Top 8 Reasons Behind Getting Sore After Massage And 7 Ways To Cure It
A massage is supposed to make you feel good right? Immediately after you do feel relaxed, but why is it that in the morning after you feel sore after massage? Nothing to worry about though as it probably means the massage did its job. To put your mind at rest however, let’s look at the possible reasons.
More Than Just A Back Rub
First we have to make it clear what the purpose of a massage is.
- Reduce inflammation and pain
- Lower blood pressure
- Improve blood flow
- Stimulate healing
- Ease muscle tension
A good massage can also be used to treat Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and fibromyalgia. In these instances the soreness probably stems from the symptoms of soreness coming back after they were reduced during the massage.
For a lot of people, many of the benefits mentioned above are just bonuses. The reason they want to get a massage is to ease muscle tension and relieve physical stress. Will there be discomfort and soreness? Yes in all likelihood, but it is the same thing when you work out, and that is not excuse not to exercise.
More Than One Way To Exercise Muscles
A massage also works out your muscles as intensely as exercises. Massage stretches your muscles to improve blood flow and ensure they function at the highest possible level. Just as you feel sore after working out, the same thing happens when you get a good massage.
All the work you do puts a lot of strain your muscles, and these can have long term effects if you are not careful. That is why you need a massage to reduce the strain and allow them to rest and recover.
What do The Experts Think?
Researchers at the Deep Tissue Massage Department at McKinnon Institute support the exercise and massage comparison. You’ll feel sore if you’re new to workouts and the same thing happens if you’ve never had a massage before.
The good news is the soreness won’t last forever. In a couple of days the soreness will disappear and you won’t feel as sore the next time. If the soreness doesn’t dissipate after a couple of days, ask your massage therapist to lower the intensity a bit.
Is There Such A Thing As Too Relaxed?
The soreness you feel can also be attributed to the connection between your body and mind. The connection between the two is still being studied but it is clear there is a link, and as you are being massage, your sensations are being processed by your brain and nervous system.
If you’ve never had a massage before, under a lot of stress etc your brain and body may get overwhelmed by everything. This could lead to soreness. Of course the feeling of relaxation varies per individual and what may be too relaxed for some may be just right for you.
The bottom line is this. The reason you’re getting a massage is to relax, and to do that you’ve got to let yourself go. As long as the massage is something you can handle, let the massage therapist do their work and you just relax.
How Normal Is It For Soreness After A Massage?
As has been explained above, some soreness is normal the day after a massage. The amount of soreness will also depend on the type of massage you’re getting. Rolfing is likely to make you feel more sore compared to a Swedish massage. However even a Swedish massage is going to cause a bit of soreness if you’re not used to it.
There is no need to panic, and you don’t have to worry that you suffered some kind of injury. And as will be shown in the next section you can reduce the discomfort in many ways.
Why Did My Body Get Sore After My Massage?
Here are other possible reasons for the soreness you’re feeling.
- This is your first massage. Remember the soreness you felt during your first workout? You felt sore afterwards, and that is the same thing here.
- Your body is still getting used to a massage. It might take another session or two and then your body will be accustomed to it.
- Your muscles take a while to get relaxed. This is especially true if you’re stressed out. Allow the massage to slowly work.
- It could also be your body’s anti-inflammatory response to the massage. This happens with some people and is something to expect.
- Another possible reason is your muscles have micro tears. If your muscles already have some injury, it needs to be treated to remove the discomfort.
- Your massage therapist is massaging you too hard. It could also be that they’re not doing it properly so make sure you go to a qualified masseur.
- The massage went too deep too fast. An effective massage takes its time for your muscles to get used to the massage. Going too deep early may cause discomfort and soreness.
- Your muscles probably were not warmed up. You should never work out without warm ups, and the same rule applies to massage. A bit of light massage is necessary so your body will be ready for the more intense massage.
3-Day Pattern After A Massage
Most people who are given a massage go through the 3 day pattern. While there may be a few variations it is something like this.
You are massaged and it feels really good. Your tight muscles get loose and feel a bit sleepy or tired. Even if it’s your first time to get a massage you will feel the difference. It doesn’t matter which part of your body is massaged.
The next day you’ll feel the soreness. Depending on where you were massage, you’ll feel stiffness in your limbs or other parts of your body. A few even feel a bit sick, especially if you smoke or drink alcohol.
The solution is to take a hot shower. If the soreness is really bothering you, just take a painkiller to relieve the pain. Keep in mind that while it is all right to feel sore, there should be no bruises. If there are bruises it means the massage was too hard, so ask your massage therapist to be more gentle.
The degree of soreness will vary. Some will only feel it mildly while for others it may require some painkillers. In any event it’s not going to last.
It is during day 3 that you’ll feel better. The soreness will disappear and you’ll feel better overall. You’ll no have any swelling, you have greater range of motion and you’ll feel more flexible.
You should not feel any more discomfort on day 3 or at most day 4. If there is you need to talk to your massage therapist so they can make the proper adjustments to the way you’re being massaged.
How to Decrease Your Chances of Being Sore After Massage?
If you don’t want to feel sore after getting a massage, here are some factors to keep in mind.
- Talk to your therapist about the amount of pressure being applied. Soreness is often due to too much pressure, so by reducing it you’ll eliminate the soreness.
- After the massage, just relax. Don’t think if the massage worked or not. Just relax and allow your body and muscles to calm down.
- Eating healthy also helps. Your massage gets a boost if you cut down on the processed foods and replace them with fresh foods instead. Fresh food also flushes out toxins in your body.
- Epsom hot salt baths are rich in magnesium, and that helps reduce muscle spasms. Magnesium also repairs muscle micro tears that cause soreness.
- Drink lots of water before and after getting a massage. Staying hdyrated will allow your body to get used to the massage. Water also makes you less vulnerable to inflammation.
- Listen to your body. Everyone has different pressure points so let them know yours. Your body will tell you when it hurts, and that is your limit. Don’t force yourself to deal with it and just go with what you’re comfortable with.
- Don’t get into hard, deep massages to soon. Go with something smooth and you’ll help your body get used to the massage’s effect on your muscles.
Feel Soreness and Pain to Feel Alive
It may sound odd, but a lot of people who get a massage actually like feeling a bit of soreness. It makes them feel alive and relaxed especially if they’re dealing with a lot of stress. The feeling of being alive is given by the soreness, and that makes a big difference compared to not receiving a massage.
The bottom line is you’re going to feel some soreness when you get your first massage, but it is nothing to worry about. All you need to do is communicate with your massage therapist and you’ll get the massage your body needs.