Is It Good To Massage Sore Muscles? Find Out Now!

Spread the love

Sore muscles can be a common occurrence after an intense workout, strenuous physical activity, or even from sitting in the same position for extended periods. While rest and ice are typically recommended for managing soreness, many people turn to massaging their sore muscles as a way to relieve tension and pain.

“The use of massage therapy for relieving muscle discomfort is becoming more popular due to its high efficacy” -Dr. Brent Bauer

But is it really good to massage sore muscles? Some experts say yes, while others remain skeptical about the benefits. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons why someone might want to try massaging sore muscles, the potential risks involved, and what the latest research has to say on the topic.

We’ll also take a closer look at the different types of massages that could be beneficial for easing muscle soreness and discuss how often someone should get a massage if they’re dealing with chronic soreness. By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of whether massaging your sore muscles is right for you.

So sit back, relax, and let’s dive into the world of massage therapy and sore muscles to see if this centuries-old practice could actually work for you!

The Benefits of Massaging Sore Muscles

Increases Blood Circulation

One of the major benefits of massaging sore muscles is that it can increase blood circulation in your body. When you massage an area, you are manipulating the tissues and stimulating blood flow to that region.

A study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that massage therapy was effective at increasing blood circulation and oxygenation in the muscle tissue after exercise. The researchers noted that this increased blood flow could lead to faster recovery times and reduced muscle soreness.

“Massage appears to be able to promote a general sense of relaxation and well-being…and may even reduce inflammation-related cytokines”

Reduces Inflammation and Pain

In addition to improving blood circulation, massaging sore muscles can also help reduce inflammation and pain in those areas. When you work out, you create tiny tears in your muscle fibers which can cause inflammation and discomfort.

A review published in the Journal of Athletic Training stated that massage therapy has been shown to reduce inflammation markers such as creatine kinase and C-reactive protein. The authors concluded that massage can help alleviate exercise-induced muscle damage and aid in recovery.

“The mechanical stimulation provided through massage contributes to better blood flow and lymphatic drainage, which helps remove waste products from the affected tissues.”

Improves Range of Motion

Another benefit of massaging sore muscles is that it can improve your range of motion. Tight muscles can limit your mobility, making it difficult to perform certain movements or exercises. By massaging these tight areas, you can loosen them up and restore proper mobility.

A study published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies found that massage therapy was effective at increasing range of motion in the shoulder joint. The researchers noted that massage helped reduce the tightness and immobility associated with various shoulder conditions.

“Massage appears to have a positive effect on decreasing delayed onset muscle soreness, reducing swelling, and improving tissue flexibility.”

Massaging sore muscles can be an effective way to promote recovery after exercise, alleviate pain and inflammation, and enhance your mobility. Whether you’re an athlete or just someone who’s looking for relief from muscle soreness, incorporating massage therapy into your routine could help you achieve your goals!

What Happens to Your Muscles During a Massage?

Increased Blood Flow

A massage can help increase blood flow throughout the body, especially around sore muscles. When you experience muscle tension or soreness due to overuse, it is often because your muscles are not receiving enough oxygen and nutrients to function properly. A massage helps increase overall circulation by relaxing tense blood vessels, allowing more blood flow to the affected area.

This increased blood flow brings fresh oxygen and nutrients to the muscle, which helps in the healing process. It also helps flush out toxins that have built up in the muscle tissue, further reducing soreness and stiffness.

“Massage stimulates pressure receptors that prompt an increase in vagal activity, which then slows down your nervous system,” says Tiffany Field, Ph.D., director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine. “That’s why people always say they feel more relaxed when they get up off the table.”

Release of Tension and Adhesions

Sore muscles can often be caused by tension build-up or the formation of adhesions within muscle fibers. The deep tissue techniques used during a massage can specifically target these areas and work to release tension and break apart adhesions.

The pressure applied during a massage can help stretch and elongate muscle fibers, breaking up knots that have formed within them. This allows the muscle to move more freely without restriction, promoting proper movement patterns and reducing pain or discomfort.

According to Arien Cherones CRMT MPSS NCBTMB, owner of Empowertouch Massage Therapy, “When we massage our physical bodies it affects all layers from skin to bone and may improve a person’s health and well-being.” She adds that different massage modalities can be used to help support different goals, from relief of pain or recover from injury.

Relaxation of Muscles

In addition to increased blood flow and targeted release of tension, a massage also promotes overall relaxation of muscle tissue. The pressure applied during the massage helps stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for our rest-and-digest response.

This stimulation lowers cortisol levels in the body, reducing stress and promoting feelings of calm and relaxation. As muscles relax, it becomes easier to stretch them and work on movement patterns that may have been difficult before. Overall, this relaxation allows both the mind and body to heal and recuperate more effectively.

“Massage therapy has been shown to lower levels of hormones like cortisol known as “stress hormones”. Muscle spasms and soreness caused by chronic tension are often released after massages.” says Dr. Richard A. Honaker Jr., Chief Medical Officer at clinic.

Is It Good To Massage Sore Muscles?

A therapeutic massage from a licensed therapist can be beneficial for reducing muscle soreness, tension and stiffness. However, it is important to wait until inflammation has gone down; massaging an inflamed area can worsen symptoms.

If you are experiencing mild muscle soreness, light massages with gentle pressure can help increase circulation without aggravating any muscle damage. For those who experience moderate to severe muscle soreness or stiffness, deep tissue massage techniques may be necessary to fully address the issue. Consulting with a licensed therapist can help determine what level of pressure and technique is appropriate for each individual.

A massage can be a helpful tool for reducing muscle soreness and restoring proper function within the body. When implemented correctly, it can promote healing, reduce inflammation and bring overall relief to sore or tense muscles.

Types of Massages That Can Help With Sore Muscles

Sore muscles can be a real pain, literally. In fact, they are often more than just discomfort and can affect your daily activities. But is it good to massage sore muscles? The answer is yes! Massage therapy has been known for centuries as an effective way to relieve muscle pain and tension. Here are some types of massages that can help with sore muscles:

Swedish Massage

The Swedish massage is one of the most common types of massages. It involves long strokes, kneading and circular movements on the outer layers of the muscles. This type of massage can increase blood flow, promote relaxation and reduce muscle tension. According to research, Swedish massage therapy can also help decrease inflammation in the muscles, which makes it effective for post-workout recovery or rehabilitation.

“Swedish massage has been shown to decrease cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol is commonly referred to as the stress hormone.” -Igor Mednikov, licensed massage therapist

Deep Tissue Massage

If you suffer from chronic muscle pain or have knots in your muscles, then deep tissue massage may be the right choice for you. Unlike Swedish massage, deeper pressure is used to target the inner layers of the muscles and connective tissues. This type of massage can break up scar tissue, improve range of motion and alleviate chronic pain. However, due to the level of pressure applied during this massage, you may experience mild soreness after treatment.

“Deep tissue massage can cause microtrauma in the muscles, which stimulates the healing process and induces a reduction in inflammation.” -Kris A., licensed massage therapist

Sports Massage

Athletes and active individuals who experience muscle pain or tightness may benefit from a sports massage. This type of massage uses techniques similar to Swedish and deep tissue massages but is customized to the specific needs of athletes. Sports massage can help enhance performance, prevent injury and aid in quicker recovery. It’s also effective for non-athletes who maintain an active lifestyle.

“Sports massage assists with stretching, releasing fascia and increasing flexibility. All of these aspects facilitate faster recovery.” -Aaron Tanason, registered massage therapist

Getting a massage is beneficial for sore muscles as it can promote relaxation, increase blood flow, alleviate muscle tension and reduce inflammation. It’s important to choose the right type of massage therapy based on your specific needs. Whether you opt for Swedish massage, deep tissue massage or sports massage, make sure to discuss your goals with a licensed massage therapist so they can customize the treatment to suit your individual needs.

When to Avoid Massaging Sore Muscles

Open Wounds or Infections

If you have open wounds or infections, it is important to avoid getting a massage. The pressure applied during the massage may cause further damage to the affected area and spread the infection. Massage therapy can increase blood circulation which in turn stimulates the immune system but only when the body doesn’t have an infected wound as touching the wounded areas will worsen the condition.

“Deep tissue massage involves applying firm pressure, strokes, and slow movements to reach deep layers of muscle structure. While this form of therapy can be incredibly effective in helping to relieve chronic pain and discomfort, there are cases where caution should be taken.” -Sara Lindberg, Healthline

Recent Injuries

Muscle injuries such as strains, sprains, or tears occur due to sudden overstretching or twisting motions. If you have recently experienced any of these injuries, it is best to wait until you heal before scheduling a massage. Massages might aggravate your injury rather than soothe it. Applying soothing medication such as cold compresses may help diminish swelling and ease the pain without causing additional irritation.

“If you’ve had some sort of recent trauma—for example, if you just injured yourself while running—massage could make things worse by inflaming the already-tender tissues.” -Ann Pietrangelo, Healthline

Fever or Illness

If you’re ill with flu-like symptoms, including fever, nausea, or vomiting, it’s not safe to receive a massage. The pressure from the massage may cause an excess flow of blood to the muscles, making recovery from illness more complicated. Deep tissue massages also require considerable physical exertion, which may exacerbate symptoms and cause further complications.

“When someone is sick with any kind of infection, their body’s immune response results in the release of prostaglandins, which can cause fever. Massage increases circulation which raises body temperature; this heightened state could potentially increase the risk of spreading an infection.” -Joane Amay, Shape

Cancer or Other Serious Medical Conditions

If you’re suffering from a severe medical condition such as cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, or diabetes, it’s good to avoid massages altogether. A chiropractor should evaluate your healthcare needs to determine if massage therapy will enhance or hinder other treatments’ progress. Only certified medical practitioners may perform certain types of therapies for patients suffering from chronic ailment.

“Cancer sufferers need to be especially cautious because there are unique cases where specific cancers spread through excitable tissue stimulation, including defined methods used during deep tissue massages.’-Christopher Flatt, American Cancer Society Workshop Guidelines Report

So, it turns out that getting a massage when you have sore muscles isn’t always the best idea. Avoid massaging open wounds or infections, recent injuries, flu-like symptoms, severe diseases like cancer, among others. Chiropractors and certified healing professionals should assess your medical history before entering treatment.

How Often Should You Massage Sore Muscles?

Depends on the Severity of the Soreness

The frequency at which you should massage sore muscles depends greatly on how severe your muscle soreness is. For example, if you have just finished a strenuous workout and are experiencing mild to moderate muscle soreness, then massaging your muscles once or twice a week may be sufficient for relief.

If you have an ongoing injury or chronic pain that causes daily discomfort, more frequent massages may be necessary to manage the soreness and improve mobility. In these cases, consulting with a licensed massage therapist can help determine the best treatment plan catered to your needs.

“If it’s just general muscle soreness from working out, getting a massage every couple of weeks might be enough,” says Lisa Corbin, MD, a family medicine doctor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora. “But if someone has a specific area of muscle tension or recurring injuries, weekly massages might be appropriate.”

Generally, Once a Week is Recommended

While the severity of muscle soreness plays a significant role in determining the frequency of massages required, many experts recommend receiving a massage at least once a week as part of a routine self-care practice.

This is because regular massages on healthy muscles can prevent future injuries and promote relaxation while improving circulation and overall physical well-being. Additionally, consistent massages can lead to reduced stress levels and improved sleep patterns.

“If people want to decrease muscle stiffness and tightness after exercise or they’re tense all over, I recommend they make time for regular therapy sessions, preferably once per week,” recommends Janet K. Snapp, PhD, RN, assistant professor at Michigan State University’s College of Nursing.

Some People May Benefit from More Frequent Massages

While a weekly massage is a good rule of thumb for general muscle maintenance, some individuals may need more frequent massages to manage their soreness effectively.

For example, athletes who are training intensely or competing frequently often require multiple massages per week to recover fully and maintain optimal performance levels. Similarly, people with desk jobs that cause tension in the neck, shoulders, and back may also benefit from bi-weekly massages.

“Athletes want recovery benefits, stress reduction and improved overall soft tissue health so they can perform at their best,” says Jim Dower, president of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA). “If you’re going for athletic improvement, generally one workout won’t do it—you have to be consistent.”

Consult a Massage Therapist for Personalized Recommendations

If you are uncertain about how often you should receive a massage for your specific needs, consulting with a licensed massage therapist can help guide you in making an informed decision.

Your therapist will typically assess your medical history, treatment goals, and current physical condition before recommending a personalized massage schedule tailored to meet your individual needs.

“An initial consultation with a qualified massage therapist can help better answer questions related to your personal needs,” advises Certified Advanced Rolfer™ Mary Bond. “They can recommend timing between sessions based on their evaluation of your body’s response to previous treatments.”
  • In summary, frequency of massages for sore muscles depends on severity of muscle soreness and geographical location of pain.
  • Generally, once a week is recommended as part of regular self-care practices.
  • Individual circumstances like athletics or occupations may necessitate additional or more frequent massages.
  • A licensed massage therapist can help determine an appropriate treatment plan catered to your specific needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Does Massage Help With Sore Muscles?

Massage helps sore muscles by increasing blood flow and oxygen to the affected area, reducing inflammation and swelling, and releasing tension and knots in the muscles. It also stimulates the production of endorphins, which are natural painkillers that help relieve discomfort and improve mood.

What Are the Benefits of Massaging Sore Muscles?

The benefits of massaging sore muscles include reduced pain and stiffness, improved range of motion and flexibility, enhanced circulation and lymphatic drainage, and decreased stress and anxiety. It can also boost the immune system, improve sleep quality, and promote overall relaxation and well-being.

Can Massaging Sore Muscles Cause Further Damage?

If done correctly, massaging sore muscles should not cause further damage. However, if too much pressure is applied or if the massage is too aggressive, it can aggravate the injury and lead to more pain and discomfort. It is important to communicate with your massage therapist and let them know if anything feels uncomfortable or painful.

What Are Some Techniques for Massaging Sore Muscles?

Some techniques for massaging sore muscles include Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, trigger point therapy, myofascial release, and sports massage. Each technique targets different areas and uses different pressure levels and movements to alleviate pain and tension in the muscles.

How Often Should You Massage Sore Muscles?

The frequency of massage for sore muscles depends on the severity and duration of the pain, as well as individual preferences and needs. For acute pain or injury, more frequent sessions may be necessary, while for chronic pain or maintenance, less frequent sessions may suffice. It is best to consult with a massage therapist to determine the appropriate frequency for your specific condition.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!