As Sports Physiotherapy becomes more and more about building robust and strong athletes, there appears to be less time in a busy sports schedule for hands on tissue regeneration. Therefore, manual therapy, which has traditionally been at the forefront of the Physiotherapists ‘toolbox’, is lower down on the priority list.
In the last 5 -10 years there has been more of a push for athletes to be self driven with their recovery and tissue regeneration on the form of foam rolling, trigger ball therapy & stretch bands. This is helpful for a busy Physiotherapist and plays an important role in the athlete’s weekly schedule. Yet, from an athlete’s point of view is this sufficient enough for them? And how compliant are most athletes to this long term?
Athletes will tell you the trigger ball routine is not as effective for them compared to a session with a skilled manual therapist. Whether this due to greater clinical changes with a therapist or simply the mental aspect and the ‘power of touch’. I am sure it is a combination of many factors.
Nonetheless there has recently been a new addition to the tissue regeneration market in the form of Massage Guns. At first glance a traditional therapist may roll their eyes at yet another accessory to this growing market including the likes of vibrating foam rollers & trigger balls.
Yet are massage guns more than this? Are they the bridge between foam rolling and hands on manual therapy the athletes are looking for? Do they increase the athlete’s compliance?
The athletes we are working with love their massage guns and use them regularly. We use and recommend the Hydragun. Hydragun is easy to use, comfortable and quiet! It comes with a 6 different attachment head pieces to target different areas of the body whilst you can vary the intensity to allow for both low level soft tissue work on areas such as the calves and very firm trigger for the back or gluteals.
Our athletes compliance to self driven soft tissue regeneration is certainly up with the Hydragun. At this stage it looks the Hydragun is here to stay and an important accessory to the new age athletes ‘toolkit’.