Device" so I can help.