If you’ve ever experienced post-massage soreness, we know how it feels. Immediately after your massage session, you might feel like a million bucks – relaxed, calm and pampered. But within hours or even days later, the relief can turn into an unexpected pain.
Before jumping to any conclusions, let’s understand that experiencing soreness after a massage isn’t always a bad thing. It’s normal for some people to feel this way, especially if they are new to massages or haven’t gotten one in a while.
In this article, we’ll reveal surprising reasons why you may be feeling sore after your massage session and provide tips on how to alleviate discomfort.
“The worst thing you can do is avoid getting a massage altogether just because of the fear of being sore afterwards.”
We all deserve to take care of our bodies, and treating our muscles to a therapeutic massage is part of that routine. So instead of avoiding the massage table, let’s talk about common reasons you’re feeling sore and how you can overcome these challenges with ease. Let’s get started!
Increased Blood Flow
Benefits of Increased Blood Flow
Having proper blood circulation is crucial for maintaining good health. When we engage in physical activities like exercising or getting a massage, our body’s muscles require an increased supply of oxygen and nutrients to function properly. This is where having improved blood flow becomes vital.
Some benefits of increased blood flow include better nutrient and oxygen delivery to the tissues, enhanced cell growth and repair, faster healing time, and improved overall immune system response. It can also help reduce soreness after exercise or massages.
“Massage improves local blood circulation, which delivers oxygen and nutrients to the cells of the muscle and helps eliminate waste products and toxins.” – American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA)
How to Increase Blood Flow
There are various ways you can increase your blood flow naturally. One simple way is to stay active by engaging in regular exercise and stretching regularly. Exercising helps stimulate blood flow throughout the entire body including muscles and joints. Stretching increases flexibility and promotes better circulation too.
Hot and cold therapies such as hydrotherapy; taking hot and cold showers alternatively- can improve circulation by dilating and constricting blood vessels. Similarly self-massage techniques can also assist in increasing blood flow around specific areas!
“Regularly experiencing deep-tissue massage leads to improved arterial health. The therapy itself stimulates the production of mitochondria, which are responsible for generating energy within the cells and transporting fresh blood into the muscles.” – University at Buffalo Wellness Services
Importance of Blood Flow in Muscle Recovery
One common issue many people face after getting a massage is feeling soreness in their muscles! Soreness usually occurs when microtears form in the muscle fibers from exertion, which induces a healing response and ultimately adds strength to those muscles. Therefore proper blood flow is vital for efficient muscle repair.
The increased circulation provided by therapeutic massages helps bring fresh oxygen and nutrients into affected areas allowing your body to expel toxins and lactic acid more efficiently. This can reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and promote faster recovery!
“Massage works to improve blood flow so that more nutrient-rich oxygen flows through your individual cells – including those undergoing repair.” – United States National Association of Massage Therapy
In conclusion enhancing our blood flow should be an essential part of our daily routine not only for physical performance but also for overall well-being. Engaging in activities such as exercise, stretching, hot shower hydrotherapy, self-massage and consistently seeking professional massage therapy can all contribute towards healthier and stronger muscles that are less susceptible to injury or soreness.
Deep Tissue Work
What is Deep Tissue Massage?
If you are an athlete or someone with a physically demanding job, soreness and muscle pain are familiar feelings to you. That’s where deep tissue massage comes in.
Deep tissue massage focuses on the deeper layers of muscles and connective tissues in your body. Unlike other types of massages, deep tissue work involves applying pressure slowly and using fingers, fists, elbows, forearms, and even toes to provide relief from chronic pain and tension.
“Deep tissue massage has been shown to help relieve symptoms associated with many conditions including osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, tennis elbow, chronic low back pain, and more.” – Mayo Clinic
Benefits of Deep Tissue Work
The primary goal of deep tissue massage is to break down knots and adhesions that cause pain, inflammation, and limited mobility. Here are some of the benefits of deep tissue work:
- Pain Relief: It can help alleviate chronic pain caused by injuries, strain, and stress.
- Better Mobility: By breaking down scar tissue and restoring flexibility, it can improve range of motion.
- Lowers Blood Pressure: Research shows that regular deep tissue massage can significantly lower blood pressure levels.
- Stress Reduction: It promotes relaxation and reduces anxiety levels by soothing the nervous system.
- Improved Posture: It helps correct imbalances and poor posture by addressing specific muscles causing discomfort.
- Faster Injury Healing: It increases circulation and accelerates the healing process of strained or injured muscles.
“Deep tissue massage has been associated with improvements in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, which can be beneficial to those with hypertension, fibromyalgia, chronic low back pain, and more.” – Healthcare Journal of Baton Rouge
It’s important to note that deep tissue work may not be suitable for everyone. For instance, if you have a medical condition such as cancer, osteoporosis, or high-blood pressure, it’s best to consult your doctor before getting a massage.
If you are new to deep tissue massage, keep in mind that soreness is common after a session. But why does this happen?
Why Am I Sore After A Massage?
It’s normal to experience muscle soreness 24-48 hours after a deep tissue massage. Here’s why:
- Lactic Acid Buildup: When tissues function without enough oxygen to meet their needs (which can occur during an intense massage), lactic acid builds up. This buildup causes muscle soreness and fatigue.
- Inflammatory Response: Massage creates microscopic damage to tissue, which triggers an inflammatory response in your body. This process can also cause soreness but typically subsides within a day or two.
- Toxin Release: As knots and adhesions are broken down, toxins get released into the bloodstream, causing discomfort.
Though muscle soreness feels uncomfortable, it’s actually a good sign. It means that deep tissue massage is working and that fascia, muscles, and connective tissues are being manipulated in ways they haven’t been before, thus allowing them to heal and regenerate.
It’s important to stay hydrated before and after your massage as this will help flush out any toxins from your body. Additionally, a warm bath or shower with Epsom salt can soothe achy muscles and promote healing.
If you experience severe soreness that lasts more than two days, make sure to contact your massage therapist for advice on how to alleviate the discomfort. Although rare, it is also possible to get injured during a massage due to its forceful nature.
“The soreness many people feel after receiving deep tissue massage is a normal response from their soft tissues being manipulated by the therapist. It should decrease within 24-48 hours. If persisting longer than that then discussing issues with your massage practitioner would be appropriate.” – Bodywell Therapy
Deep tissue work is an effective way of managing pain and injury recovery. While muscle soreness can result from this type of massage, it typically subsides within 2 days. Remember to drink plenty of water and consult a medical professional if you have health-related concerns before engaging in deep tissue massage.
Have you ever experienced soreness or pain after a massage? While massages can be beneficial for relaxing and relieving muscle tension, they can also cause muscle strain. Muscle strains happen when the muscle fibers tear due to excessive stretching, twisting, or overuse.
Common Causes of Muscle Strain
A massage therapist may use deep tissue techniques or apply pressure on specific areas to work out knots or adhesions in your muscles. However, this can lead to muscle strain if not done correctly. Some other common causes of muscle strain include:
- Lifting heavy objects with poor form
- Sudden movements or twists during exercise
- Poor posture while sitting or standing for long periods
- Fatigue from repetitive motions at work
Symptoms of Muscle Strain
The symptoms of muscle strain can vary based on the severity of the injury. You may experience mild discomfort or severe pain that affects your ability to move the affected area. Here are some common symptoms of muscle strain:
- Pain or soreness in the affected area
- Tenderness to the touch
- Swelling or bruising
- Muscle spasms or cramping
- Difficulty moving the affected limb or joint
How to Prevent Muscle Strain
Preventing muscle strain starts with proper warm-up exercises prior to any physical activity or workout. This helps increase blood flow to the muscles and reduces the risk of injury. Additionally, it’s important to maintain good posture and avoid lifting heavy objects improperly. Here are some other tips to prevent muscle strain:
- Stretch regularly before and after exercise
- Avoid overexerting yourself during physical activity
- Use proper posture when sitting or standing for long periods
- Maintain a healthy weight to reduce pressure on the joints
- Schedule regular massage therapy sessions with a qualified professional
Treatment Options for Muscle Strain
If you experience muscle strain, it’s important to rest the affected area and avoid any activities that may aggravate the injury. Applying ice to the area can help reduce swelling and pain. Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can also provide relief.
“For mild-to-moderate strains, there may be no need for medical treatment. Rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) initially will aid healing within the first two days.” -Healthline
Your healthcare provider may recommend physical therapy exercises to help reduce pain and improve mobility of the injured area. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair torn muscles. It’s important to seek medical attention if you experience prolonged pain or difficulty moving the affected area.
Muscle strain is a common injury that can result from various activities, including massages. By taking preventative measures and seeking medical treatment when necessary, you can effectively manage muscle strain and prevent further injury.
Causes of Dehydration
Dehydration occurs when your body loses too much water and electrolytes. This can be caused by various reasons such as excessive sweating, not drinking enough fluids, diarrhea, vomiting, or increased urination. In some cases, certain medications or underlying medical conditions like diabetes can also cause dehydration.
Symptoms of Dehydration
The symptoms of dehydration can range from mild to severe and can include:
- Dry mouth
- Darker colored urine
- Rapid heartbeat
- Sunken eyes
Preventing Dehydration During Exercise
Staying hydrated during exercise is crucial to avoid dehydration. Here are a few tips on how to prevent dehydration while exercising:
- Drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after exercise. Water is usually the best option but you can also consider sports drinks if you’re engaging in prolonged exercise sessions.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol as they can dehydrate you rather than rehydrate you.
- If you experience excessive sweating, try using electrolyte supplements to replace lost minerals.
- Maintain a steady pace throughout your workout routines instead of overexerting which may lead to excessive sweat loss.
- Listen to your body and stop exercising immediately if you feel any signs of dehydration or overheating.
Treatment for Dehydration
If you become dehydrated, it’s essential to take immediate steps to rehydrate. Here are a few tips on how to treat dehydration:
- Drink more fluids, preferably water or electrolyte-rich drinks like sports drinks.
- Rest in a cool place and avoid any strenuous activities until you feel better.
- Eat hydrating foods such as apples, oranges, cucumbers, watermelons, and soups with broth.
- If your symptoms persist or you experience severe dehydration, seek medical attention immediately as it may require intravenous (IV) fluids.
What are Toxins?
When we hear the term “toxins,” we might initially picture harmful chemicals in our environment. However, toxins can also refer to waste products that build up in our bodies as a result of normal metabolic processes.
These toxins can come from various sources, such as medications, environmental pollutants, and poor dietary choices.
How to Release Toxins
One way to release accumulated toxins is through the use of massage therapy.
Massage helps to stimulate circulation, encouraging the flow of lymphatic fluid throughout the body. This can help to flush out excess waste products that have built up in tissues.
In addition to massage, there are other strategies that can support detoxification in the body. These include staying hydrated, eating a healthy diet rich in vegetables and fruits, engaging in regular exercise, and minimizing exposure to environmental toxins.
Benefits of Toxin Release
Releasing toxins from the body can lead to a range of benefits for overall health and well-being. Some of these benefits include:
- Improved immune function: By removing harmful substances from the body, the immune system can function more efficiently, reducing the risk of infections and illnesses.
- Reduced inflammation: Accumulated toxins in the body can contribute to chronic inflammation, which has been linked to conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, and cancer. Releasing these toxins can help to reduce systemic inflammation levels.
- Better mental clarity: Many people report feeling clearer and more alert after undergoing a detoxification regimen. Removing toxins from the body may help to improve cognitive function and reduce brain fog.
Importance of Toxin Release in Muscle Recovery
Massage therapy is particularly beneficial for athletes or anyone engaging in physical activity that puts strain on the muscles.
During exercise, metabolic waste products such as lactic acid can build up in the muscles, leading to soreness and discomfort. Massage helps to release these toxins from the body, promoting quicker recovery times and reducing muscle pain and stiffness.
“The circulation improvement achieved by massage may speed removal of wastes and reduce post-activity soreness.” -Robert E. Harris, PhD, LMT
In addition, regular massage therapy sessions can help to prevent a buildup of toxic substances in the tissues over time, improving overall athletic performance and reducing the risk of injury.
If you are experiencing soreness after receiving a massage, it is likely due to the release of accumulated toxins from your muscles. While this may be uncomfortable in the moment, the long-term benefits of releasing these toxins outweigh any temporary discomfort experienced during a massage session.
Causes of Fatigue
Feeling sore or tired after a massage is not uncommon. However, if you feel fatigued regularly and your energy levels are consistently low, it may be due to other reasons. Here are some common causes of fatigue:
- Lack of sleep
- Poor nutrition
- Stress and anxiety
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Medical conditions such as hypothyroidism or chronic fatigue syndrome
How to Combat Fatigue
If you’re feeling consistently fatigued, there are steps you can take to combat it. Here are some ways to boost your energy levels:
- Exercise regularly: Physical activity releases endorphins which are known to increase energy levels.
- Eat a balanced diet: Make sure you consume whole foods that provide a range of nutrients including healthy fats, lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and fiber.
- Reduce stress: Identify the sources of stress in your life and try strategies such as deep breathing exercises or meditation to manage it.
- Get enough sleep: Adults should aim for seven to eight hours of quality sleep every night.
Importance of Rest in Fighting Fatigue
While regular exercise is essential in fighting fatigue, it’s also crucial to allow yourself plenty of time to rest and recover properly. When we don’t get adequate rest, our bodies become fatigued, and we struggle with focus and concentration. Here are some tips on getting proper rest when you need it most:
- Practice good sleep hygiene by creating a calming bedtime routine, eliminating screen time and electronics before bed, and keeping your sleeping environment cool and quiet.
- Take frequent breaks throughout the day to stretch or walk around if you have a sedentary job. This simple act can increase circulation and boost energy levels.
- Relax and unwind with activities like reading, yoga, or spending time in nature.
Signs of Overtraining and Fatigue
If you’re an active individual that regularly engages in sports or fitness activities, it’s essential to monitor your body for signs of overtraining and fatigue. Here are some common indicators that you’re overdoing it:
- Frequent injuries or strains
- Persistent muscle soreness
- Moodiness or irritability
- A decline in athletic performance
- Difficulty getting out of bed or lethargy during the day
“Overtraining syndrome is real and can be very detrimental to physical and mental well-being. It’s important to listen to your body and take appropriate rest when needed.” -Dr. Brian Sutterer.
To avoid overtraining and subsequent fatigue, ensure you give your body enough rest days between workouts, reduce workout intensity or duration if necessary, and prioritize proper nutrition and recovery techniques such as foam rolling or stretching.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do some people feel sore after a massage?
After a massage, some people may feel sore because of the pressure applied to their muscles, which can cause micro-tears in the tissue. This is a normal response to the manipulation of muscle fibers and is a sign that the massage is working to release tension and improve circulation.
Is it normal to feel sore after a massage?
Yes, it is normal to feel sore after a massage, especially if it is your first time or if you had a deep tissue massage. However, the soreness should not be severe or unbearable. It should subside within a day or two and be followed by an overall feeling of relaxation and wellbeing.
What are the reasons behind the soreness after a massage?
The soreness after a massage is caused by the manipulation of muscle fibers, which can cause micro-tears and inflammation. This is a normal response to the pressure applied during the massage and is a sign that the muscles are being worked on and stretched. The soreness should subside within a day or two.
How long does the soreness last after a massage?
The soreness after a massage should only last for a day or two. If it lasts longer than that, or if it is severe or unbearable, you should speak to your massage therapist or healthcare provider. They may be able to recommend additional treatments or adjustments to your massage routine.
Are there any ways to alleviate the soreness after a massage?
Yes, there are several ways to alleviate soreness after a massage. These include drinking plenty of water, taking a warm bath or shower, applying heat or ice to the affected area, doing gentle stretches or exercises, and getting another massage to help release any remaining tension or soreness.