Can Massage Guns be Harmful?

When you should not use a massage gun?

Can massage guns be harmful? Well, if you don’t know which massage gun would be best for you and if you don’t know how to use it then my answer is yes. You can end up hurting yourself.

Massage guns should be used cautiously because they can cause damage to, arteries, nerves, lymphatic vessels, and even internal organs.

Don’t get me wrong, Massage guns are safe in skilled hands, but inexperienced users may face issues if they are not careful.

Here is the thing – under pressure for a longer period does not always translate to a better recovery.

Excessive or incorrect use can result in pain or injury.

When constant pressure or vibration is applied to the same area, tissue damage and severe soreness can occur. Stimulate the muscles only enough to loosen them up and never overdo it.

Self-induced slow, controlled pressure is most beneficial for the muscular system. If you feel any pain – STOP.

Do you get nauseous while using a massage gun in high-frequency vibrations? If so, use caution when operating your massage gun.

Now let’s look at some scenarios when you should avoid using a percussion massager a.k.a a massage gun.

When Should You not Use a Massage Gun?

Can massage guns be harmful?

There are lots of times when you should not use a massage gun.

To better help you, here is a list of some common situations when a massage gun can potentially do more harm than good in inexperienced hands –

  1. Strains:
    When a patient has a muscle strain also called a pulled muscle, percussion massageer should be avoided. When a muscle is stretched past its normal range of motion, it suffers this type of injury. Incorrect form, sudden motions, and overuse of any muscle or muscle set coukd be the reason of this condition. The powerful hammering motion of the massage gun can actually further damage your muscles instead of aiding you in recovery.
  2. Sprains:
    Sprains occur when muscles or ligaments are torn. This usually occurs when muscles are stretched beyond their normal capacity due to sudden movements. An injured patient may hear a popping sound when they suffer a sprain. As with muscle strains, massage guns can cause further damage to sprains of muscles and ligaments.
  3. Inflammation Injuries:
    Whenever the body has been injured, it becomes inflamed. This is a defence mechanism in which the body responds by sending more blood to the affected area to help it heal. Fasciitis, bursitis, and periostitis are common inflammation conditions. Those who have active inflammation should not undergo a percussion massage.
  4. Broken Bones:
    Now you should always avoid using a massage gun directly on to a bone. When a massage gun is applied to broken bones, it just makes thing worse. The same applies to patients who have been cleared to exercise. Hammering the newly repaired bone can cause it to fracture or break again.
  5. Pregnancy:
    Pregnat ladies usually suffer from back pain. However, if you are pregnant consult your doctor before using a massage gun as it can lead to many complications. We also have a detailed article on same. You can check it out here.
  6. Apart from that Do not use it on children or elderly people or on anyone with health conditions contraindicated in the literature included with the product. Consult your healthcare provider before taking any step.
  7. Massge gun are ment to be used on muscles. Do not use it on your head, face, or on your chest directly above your heart.

What will happen if I use it?

What will happen if I use it

You should always use a massage gun properly and always follow the instructions provided by the Massage gun manufacturer.

If you don’t, well, here are some risks of using your massage gun improperly –

  • If you use a massage gun extensively on a sigle spot for very long time the underline blood vessels may rupture and you will experience bruises and bleeding into your muscles. 
  • A percussion massage gun blow can stretch collagen and elastin fiber, resulting in saggy skin over time.
  • Despite their durability, muscle cells are not designed to withstand continuous blows. The pounding effect of the massage gun can damage actin and myosin proteins over time, which results in further muscle contractions and decreased strength. 
  • An increase in nerve sensitivity occurs as the nerve endings in your skin send unwanted signals to your brain when your skin is subjected to the rapid blows and machine force of the percussion gun. The effects of these increased signals can potentially increase heart rate and high blood pressure.
  • When your nerves fire fight-or-flight signals your muscles respond with unnecessary contractions. When we are attempting to relax a muscle and relieve tension, increased muscle contractions especially while under outside pressure are counterproductive. 

Bottom Line

So, can a massage gun harm you? The short answer is Yes, it can. However, that doesn’t mean you should throw away your massage gun.

I know after going through this article some of you might be a bit worried but percussion massagers are a great tool for self-massage and they are pretty safe to use too.

It is only when you don’t follow instructions or go to the extremes a massage gun causes harm.

Just remember that these small-looking devices are pretty powerful. So, go a little easy on yourself.

If you have any medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, or any other medical condition or you are pregnant, always consult a doctor before you start using any massage gun.

Percussion Massagers are meant to be used on muscles. So you should avoid bony areas like the face, head neck, or chest directly over the heart.

If you have a broken bone or sprains a Massage gun session can make things worse.




Ayaz is the co-founder of Massage Gear Advisor and manages SEO and web publishing. Traveling is one of his favorite things to do and he always keeps a massage gun around. Over the years Ayaz has tried over 20 different types of massage guns and is in love with them.