Ideally a good massage should leave you feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and full of energy, but this is not always the case. Different types of massages have different outcomes and intended uses. Some (such as relaxation massage or Swedish massage) focus on loosening the tense muscles to relieve every day stress, while others (such as deep tissue massage and sports massage) are intended to offer relief for many chronic conditions that people may have such as chronic neck pain, arthritis, lower back pain, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, sciatica, fibromyalgia and repetitive strain injuries. All of these musculoskeletal complications are typically caused by tension deep inside soft tissues (muscles, fascia, tendons, and ligaments). Deep tissue or remedial massage therapists, therefore, use a combination of firm pressure and deeper strokes to reach layers of muscles and connective tissues to release the tension. While some of these strokes may feel the same as if you are getting a Swedish massage, others may result in some pain and soreness that is usually felt the day after. So, yes, it is quite normal to sore after deep tissue massage, and there is nothing to be worried about.
Why Does It Happen?
We can say for the muscles, deep tissue massage is similar to performing a tough workout session. The affected muscles go through a lot of stretching and manipulation during the session which can possibly break up scar tissues and cause tiny micro-tears in the muscles. While it is considered good from a healing point of view, as it improves the flow to fresh blood to the affected area, it may result in mild discomfort, pain, or soreness afterward.
This is the reason; this type of massage is especially used to treat sports injuries and other chronic conditions that demand a faster recovery and better results. This type of massage is not meant for those who want to a relaxing or “feel good” experience. Deep tissue massage is a therapeutic massage with longer lasting benefits.
How Long Does It Last?
The good news is the pain, discomfort, or soreness associated with deep tissue massage does not last long and usually subsides within 2-3 days. It is quite normal to sore after deep tissue massage, but you can use the following tips to minimise the unwanted side effects of deep tissue or remedial massage:
- drink plenty of water
- use hot/cold pads on the affected area
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Is It Normal To Be Sore After A Deep Tissue Massage?
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