Are you feeling sore after your massage therapy session? Don’t worry, it’s actually pretty common, especially among those who are new to massage or receiving massages with deep pressure.
Reasons why you may feel sore after your massage.
Receiving deep tissue massage and other deep pressure massage techniques
If you begin to notice that the areas that received massage are tender to the touch and maybe even a little red or puffy, there is no cause for alarm. This is what we refer to as therapeutic inflammation and is usually gone within a day or two.
During a deep tissue massage and other more forceful forms of massage therapy, the therapist finds and literally breaks apart adhesions (knots) and scar tissue that has built-up in the soft tissues of the body over time.
Once the scar tissue and adhesions are broken up, the inflammatory response rushes blood to the area to protect and repair the damaged tissue. The excess blood flow accounts for the swelling and redness that may occur in the tissue.
Receiving your very first massage.
Sometimes those who are new to massage experience some soreness or weakness the day after their first massage. Most people compare the soreness that follows their first massage therapy session to the post-workout soreness you experience the day after a rigorous workout.
After a day or two the soreness will fade and allow you to truly appreciate the benefits you’ve received from your massage therapy session. You may notice that you have a greater range of motion or that a pain that has been bugging you for months is finally gone.
Ways to help with post massage soreness.
- Rest– Give your body time to recover. Just for a day, take a break from the gym and any activities that might cause further irritation.
- Ice the area– icing areas of local tenderness will help to reduce inflammation and the discomforts associated with it. (It is suggested to avoid using heat on any areas that are inflamed as heat can irritate inflamed tissue)
- Take an epsom salt bath – a luke-warm epsom salt bath is a great way to combat some of the soreness you may be feeling after your massage. Epsom salt is the mineral compound Magnesium Sulfate, which provides nutrients to the muscles and other soft tissues of the body. It takes a while for the Magnesium Sulfate to absorb through the skin so its suggested that you soak for at least 20 minutes or longer.
Post massage soreness should begin to subside in about two or three days after your session. If the discomfort continues for a prolonged period of time or increases in intensity, you may want to consult with your physician.