Q. What are the benefits of a percussive massage?
A. There are many benefits to incorporating percussive massage into your daily routine including (but not limited to):
- Decreasing both muscle soreness and pain
- Facilitating blood flow and circulation
- Accelerating athletic warm-up and recovery
- Facilitating overall range of motion
- Easing tension and encouraging relaxation
Q. Is there any published science around percussive therapy?
A. There is currently no scientific literature proving the efficacy of percussive therapy.
Q. What’s the difference between percussive therapy and vibration therapy?
A. Localized (focal) vibration therapy typically vibrates at a frequency of 15–70 hertz (Hz) and between an amplitude of 1–10 millimeters (mm). Utilizing a smaller amplitude, focal vibration is gentler on the body, facilitating both tissue and mental relaxation. Focal vibration works on the physiology of the body, to inhibit pain, decrease frequency and intensity of muscle spasms, increase blood flow and range of motion, as well as create an overall feeling of relaxation.
Percussive therapy functions similarly to vibration therapy in that it applies a frequency between 15-70 Hz to the body part being treated. Percussive therapy utilizes a larger amplitude of 12-20 mm, striking further into the muscle, to initiate a mechanical response similar to what a person feels when getting a massage. While percussive therapy has the potential to reach deeper muscle and tissue than vibration therapy, it should be noted that increased pressure is only recommended to the tolerance of the user. Percussive therapy has been noted to decrease both muscle soreness and pain (by decreasing lactic acid production), facilitating blood flow and circulation, accelerating athletic warm up and recovery and facilitating overall range of motion
Q. Are there any health risks associated with percussive therapy?
A. As with any manual therapy, there are associated health risks with percussive therapy too. It’s important that device instructions be followed and certain things be avoided. Do not use a percussive device on or near: open lesions or sores; chaffed, raw or scalded skin; on or near an infection; directly on bony prominences; internally, on the head- unless as directed; on or near areas where skin is hypersensitive or numb. With anything, it’s important to consult your medical practitioner before use and immediately if you have a reaction to the therapy.