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Understanding the risk of vertigo from massage guns


Massage guns, popular for soothing sore muscles, have recently been linked to an increased risk of vertigo, particularly when used on the neck and upper scalp. A study published in JAMA Otolaryngology highlights cases where individuals experienced severe dizziness, identified as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), after using these devices in sensitive areas.

What is BPPV?

BPPV is a common vestibular disorder that causes intense dizziness and is often triggered by the dislodgment of calcium carbonate crystals in the inner ear. This disorientation affects the brain’s ability to perceive motion and space.

How massage guns can trigger vertigo

Experts suggest that the vibrations from massage guns can dislodge these inner ear crystals, especially when used near the head and neck. This can lead to BPPV, presenting symptoms such as room-spinning sensations and balance disruptions.

Precautions and recommendations

Given the potential risks, medical professionals advise against the use of massage guns on the head, neck, and other sensitive areas. They emphasize the importance of being aware of the correct usage to prevent adverse effects such as vertigo or even more severe conditions like vertebral artery dissection, which could lead to a stroke.

If symptoms of vertigo occur, it is crucial to consult a specialist. Treatments like the Epley maneuver effectively reposition dislodged ear crystals, typically resolving the issue without invasive procedures.


While massage guns can be beneficial for muscle recovery, use them cautiously to avoid complications like vertigo. Awareness and proper handling are key to safely reaping the benefits of these devices.