When you have a sore lower back, even the simplest of activities can feel uncomfortable. From waking up in the morning feeling stiff to struggling with exercise, there are many ways this condition can cause issues. While a lot of treatment methods are available, if you’re on the hunt for the best pain relief for lower back pain you may find that a muscle massage gun is the most effective.
Massage guns deliver short bursts of pressure into your muscles. Each handheld device can deliver thousands of thumps per minute. The aim of using one is to reduce tightness, enhance blood flow, promote healing, and limit pain. If you're new to using one, it may help to learn more about how they work and the different types of massage gun heads available to you.
How muscle massage guns work
There are a few different theories surrounding the efficacy of massage guns. The first is that the sensation they deliver encourages your brain to focus on that rather than the pain from your lower back. Scientists call this 'gate theory'. Some also believe that these guns encourage your Golgi tendon organ to work — this is the part of your muscle that stops tightness and contraction.
A simpler theory behind how massage guns work is that they alert your brain to areas of tightness in your muscles. When your brain becomes aware of the tight area, it works to release said tightness. Much like when you visit a masseuse, you'll also encourage blood flow. With increased blood flow, you can reduce inflammation and promote healing.
How to prepare for using a massage gun
There are ways to make your massage gun more effective. Wherever possible, try to relax ahead of using one. While your sore lower back may cause you to feel naturally tense, being uptight increases that tension and makes it harder for the gun to do its job. If you're struggling to relax, try some deep breathing exercises.
Begin by placing your muscle massage gun on its lowest setting. You can always switch to a higher one later if you feel the lower speeds are ineffective.
Naturally, your lower back isn't always the easiest place to reach. Because of this, you may need to ask someone to help you. Avoid making overly difficult twisting movements to do it yourself, as you may make your back soreness worse.
Choosing the right massage gun heads
The beauty of using a massage gun is that there are lots of heads available. Each one has unique benefits in terms of the muscles it can target and how it works on them.
Pneumatic head attachments
Pneumatic head attachments are usually better suited to targeting smaller muscles, such as the ones in your neck. However, if your back is especially sore, they can act as good starter attachments.
Flat head attachments
Flat head attachments for your massage gun are ideal for tackling the large muscles you'll find in your lower back. The massage delivery is firm, so always start on a low setting before progressing to higher ones. It's also a useful head to use before and after workouts to reduce tightness and limit your risk of injury.
Forkhead attachments are perfect for targeting the muscle groups on either side of your spine. To use one, you may need to ask someone to help you.
Roundball head attachments
There are two different types of round ball head attachments that you can use: large and small. While large works well for big muscles, the smaller one allows for finer massage delivery in smaller muscle groups.
Pointed head attachments
When you have a particularly troublesome area, a pointed head attachment can prove invaluable. It's a must-have if you're trying to undo knots of muscles.
*Tip, when using your massage muscle gun, make sure you focus on small sweeping movements across your lower back. That way, you'll capture your muscles in their entirety and not miss anything.
Why Are Massage Guns the Best Pain Relief for Lower Back Pain?
While there are many options out there that claim they are the best pain relief for lower back pain, many of them either dull or mask the problem and don’t actually aid in helping resolve it. Yes, they might provide temporary relief; however, they can also worsen an underlying issue, especially if you do things that might have been difficult while in pain. If you want to effectively relieve pain and fix the problem that is causing the pain, a muscle massage gun is your best bet.