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It Is Safe to Use Massage Gun on Back While Pregnant

It Is Safe to Use Massage Gun on Back While Pregnant

Stress on the back during pregnancy often causes back and leg pain. Many pregnant women also experience symptoms such as swelling (edema), muscle cramps, cramps, and fatigue, which interfere with sleep. When the body interprets these symptoms and lack of sleep as stress, it can release stress hormones that can affect the fetus as well.

Using a massage gun during pregnancy is a safe and helpful form of stress and tension relief as long as you follow safety precautions and avoid sensitive areas. Massage guns use percussion and vibration to create a kind of self-massage that can potentially relieve tension, stiffness, and muscle aches, as well as break down tissue adhesions and reduce inflammation. Pregnancy massage can also provide relaxation and pain relief to muscles and joints that struggle with your growing and changing body.

Massage guns are one option for self or partner massage that, like traditional massage therapy, has been proven to help reduce muscle pain. The benefits of pregnancy massage are numerous, including the release of relaxation hormones, reduced pain and stiffness, reduced stress levels, better sleep, and more.

However, it is essential to follow some safety precautions when using a massage gun during pregnancy. Also, discuss using the massage gun with your healthcare professional before using it. Here's what you need to know about the massage gun.

Benefits of massage during pregnancy

Massage therapy has long been the preferred treatment during pregnancy because it is effective in managing pain and aches that occur over time and can be very relaxing and enjoyable.

In fact, researchers have studied the many benefits of massage therapy during pregnancy. In addition to helping relieve symptoms like muscle aches and headaches, massage therapy can improve mood and reduce anxiety by improving the release of "feel good chemicals" like dopamine and serotonin.

Reducing pain and improving mood can also improve sleep, improve recovery from daily activities, and improve the health of mothers and babies in many ways.

But can I use a massage gun during pregnancy? Although there are many factors to consider (continue reading), massage guns seem to be gaining traction as a treatment option during pregnancy.

Benefits of massage guns during pregnancy

Although there are no specific studies on the benefits of massage guns for pregnant women, several studies have demonstrated the general benefits of massage during pregnancy, including deep tissue massage. Therapeutic massage effectively reduces the discomfort and pain of pregnancy and is a safe and affordable way to relieve pain during pregnancy. Researchers believe that this relief can help relieve symptoms and improve the health of both mother and baby in several ways.

Benefits of massage:

  • Improved circulation
  • Increased immune response
  • Improve your sense of well-being
  • Improve your sleep patterns
  • Increases energy and vitality.
  • Reduce chronic back pain
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Make you feel good
  • Relieves muscle and joint pain
  • Improving cardiovascular health
  • Reduced risk of premature birth
  • Increases serotonin and dopamine levels.

Safety Issues

Pregnant massage is generally safe for people who do not have an underlying medical condition. However, there are no studies to determine the safety of massage guns for pregnant women.

It is best to discuss the use of massage guns with your doctor before use.

When to Avoid Massage During Pregnancy

You also should avoid pregnancy massage of any kind if you have the following conditions:

High-risk pregnancy: If you have any high-risk factors, such as bleeding, pre-term contractions, and preeclampsia, avoid using massage guns unless your doctor clears you to do so.

Preeclampsia: This condition causes a rise in blood pressure that can be very serious. It typically develops around 20 weeks of pregnancy or later. 

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT): Avoid using a massage gun if you have a history of deep vein thrombosis. Blood volume increases during pregnancy, and circulation in the legs can be poor. Additionally, certain hormones that prevent hemorrhage during delivery can cause blood to clot more easily. Using a massage gun on areas with potential blood clots may release the clot, leading to a life-threatening embolism.6 

Placenta previa, accrete, or abruption: These conditions involving the placenta can lead to bleeding.

Gestational diabetes: High blood sugar levels during pregnancy do not necessarily mean you cannot use a massage gun. However, you should speak to your doctor first and monitor your blood sugar before use.

How to Use a Massage Gun

Although there are no specific expert directions for the use of massage guns during pregnancy, there are some things you need to consider while using the device. For instance, never place the massage gun directly over bones, nerves, or joints.

You also should try to avoid using the device in areas that are injured, swollen, or painful. It is also best to avoid using a massage gun directly on your abdomen during pregnancy. Here are some additional tips on how to use a massage gun:

  • Start by trying a light 10- to 15-second pass over any sore or tight areas.
  • Perform three to five sweeps over a single location, then move on to another.
  • Be careful not to keep the gun on a single area too long as you could overwork the muscle leading to bruising and irritation. 
  • Stop using the massage gun if you experience any unusual pain or discomfort.

Other Options for Massage

If you want to get the benefits of massage but are concerned about using a massage gun, try scheduling an appointment with a registered massage therapist specializing in pregnancy massage. This way, you can be sure you are getting a massage that is safe and effective.

Just be sure to talk to a healthcare provider first. Then, once you arrive for your appointment, discuss any preexisting conditions you may have with your therapist.

You also can try using a foam roller for some of the same self-massage benefits without percussion or vibration. Foam rollers are thought to help break up tissue adhesions and reduce muscle pain.

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