Massage therapy is a great way to relax and rejuvenate after a tiring day or intense workout. It helps to reduce muscle tension and improve flexibility. However, some people may experience soreness and fatigue after the massage, which may be a cause for concern. In this article, we explore some reasons why you may feel sore after a massage and offer some tips to minimize the unwanted side effects of a massage.
Reasons Why You May Feel Sore After a Massage
You’re an Extremely Active Person
If you’re an athlete or someone who regularly engages in intense physical activities, you may experience soreness after a massage. Deep pressure is often used in sports massage to target areas of high exertion. Massage helps to flush out metabolic waste products generated during exercise, but the body continues to process them even after the massage. This could lead to soreness, but it’s a healthy response to the treatment.
You Have Never Had a Massage Before
If you’re new to massage, your muscles and fascia may require some warming up before applying deep-tissue pressure. It’s best to start with light to medium pressure massages before diving into deep tissue massage.
You’re Not a Very Active Person
Massage puts your muscles through vigorous exercise, which may be more intense than what you’re used to. If you’re not an active person, you may feel like your muscles got worked out after the massage.
You Overestimated Your Tolerance Level
Many people believe that the treatment must be painful to be effective. This may lead them to insist on more pressure and avoid speaking up if they feel uncomfortable. However, feeling soreness after a massage could indicate that you went beyond your tolerance level.
The Therapist Went Too Deep
Therapists should pay attention to resistance in the muscles and ease up the pressure when they feel tension. However, if they don’t feel the resistance and don’t adjust accordingly, the tissues may sustain microtrauma, which leads to soreness later. The muscles need warming up with lighter massage before going too deep too quickly.
You Didn’t Stretch After the Massage
Stretching after massage helps to retain the effects of the treatment and may help to minimize soreness. However, many therapists forget to recommend it after completing the massage.
Ways to Decrease Chances of Soreness After a Massage
Communicate with Your Massage Therapist
Let your massage therapist know about your desired amount of pressure. If you feel uncomfortable or in pain during the massage, speak up. Remember that it doesn’t need to hurt to be effective, so find the pressure that feels appropriate for you.
Drink plenty of water before and after the massage to keep your muscles hydrated. With more blood flowing, there’ll be less chance of inflammation and soreness.
Relax After the Massage
Instead of engaging in high-energy activities, go home and relax after the massage. This will allow your body and muscles to adjust after the massage.
Adjust Your Massage Chair or Cushion
If you’re using a massage chair or cushion, make sure it’s adjusted to your body type and height. You can also adjust the desired pressure to ensure that it’s not hurting you.
In summary, feeling sore after a massage is a normal response for many people. It may be due to reasons such as being an active person, going too deep too quickly, or not stretching after the massage.
To minimize the chances of soreness, communicate with your massage therapist, stay hydrated, relax after the massage, and adjust your massage chair or cushion. With these tips, you can fully enjoy the benefits of massage therapy.