Updated: Nov 12
Deep tissue massage is a popular form of therapeutic massage that can be helpful in relieving chronic pain and tension in sore muscles. While this massage technique is beneficial, it is not uncommon for clients to experience some pain or discomfort after a deep tissue massage. In this article, we will explore the reasons why post-massage pain occurs and provide tips on how to manage it.
Understanding deep tissue massage
Deep tissue massage is a massage technique that targets the deeper layers of muscle groups and connective tissues. The therapist uses deep tissue massages, pressure and friction techniques to release tension and break up scar tissue in the muscles.
While the massage can be uncomfortable during the session, it should not be painful. The therapist will communicate with the client throughout the massage to ensure that the pressure is not too intense.
Why do you feel pain after a deep tissue massage?
Post massage soreness sometimes known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) can occur for a number of reasons, including muscle soreness, increased blood flow, toxins release, and aggravation of previous injuries.
Deep tissue massage can cause micro-tears in the muscles, leading to soreness and stiffness, and the increased blood flow can cause swelling and inflammation, which can also cause discomfort. Moreover, toxins that have been trapped in the stiff muscles can cause pain and discomfort as they are flushed out of the body.
In addition, some clients may have areas of chronic pain or injuries that can be aggravated during a deep tissue massage, causing increased pain or discomfort. This is why it is important to communicate with your massage therapist about your massage treatments and any injuries, chronic pain, or discomfort you may be experiencing.
How long does the pain last?
The duration of post-massage pain can vary depending on the individual and the intensity of the massage. Typically, the pain should subside within a few days. However, if the pain persists or is severe, it is important to consult with a massage therapist or medical professional.
Tips for managing post-massage pain
If you are experiencing pain or discomfort after a deep tissue massage, there are several things you can do to to manage the pain and promote healing:
· Resting and staying hydrated can help promote healing and reduce inflammation in the muscles.
· Applying heat or ice to the affected area can help reduce pain and inflammation.
· Gentle stretching can also stimulate muscle relaxation and also help relieve muscle tightness and soreness.
· Communicating with your massage therapist is crucial, as they can adjust the pressure or technique to ensure that you are comfortable and avoid exacerbating any injuries or pain in muscles.
In addition to these tips, there are some things you can do before your massage to minimize your risk of post-massage pain feel sore afterwards. Drinking plenty of water before and after your massage can help flush out toxins and reduce muscle soreness.
It is also important to avoid alcohol and caffeine before your massage, as they can dehydrate you and make post-massage soreness worse.
Prevention of post-massage pain
While it is not always possible to completely prevent post-massage pain, there are some things you can do to minimize your risk of experiencing pain or discomfort after a deep tissue massage.
· Staying hydrated
· Communicating with your massage therapist
· Avoiding strenuous activity
· Gentle stretching
· and scheduling regular massages
All can help prevent chronic pain and muscle tension by promoting relaxation and reducing muscle tension.
Benefits of deep tissue massage
Deep tissue massage has many benefits, including:
· reducing chronic muscle pain and tension
· improving range of motion and flexibility
· reducing muscle stiffness and soreness
· improving circulation and lymphatic flow
· reducing stress and anxiety
· and improving sleep quality.
It can also help alleviate symptoms of conditions such as fibromyalgia, plantar fasciitis, and tennis elbow.
What to expect during a deep tissue massage
During a deep tissue massage, the therapist will use slow, deep strokes and friction techniques to target the deeper layers of muscles and connective tissues. The pressure can be intense, but it should not be painful. The therapist will communicate with the client throughout the massage to ensure that they are comfortable and the pressure is not too intense.
The massage typically begins with a light touch to warm up the muscles before gradually increasing the pressure to work on deeper layers of tissue. The therapist may use their fingertips, knuckles, elbows, or forearms to apply pressure to painful muscles, depending on the area being worked on.
Finding the right massage therapist
Finding the right massage therapist is crucial for a successful deep tissue massage experience. It is important to consider their experience, qualifications, and areas of expertise when looking for a massage therapist.
Look for a therapist who has experience working with clients who have similar issues or conditions to yours. You can also ask for recommendations from friends or family members who have had positive experiences with massage therapists.
Other types of massage
If deep tissue massage is not the right fit for you, there are many other types of massage to choose from.
Swedish massage is a gentle, relaxing massage that uses long, flowing strokes to promote relaxation and reduce stress.
Sports massage therapy focuses on specific areas of the body that are used during sports or physical activity and can help prevent injury and promote healing. Trigger point therapy targets specific areas of muscles tension or knots, known as trigger points.
In conclusion, post-massage pain is a common side effect of deep tissue massage. While it can be uncomfortable, it is a normal part of the healing process and should subside within a few days. By staying hydrated, resting, and communicating with your massage therapist, you can minimize your risk of experiencing post-massage pain.
Remember that deep tissue massage has many benefits and can be an effective way to relieve chronic pain and tension. If you are experiencing severe or persistent pain, it is important to seek medical attention to rule out any underlying conditions or injuries.
Finding the right massage therapist, trying different types of massage, and incorporating massage into your regular wellness routine can help you maintain optimal physical and mental health.
Is it normal to hurt after a deep tissue massage?
Yes, it's normal to feel some pain or discomfort after a deep tissue massage. It should subside within a few days. Rest, stay hydrated, and communicate with your therapist. Seek medical attention if the pain is severe or persistent.
What should you not do after a deep tissue massage?
After a deep tissue massage, avoid strenuous activities, alcohol, and caffeine. Rest and stay hydrated to promote healing. Don't schedule any other physical therapies or treatments immediately after the first massage treatment.
How do you relieve soreness after a deep tissue massage?
If you are feeling sore, try applying heat or ice like a hot bath or hot shower, gentle stretching, and stay hydrated. Communicate with your therapist if you still experience pain or discomfort. Seek medical attention if the pain is severe or persistent.
What are the side effects of a deep tissue massage?
The side effects of a deep tissue massage may include temporary soreness, stiffness, pain, and mild bruising. Serious side effects such as nerve injury are rare but can occur if the deep tissue massage therapy is performed by an unqualified or inexperienced therapist.
Overall, the benefits usually outweigh the potential side effects, but it's important to communicate any discomfort or pain with your therapist.