The Latest In Soft Tissue Treatment: How Can Percussive Therapy Help You?
In the world of soft tissue therapy, there is always innovation and there's always a new tool or technique which can benefit you.
There are many forms of soft tissue therapies including massage, cupping, acupuncture – the list goes on. Recently there’s been a new addition to this style of treatment which has been becoming extremely popular.
You may have seen people using power tools that look like a drill to treat themselves recently on the internet. You might be a bit confused as to why? Well – this is called percussive therapy and yes - most of the tools on the market were designed from a drill – replacing the drill bit with different tools which can help to treat soft tissue.
At MSK Sports Injury Clinic Newcastle we have the latest technology in a top of the range – Theragun G3Pro. This is the market-leading percussive therapy tool used and endorsed by professional athletes all over the world.
This blog is aimed at giving you a brief guide into percussive therapy, the tools we use and how this can benefit you!
What is Percussive Therapy?
In its simplest definition – percussive therapy is the treatment of soft tissue using repetitive vibration and pulses with a variety of different fittings which help in the recovery and maintenance of soft tissue.
Percussive therapy helps in many ways:
- Managing chronic pain
- Pre-exercise warm-up
- Reducing post-exercise soreness
- Reducing/managing muscle tightness
- Improving joint range of motion
Managing perceived pain, soreness and tightness in our bodies is the most effective way to place us in the best mindset for our everyday lives and also our exercise. If we constantly have some sort of ache, pain or niggle then this can directly impact on our mindset towards our activity for the day ahead and it can physically affect how we exercise – with potential to lead to injury
If we can effectively manage the way our soft tissue feels with percussive therapy to get us as close to 100% as possible then this is ideal. If you start the day or a gym session for example with an area of the body not feeling quite right, you may not engage this area properly or it may become overloaded - leading to tissue failure and pain.
So how does it all work?
The way in which we experience pain, discomfort and tightness is a complex topic, everyone experiences it in different ways. Percussive therapy is great for modulating (changing/managing) our pain levels. It does this in a variety of ways such as:
- Stimulating muscle receptors
- Affects chemical markers associated with pain and DOMS
- Relaxes / Inhibits muscles/nerve endings
There are many ways in which percussive therapy is being researched currently but it has become popular due to great results and it is reflected in the evidence as working in a similar way to TENS machine which is a proven pain relief machine. The theory is called pain gait and it works by locally stimulating a painful area with a different sensation – this distracts your brain from the pain you were experiencing and once it is finished you have a reduced amount of pain. Percussive therapy works in a similar with extremely effective results.
Your therapist will help you to determine how you can best use percussive therapy to achieve your desired goals as using the Theragun in different ways and at different times can change the effect it has.
Why we use Theragun?
In the clinic – we use the Theragun G3Pro. It is the market-leading percussive therapy tool. There are now many cheap substitutes but the Theragun was the original brand on the market and continues to lead the way for the industry due to its quality and innovation. It was created by a chiropractor who was suffering from chronic pain and needed a way to treat and manage his problems. He converted a power drill which allowed him to target his problem areas with a high-speed vibration and allowing him to achieve the depth of penetration into the muscle and other soft tissues.
Here is a rundown of the Theragun G3Pro features and benefits:
- Better amplitude than any other device – this means that the head of the tool travels further and penetrates muscle more than 60% deeper than the average massager.
- Higher speed than any other device – 40 x per second the head of the tool hits the skin and then comes off the surface – most other massagers stay in contact with the surface of the skin –this means the brain does not acclimatise to the sensation – allowing the muscle to be targeted more effectively
- Big force – when it was developed the main problem was not being able to generate sufficient force. The latest model now delivers 60 pounds of force for greater circulation and more effective release of tension.
The Theragun comes complete with a variety of tools and fittings which are designed for different problems and areas of the body as we know that you can’t treat every problem with a one size fits all method. Fittings include a ball for larger muscles and then smaller shaped fittings which help to target more precise areas for treating those nagging injuries. Our therapists are well trained and have been using this device so their experience in managing soft tissue is second to none.
Can Percussive Therapy Benefit Me?
Percussive therapy is for everyone no matter what your goal or problem. As we have discussed, its benefits range from reducing your post-exercise soreness so you can be more comfortable and perform better or if you have a tight area - it can help you to loosen off. It can also be effective in the management of long term painful areas which you may have from old injuries or surgeries
We offer percussive therapy as a treatment on its own - check out the Percussive Therapy section on our website for further details on pricing, times and how to book.
For an even better value deal, we offer our unique Combination Therapy – this treatment protocol was designed by our clinic owner to deliver multiple treatment modalities to provide maximal healing and increased pain relief! Percussive Therapy can be one of the modalities included in your treatment session – head over to the Combination Therapy page to check it out.