Whenever people talk about a massage, they usually talk about how soothing and relaxing it can feel. But despite your expectations, your massage might have left you with some soreness. And if you’re wondering why you feel this way, the answer to that is muscle manipulation.
Muscle soreness after a massage is usually the result of extensive muscle work. A massage is very similar to exercise, as the massage therapist manually stimulates various muscles around your body. So just like exercise, it can be very common to feel your muscles tightening or experiencing soreness after the massage. When a therapist works on the muscles with various massage techniques (from light to heavier techniques), blood rushes into them. This fresh blood brings in nutrients and takes out toxins.
How Long will Massage Soreness Last?
The soreness that you feel due to your massage rarely ever lasts longer than a few hours. In more extreme cases, the pain will eventually subside in a day or two. If your muscles are not accustomed to a massage or stimulants in general, the body will react by increasing inflammation in those areas. The inflammation is what is causing discomfort in your body.
How to Deal with Post Massage Soreness
The soreness that you experience after a massage can hinder your performance throughout the day. While it may not be completely debilitating, it can certainly be uncomfortable enough to stop you from reaching your full potential. Fortunately, the soreness that you are experiencing is very similar to the one that occurs after exercise.
Therefore, you can easily speed up your recovery through a variety of techniques.
Icing is a good way to soothe out any inflammation that you are feeling. It can numb the nerves in and around the muscles, and constrict the blood vessels, therefore stopping the pain temporarily. A good alternative can also be a cold bath.
Gentle stretching may help loosen the tight muscle fibers as well as allow some trapped lactic acid and other toxins to get out of the muscle.
A hot bath with Epsom salts can also prove to be very beneficial for your aching body. They can help reduce inflammation and provide a multitude of other benefits as well.
Over-the-counter (OTC) creams that contain menthol and act similar to icing. It can dull the pain nerves, which means less blood will be going to the inflamed parts of your body.
The best way that you can deal with your soreness is by resting enough. Resting is the main way that your body can repair muscles and alleviate the pain you are feeling.
How Soreness is Different from Pain
People usually believe that a massage needs to be painful to be effective. However, if a massage is painful, then the therapist could be using an extreme technique or applying too much pressure. Either way, if your muscles are too sore, unlike regular soreness, you should talk to your therapist about using a lighter or different technique.