A health TikToker is warning individuals about an unsettling expertise she had after utilizing a therapeutic massage gun on her neck. Within the video, which has racked up 4.6 million views to this point, Sophie Dolce defined that she just lately awoke with “the worst kink in her neck.” So she turned to her therapeutic massage gun for some aid, noting that she focused her neck, the bottom of her cranium, shoulder, and again. On that day, Dolce used the massager regularly—on a excessive setting, each half-hour between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.—as a result of it “quickly” helped ease her ache.
“I ended up getting tremendous sore, pink, infected…throughout the place I used to be utilizing it,” Dolce stated within the video. She ended up feeling worse and had bother sleeping that night time as a result of she was “in a lot ache.” When she awoke within the morning, the ache had persevered and she or he felt an uncommon lump on her neck. A spurt of panicked googling prompted her to see a physician instantly. “My physician was like, ‘Don’t you dare ever use a therapeutic massage gun on your neck,’” she stated, including that she was warned this may mess with the blood move within the space that results in the mind.
“I initially shared [the video] to unfold consciousness to anybody who could have completed or is likely to be planning on doing the identical factor,” Dolce, who creates movies to assist others discover pleasure in motion, tells SELF. She stated the lump is likely to be attributable to an infected lymph node as a result of she used the system a lot, however she’s getting some testing completed to make sure.
Plenty of individuals rely on a therapeutic massage gun to alleviate muscle soreness, pressure, and ache—so we requested consultants about Dolce’s PSA, they usually stated she’s proper to name consideration to it.
Why you shouldn’t use a therapeutic massage gun straight on your neck
A number of individuals within the feedback of Dolce’s submit stated both they or a beloved one had skilled a stroke or seizure after utilizing a therapeutic massage gun on their neck—and that is, in truth, a threat. As Dolce talked about in her video, there may be a pair of carotid arteries on all sides of your neck, which have the essential job of shifting oxygen-rich blood out of your coronary heart to your mind and the remainder of your head.
“You don’t need to use percussive remedy—a therapeutic massage gun—over an artery,” Ryan Krzyzanowicz, DAT, the director of athletic coaching schooling on the College at Buffalo in New York, tells SELF. Percussive gadgets usually ship “fast pulses in brief bursts of stress” straight into your tissues, as one paper places it. So once you’re utilizing one proper on your neck, “we get frightened about blood move to the mind. In principle, percussion may quickly starve the mind from blood move, inflicting a mini stroke or stroke-like signs.” (This might embody sudden confusion or bother talking, numbness or weak point on one aspect of the physique, a quick-hitting and extreme headache, and bother strolling or seeing, amongst different issues.)
Neel Anand, MD, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and codirector of backbone trauma at Cedars-Sinai Backbone Middle in Los Angeles, agrees. “A therapeutic massage gun shouldn’t be used on the entrance or aspect of the neck,” he tells SELF. “You may displace the carotid artery and get a stroke.”
A 2022 case report printed within the journal CPC Emergency Medication particulars the story of a 27-year-old lady who developed vertebral artery dissection—a potential reason for stroke—after utilizing a handheld therapeutic massage gun on her neck for no less than three weeks. The lady, who went to the emergency room after creating complications, neck ache, and “progressively worsening” dizziness, wanted remedy however ultimately recovered.
It’s additionally attainable that utilizing a therapeutic massage gun on your neck may irritate the lymph nodes—bean-shaped, infection-fighting glands—within the space too. “It occurs because of the percussive nature of the therapeutic massage gun hitting the lymph node, inflicting irritation,” Krzyzanowicz explains. This may set off a lump to kind; Krzyzanowicz compares it to the swelling you’d doubtless expertise after, say, spraining your ankle.
Are there different areas of your physique it is best to keep away from?
Dr. Anand says it’s usually protected to make use of a therapeutic massage gun on the shoulder muscle tissues that lead as much as your neck—simply not the neck itself. However for those who use a therapeutic massage gun usually, it’s greatest to get a physician or bodily therapist’s enter on the place and the way usually it is best to use it—particularly for those who’re nurturing an harm, bruise simply or have a bleeding dysfunction, have a persistent situation, or take care of a persistently painful drawback space.
Along with your neck, Krzyzanowicz recommends avoiding the realm round and over your eyes, over your coronary heart, in and round your inside groin, straight behind your knees, significantly bony areas, and any spots the place you may not have the identical degree of feeling you usually do. “Let’s say you simply had surgical procedure and are numb in a physique half—it’s not smart to make use of a therapeutic massage gun on that physique half as a result of you possibly can’t really feel what goes on,” Krzyzanowicz says.
Right here’s a common rule from Dr. Anand: “Use the therapeutic massage gun on areas which are stable muscle—like your again or the primary muscle tissues in your legs and arms. You shouldn’t be utilizing it in a gentle space.”
For those who wind up with vital bruising, your physique feels a lot worse, or no matter system you’ve gotten simply isn’t working for you—it’s greatest to pause altogether and discuss to a professional about what’s going on and for those who ought to look into different strategies for aid.
This text was up to date on 1/26/24 to mirror Dolce’s response to our request for remark.