Do you think there has been an increase or decrease in injuries with all the lockdowns/restrictions?
I can understand why there can be an increase in injuries in professional sports because the players are not in their usual rhythm. People often forget that even though they are professional athletes, they are also human and need some type of structure. For most professional athletes, this structure has completely disappeared over the last year, which is why many athletes and clubs I know are probably taking a more maintenance approach to their training at the moment, rather than the "typical pre-season" they need to rebuild their fitness would take a break. They've been training and preparing consistently for two seasons now and it's taking its toll on the body.
Although I haven't personally seen an increase in injuries in the general population, I would imagine that people who work from their ideal office with the right equipment at home on the sofa without support certainly develop these little aches and pains, mainly caused by restricted mobility movement are caused.
What role do percussive massagers play in the treatment you offer/prescribe?
Personally a big role. I work with a small subset of my clients offering tailored and direct rehab for their injuries or just general training. I use percussion therapy in two ways - 1. to help them loosen up, increase circulation and prepare for exercise. And 2. when I've had a hands-on session where I've been working very heavily with soft tissue manipulations, I use the flow to get good blood flow to the area and promote the lymphatic drainage I need for recovery .
Do you have any tips for getting the most out of your percussion massager?
Above all, avoid bony areas on your body, it's pretty easy to use. You can use it to warm up before training, to cool down afterwards and at any time to support regeneration. But to really get the most out of it, I would recommend contacting a therapist or using the resources provided by Flow to understand how we can get the most out of this tool.
Are there any warnings for anyone using one of these devices?
Especially avoid bony areas, bruises and areas of injury. Usually they are designed to increase blood flow and reduce tension within a muscle, which is perfect and when used correctly can be a useful addition to your daily activities. But if you decide to use them over a bruise, for example, you'll actually be doing more harm than good to the area. As always, if you are unsure, consult a therapist.