Massage guns have been one of the best-selling fitness equipment of the past few years. Listener Claire wanted to know, could they really help speed up pre-workout warm-up and post-workout recovery? And could they actually do any damage?
There are proven and cheaper recovery methods than massage guns.
Massage guns range in price from £15 to over £500. They have a vibrating silicone head that applies percussive pressure to the muscles. It claims to relieve pain by reducing subsequent inflammation.
Getting more blood and oxygen to your muscles may help warm up before your workout, suggests Ashley James of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. As for recovery, he says research is still in its early stages, but “the evidence that exists will demonstrate that topical vibration improves muscle soreness, or the delayed onset of DOMS.” However, they are few in number. A review of Sports His Massage by the British Medical Journal found that DOMS decreased by about 10%.
A Harvard study outlines how vibrating massage can help speed muscle recovery…in mice. Scientist Stephanie McNamara explained how she developed a massage gun to use on mice, showing that it can flush out immune cells called neutrophils that can impede healing. pitches, “I think this is an extraordinary tool.”
Ashley suggests that there are proven and inexpensive ways to recover, such as walking, using a stationary bike, and swimming. Additionally, he warns that using a massage gun on an injury can cause further damage.
To decide if you want to make a shopping list with a massage gun, listen to the full episode here.
Air purifiers promise to rid your home of harmful pollutants and allergens. But how effective are they? The interviewer, Laura, is a respiratory physician and wanted to know if she could help her patient. Are air purifiers better than good old ventilation?
Most air purifiers include a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Absorption) filter. Removes particles such as pollutants, allergens, bacteria and viruses down to a certain size. “On average, these air purifiers reduce particles by about 50 percent, so they do a pretty good job,” says UCL researcher Dr. Elizabeth Cooper.
But that’s where it gets a little more ‘murky’, with some purifiers claiming to remove gases like formaldehyde from the atmosphere, explained Alastair Lewis, professor of atmospheric chemistry at the University of York. There are a variety of additional technologies in air purifiers that claim to filter gases because “gases pass through the filter relatively unharmed”, and “many of them are fairly untested”. , can even produce worrisome by-products. Using oxidation reactions to filter VOCs (volatile organic compounds) creates ozone, which itself can irritate the lungs and impair respiratory function.
Elizabeth says there isn’t much evidence that air purifiers help with long-term respiratory illness. However, there is better evidence that air purifiers can help in short-term conditions such as seasonal allergies, respiratory problems, and in high-pollution areas.
But for most of us, opening a window could do just as well, says Alastair. A much cheaper fix (if the outside air is less polluted). In particular, you need an air purifier in every room of your home to get real results. “It’s not powerful enough to move enough air to purify an entire house,” Elizabeth says.
To learn more about Greg’s research on air purifiers, listen to the full episode here.
And for more of Greg’s research into the latest products promoted in the ad, listen to all previous episodes of Sliced Bread on BBC Sound.
The information contained in this article is current as of December 7, 2022 publication.