During pregnancy, massage guns can be helpful to alleviate certain aches and stiffness, but it’s important to consider certain precautions.
Massage guns are percussive devices used to relieve tension and soreness in muscles, promote relaxation, and aid in recovery. They use rhythmic pulses to provide short-term improvements in muscular strength, flexibility, and pain 1 . Since there is no current research on massage guns in pregnancy, speak with your healthcare provider prior to using one, especially if you have preeclampsia, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), placental complications, diabetes, lower extremity swelling, history of miscarriage, or preterm labor 2 . They may advise you to avoid certain areas like the lower back and legs because of the increased risk of DVT in pregnancy 3 .
Massage guns should not be used over the abdomen during pregnancy. Also, avoid using over bony prominences and joints. Massage guns should be comfortable, so dial back the intensity of the percussion if needed. Different body parts might require different intensity levels.
If you don’t have access to a massage gun (or choose not to use one), try some pregnancy-safe alternatives such as static stretching, low-impact exercise, foam rolling, or massage from a licensed prenatal massage therapist.