Percussion Massage Risks: What You Need to Know and How to Help Prevent Them

percussion massage risks

Are you looking to relax your muscles but wondering about the risks of percussion massage?

Treating your body to percussion massage therapy can be a great way to help enhance your muscle strength for daily life activities.

This widely used form of massage therapy is becoming increasingly popular for its ability to promote better blood flow, improve range of motion, and provide relief from pain.

Whether you're paying a visit to a licensed massage therapist or investing in an affordable handheld massager like the Fusion Elite, the benefits of percussive massage therapy are undeniable.

However, like any form of vibration therapy, there are potential risks associated with percussion massage that you need to be aware of before incorporating it into your health routine.

In this post, we'll go over some of these potential risks and how you can prevent them from occurring in the first place.

So, let's dive in!

Common Risks of Percussion Massage Therapy

From skin irritation to tissue damage, there are a number of potential risks associated with percussion massage. Some of the more common risks include:


One of the most common risks associated with treating your body to percussion massage therapy is bruising.

If massage therapy is meant to keep your body healthy, why should it cause bruising?

Well, it all boils down to the pressure and intensity of how the massage is performed. Percussion therapy is often performed with the aid of powerful devices like massage guns or foam rolling tools.

In some cases, the pressure applied can be too strong and cause tiny blood vessel capillaries under your skin to rupture. When this happens, it can cause the area to bruise.

Nerve damage

percussion elite massage gun speed settings

If you've ever experienced nerve pain, then you know how beneficial percussive therapy can be in helping to reduce your discomfort.

However, just like with bruising, the pressure and intensity of the percussion massager can sometimes be too much for your nerve endings to handle.

Take a massage gun as an example; high-end models like the Fusion Elite are specially designed with five adjustable speeds, allowing you to customize the intensity of your body massage. Now imagine using the highest setting on a nerve that's already inflamed.

Doing so could potentially cause more harm than good and may lead to permanent nerve damage with the onset of pain.

That's why it's important to be mindful of the pressure you use when treating your nerve fibers with percussion massage therapy.

Muscle soreness

Wondering how getting a massage can lead to muscle soreness when it's supposed to help relieve your body of muscle pains and aches?

Well, it's simple. Just as with bruising and nerve function damage, the intensity of the massage can be too much for your muscle fibers to handle.

Overworking your muscles during massage therapy can cause them to become overstretched and inflamed. When this happens, it can lead to muscle strain, spasms, and even onset muscle soreness in the days following handheld percussion treatment.

Bone fractures or dislocations

Do you know that percussion massage therapy can also carry the risk of bone fractures or dislocations?

While this is fairly rare, it's still worth noting.

This is because percussion massage can cause small and microscopic broken bones when the repetitive pressure applied is too much for your bones to handle.

This type of injury can be very serious and may require medical attention. Bone areas prone to this type of injury include your spine, ribs, and other areas with fragile bones.

That's why it's important to take extra precaution when treating these areas with percussion massage therapy, as bone and joint flexibility can be a factor in the severity of the injury.

Blood clots

When it comes to treating the human body with massage therapy, there is always a risk of developing blood clots.

The risk of this condition is higher when using a percussion massager, as the pressure and intensity of the massage can cause your veins to constrict. This can lead to a buildup of blood that will need to be released from the area.

If left untreated, it can lead to more serious health issues like deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. Risk of these chronic conditions can also be high if you have a history of poor blood circulation or other vascular conditions.

That's why it's important to take simple precautions for efficient blood circulation during massage therapy.

These are just a few of the potential risks associated with percussion massage therapy.

Whether you're dealing with muscle soreness, nerve pain, or any other post-massage discomfort, it's always important to be mindful of how you can prevent these risks from occurring in the first place.

That's what we'll be discussing in the next section.

How to Prevent the Risks of Percussion Massage Therapy

Taking the proper precautions will go a long way toward helping you enjoy the benefits of massage therapy without risking your health and safety.

Here are some tips to keep in mind for a safe, effective, and professional massage session:

Use a professionally-approved percussive massage device

approved percussive massage device

Perhaps one of the most important factors to consider when in need of percussive massage therapy is the quality of the massager you're using.

Make sure to invest in one that has been approved by professionals and is designed with features like adjustable speed settings, like Fusion's quality percussion range of massage guns. This will allow you to customize the intensity of your massage according to your body's needs.

Other features to look out for include how convenient the device is to use on any muscle tissue you are looking to massage. Convenient massage guns to consider include models that feature an ergonomic design and come with multiple attachments to target different muscle groups.

With added features like these, you can easily ensure that the gentle pressure from your percussive massage device is suitable for your muscles.


A good rule of thumb to keep in mind when engaging in any physical activity is to stay hydrated.

This extends to percussive massage therapy as well, as it enhances muscular recovery and reduces the risk of developing blood clots. Also, it's important to keep in mind that most of the risks associated with percussion therapy come from overworking your connective tissue over extended periods.

By staying hydrated, you can help your body work more efficiently and give it the time it needs to rest for improved tissue health.

Other ways staying hydrated helps you include reducing the risk of lactic acid buildup and helping to flush out toxins from your body.

Start off slowly

Third on our list of tips on how to minimize potential risks is to start off slowly when using any percussive massager.

Many of the risks associated with percussive therapy arise from the excessive pressure applied to specific body parts. Take instances of bruising and nerve damage, which can easily occur if you are not careful with the intensity of a deep tissue massage.

That's why it's always smart to start off at a lower speed level and increase accordingly as you become more comfortable. Percussive massagers like the Fusion Mini provide adjustable speed settings for this very purpose.

This way, you can slowly work your way up to a higher intensity, giving your body time to adjust.

Avoid applying pressure directly to bones or joints

Another safety tip to keep in mind is to avoid applying pressure directly to bones or joints.

The intense pressure from percussive massage can easily cause harm to these areas, resulting in serious injuries and even fractures. To be safe, it's best to target the surrounding sore muscles only and keep your percussion massage gun away from areas of high bone density.

This is especially important if you are using a deep tissue therapy device, as the increased pressure can cause even more serious damage.

With this in mind, you can ensure that your massage therapy session is both safe and effective.

Take breaks

Are you one to go all out during your massage therapy session?

While percussive massage therapy is proven to be highly effective, it's important to remember that muscle recovery is just as important as the massage itself. So be sure to give your body the time it needs to recuperate for a fast healing process.

Treat your body as if you were lifting weights at the gym; take regular breaks in between sets.

This will help to prevent potential percussive massage risks like muscle stiffness or a tear, which can arise from overworking certain muscle groups for too long.

Communicate any pre-existing medical conditions or concerns

While percussive massage therapy can be performed in the comfort of your own home, it's important to consult with a professional about any pre-existing health conditions you may have.

For instance, some individuals may have sensitivities to certain types of pressure or existing injuries that must be taken into consideration when using a foam roller or percussive massage gun.

Examples of conditions that should be taken into consideration include existing muscle or joint injuries, chronic pain, and even heart issues.

By communicating any medical issue you may have with your massage therapist or doctor, you can ensure that your percussion massage therapy session maximizes its benefit while minimizing potential risks.

Frequently Asked Questions

After going through this article, you may still have questions about the risks of percussive massage.

We've got you covered. In this section, you'll find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions we receive on this topic.

How long do the risks of adverse effects from percussive massage therapy last?

The risk of percussive therapy can last for different amounts of time, depending on the individual and the severity of the injury sustained.

In general, minor muscle tension or soreness should remain manageable for a few days to a week, while more serious nerve damage or bone dislocations could take weeks or months to heal. It is important to rest adequately after each session and give your body ample time to recover for pain relief.

If the chronic pain or discomfort persists, it is advisable to seek medical advice from a qualified medical professional.

Are certain individuals more susceptible to percussion massage risks than others?

While anyone can experience the risks associated with percussive massage, certain individuals may be more susceptible to them.

This includes people with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or any other health problem that affects the body's ability to heal. That's why it's best to discuss any common inflammation conditions or concerns you may have with a massage or physical therapist before your session.

This way, you can ensure that you can enjoy a safe and effective massage therapy session.

How often should I receive percussion massage to avoid any risks?

When it comes to just how often you should receive percussion massage to avoid any risks, the answer will vary from person to person.

Generally, percussive massagers are considered safe to use up to 2-3 times daily for at least 10-15 minutes at a time. However, people with chronic pain conditions or who are more advanced in their massage therapy routine may want to limit themselves to no more than once a day.

For best results, it's best to consult with your massage therapist on the best frequency for you. This way, you can get the most out of your massage therapy sessions without putting your body at risk.


Hope this brief article has answered any questions you may have had about the risks associated with percussive massage.

Possible risks of this massage technique can include bruising, muscle soreness, nerve damage, bruising, and even blood clotting. To avoid any of these issues, it's always important to take precautions for your safety.

This includes using a professionally approved electronic device, hydrating, starting with light pressure, taking breaks, avoiding pressure on bones or joints, and sharing any pre-existing medical conditions with your massage therapist.

By following these tips, you can enjoy the many health benefits of percussion massagers without putting your body at risk. Some of these potential benefits include improved flexibility, improved circulation, and muscle relaxation.

If you have any further questions or concerns, don't hesitate to reach out to our team of experts.

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