Are you nursing a sore neck and shoulders after another week hunched over the keyboard on the couch? Home spa devices, like electric massagers, are a great way to get the kinks out quickly. Electric massagers are easy to find can be purchased in a wide variety of locations, from local pharmacies to electronics chain stores or even a quick visit to an internet superstore like Amazon.
But just because they're easy to acquire and use, that doesn't mean your favorite handheld electric massager is completely harmless. Believe it or not, electric massagers do have some adverse side effects if they aren't used carefully. Learn about three of the potential risk factors that come with using electric massagers.
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Stroke and Carotid Dissection
A report published in the December 2004 issue of the Southern Medical Journal discusses what happened to one woman who misused her electric massager. After suffering from serious migraine headaches, a 38-year-old woman began regularly using her electric massager on her neck just beneath her jaw.
Eventually, she went to the doctor after developing a speech disorder. Medical diagnosis confirmed that she had suffered an internal carotid artery dissection, which caused a huge ischemic stroke. The carotid artery was overstimulated and damaged by her use of the electric massager.
While cases like this aren't typical, this story does underline the importance of following the instructions provided with the electric massager before using it for the first time. It is also advisable to avoid rigorous application of the electric massager to the front and side of the neck as well as on the throat to avoid carotid dissection and the risks the condition presents.
Massagers and Aggravated Injuries
For sore muscles, almost nothing is better than a little time with an electric massager. However, not every sore spot benefits from stimulating the muscles in this way. If used to treat an area of the body that is sore due to cuts, bruises, lacerations, or even broken bones, it can actually make the existing injury even worse. If the skin is broken or if sore muscles are suspected to be caused by something other than muscle tension, it is better to consult a medical professional than continuing to tackle the problem at home with your electric massager.
Massagers and Electric Shock
When using electric massagers, another potential adverse side effect to consider is the risk of electric shock. To prevent being shocked during use, make sure that you follow instructions and the casing and cords of the massager itself are in good condition and neither cracked nor frayed. It is critical that unless the electric massager is marked as waterproof , you keep it away from areas like the bathtub or shower.