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Sore After a Massage? Why It Happens and What To Do

Massage therapy offers an abundance of benefits, such as promoting relaxation and improving problem areas that can cause pain and discomfort. While the majority of massage-goers feel a great deal of relief following a massage, some can feel a bit sore afterwards.

Why does post-massage soreness occur? It is important to first point out that soreness following a massage does not equate to its effectiveness. It is a common myth that in order for a massage to show “it’s working,” it must cause pain afterwards. This is entirely untrue, and it all depends on a variety of factors, such as the amount of pressure the RMT applies and the type of massage you receive.

Post massage soreness occurs more commonly if you receive a deep tissue massage. During a treatment, an RMT stretches out muscles to release any knots, tightness, and pain that may exist. This, in itself, may cause a bit of discomfort afterwards, depending on the severity of pain preceding the massage.

If you do not receive regular massages, you may be prone to some soreness afterward, mainly because your muscles are not used to some of the therapeutic techniques the RMT uses. Meanwhile, those who receive massages consistently may notice the tightness, pain, or strain within their muscles dissipate over time.

Similar to exercising, massage involves working out your muscles. If you receive a type of massage that involves a deep amount of pressure into your muscles to help treat the pain or tightness, it can possibly result in microscopic tears. This is a very similar occurrence for those who work out, as this happens for muscles to build up strength, repair, and promote healing.

Muscles should be in a smooth, consistent state, and when there is any type of tightness, they can become very rigid. When a therapist manipulates the muscle, it undergoes a type of healing process. While muscle tearing is not a guarantee for those who receive a massage, it can help explain why some massage-goers experience soreness afterward.

Massage after-care tips Before we get into some of the things you can do after receiving a massage to minimise any soreness that may occur, it is important to note that at any point you notice an immense amount of pain during your massage, you should immediately alert your therapist.

Massage is not meant to cause you more pain than what you’re coming in with, so communicating about what works and what doesn’t is key. The same goes for afterwards as well; if your muscles hurt beyond a generalised soreness, let your therapist know so that you can navigate your next treatment better.


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