Massage

Massage Gun Head Attachments

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Massage guns can help relieve aching muscles and prevent soreness when used before and after physical activity, work, school, and exercise. They provide massage therapy benefits by targeting muscles with rapid burst pulses. Massage guns can be percussive or vibration-based. Percussive therapy helps increase blood flow to a targeted area, which reduces inflammation and muscle tension, and breaks up knots/trigger points that may have formed in the tissues from added stress or intense physical activity. One of the benefits is that they come with interchangeable massage gun head attachments that target different muscle groups and provide different types of massage. There are many types of interchangeable massage heads, we go over the most common to give a general idea of how they work. If experiencing joint pain, injury, acute muscle pain, or other musculoskeletal disorders, make sure to get clearance from a doctor before using a massage gun.

Massage Gun Head Attachments

The variations of attachments/heads are designed and shaped differently to effectively apply the right amount of pressure to rejuvenate the body’s pressure points, soothe tissues, and release tight and sore muscles. The different heads are designed with a distinctive purpose based on the muscle groups targeted. This maximizes effectiveness and ensures maximum comfort and safety.

Ball Head

  • The ball attachment is for overall muscle recovery.
  • It provides a broad surface area and mimics the hands of a skilled massage therapist, delivering a soothing kneading sensation.
  • Made of durable material, the ball massage head can reach deep into the muscles.
  • Its round shape makes it more flexible to use anywhere, especially the large muscle groups like the quads and glutes.

U/Fork Shaped Head

  • A plastic, dual-pronged head also known as a fork head.
  • The attachment provides relief to areas like the shoulders, spine, neck, calves, and Achilles tendon.

Bullet Head

  • The plastic head is named as such because of its pointed shape.
  • This is recommended for tightness and discomfort in the joints, deep tissues, trigger points, and/or small muscle areas like the feet and wrist.

Flat Head

  • The multipurpose flat head is for full-body general massage.
  • It helps relieve stiffness and pain for total body muscle relaxation, including muscle groups closer to bone joints.

Shovel-Shaped Head

  • The shovel-shaped head is for the abdominal muscles and lower back.
  • The attachment provides stimulation to release stiff muscles.

Using The Right Head

Which head to use depends on the individual’s specific needs and preferences. Consider the following factors when selecting a massage gun head:

Targeted Areas

  • Identify the body areas requiring the most attention.
  • If muscle tightness or soreness is occurring in larger muscle groups, like the back or legs, the ball attachment is recommended.
  • For more precise areas like trigger points, the bullet head is recommended.
  • Heads can be used in conjunction – for example, a large surface area head is used to relax and loosen and relax a general area, then a more precise head is used to focus the massage on the actual tight spot or trigger point.

Massage Intensity

  • Massage intensity levels can be varied from a light massage to full force.
  • For a softer touch on sensitive muscles, flat head or forkhead attachments are recommended.
  • For deep muscle penetration and consistent pressure, the bullet head or shovel head attachments are recommended.

Specific Conditions

  • Consider any specific conditions or injuries previous and current.
  • For individuals recovering from an injury or with sensitive areas, it’s important to choose a massage gun head that provides the necessary relief without causing discomfort or worsening an injury.

Try Out Different Heads and Settings

  • Experiment with different massage head attachments and speeds to find the one that works best for the intended purpose.
  • Explore each to discover personal preferences.
  • Start with the lowest setting and gradually increase, based on comfort level.
  • Always consult with a qualified healthcare provider regarding any medical concerns before using a massage gun.

Choosing The Right Massage Head Attachment


References

Bergh, Anna, et al. “A Systematic Review of Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine in Sport and Companion Animals: Soft Tissue Mobilization.” Animals: an open access journal from MDPI vol. 12,11 1440. 2 Jun. 2022, doi:10.3390/ani12111440

Imtiyaz, Shagufta, et al. “To Compare the Effect of Vibration Therapy and Massage in Prevention of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS).” Journal of Clinical and diagnostic research: JCDR vol. 8,1 (2014): 133-6. doi:10.7860/JCDR/2014/7294.3971

Konrad, Andreas, et al. “The Acute Effects of a Percussive Massage Treatment with a Hypervolt Device on Plantar Flexor Muscles’ Range of Motion and Performance.” Journal of sports science & medicine vol. 19,4 690-694. 19 Nov. 2020

Leabeater, Alana et al. “Under the Gun: The effect of percussive massage therapy on physical and perceptual recovery in active adults.” Journal of athletic training, 10.4085/1062-6050-0041.23. 26 May. 2023, doi:10.4085/1062-6050-0041.23

Lupowitz, Lewis. “Vibration Therapy – A Clinical Commentary.” International journal of sports physical therapy vol. 17,6 984-987. 1 Aug. 2022, doi:10.26603/001c.36964

Yin, Yikun, et al. “The effect of vibration training on delayed muscle soreness: A meta-analysis.” Medicine vol. 101,42 (2022): e31259. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000031259

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The information herein on "Massage Gun Head Attachments" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

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Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

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