Latest Therapeutic Interventions News
Aug 31, 2023
Background: Handheld percussive massage therapy devices like massage guns have gained much popularity in both the medical and athletic setting. Its applications have been prominently recognized in injury prevention and rehabilitation across a wide variety of populations. While massage guns hold similarities to alternate and more studied therapeutic modalities, there is still limited evidence-based information on the indications and contraindications for said devices. Objective: This study aims utilize a qualitative analysis of consumer perceptions to establish an understanding of the perceived therapeutic potential as well as points of concern of massage guns. Methods: A search of Amazon’s best-selling massage gun was conducted, and a qualitative analysis was performed on the top 100 positive comments and top 100 critical comments. Results: Four pertinent themes were identified upon qualitative analysis: Pain Management, Versatility, Accessibility, and Safety and Education. Consumers identified therapeutic potential of percussive massage therapy in managing acute pain, chronic pain, non-surgical injury rehabilitation, post-surgical injury rehabilitation, and injury prevention. In regard to accessibility, consumers frequently commented on the ability of at-home percussive therapy devices to improve availability and affordability. Consumers highlighted versatility of the device to address person-specific needs as a key feature in its perceived therapeutic benefits. The most stated point of concern included the quality of the device itself. However, this concern did not translate to the overall modality of percussive massage therapy devices. Conclusions: Massage guns hold value in regard to its perceived efficacy in pain management of acute and chronic conditions as well as in injury prevention and rehabilitation. Additionally, massage guns were perceived to improve healthcare accessibility by establishing a reliable and affordable resource for home-based health interventions of diverse medical needs. However, limited scientific research on massage guns raises concerns for lack of regulated and evidence-based care.
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