2 Your Health: Deep Tissue MassageWhy Does Massage Hurt Sometimes? Communication is Key to a Successful Massage!

Heidi Overman, LMT #MT-24997

Deep tissue massage is often preferred when getting a massage. This type of massage can be very successful in breaking up adhesions, chronic muscular holding patterns, increasing range of motion, decreasing pain, and can break up stuck fascia.

Deep tissue massage usually focuses on a specific problem and can help you with the following conditions: low back pain; limited mobility; recovery from injuries (e.g. whiplash, falls); repetitive strain injury, such as carpal tunnel syndrome; postural problems; muscle tension in the hamstrings, glutes, IT band, legs, quadriceps, rhomboids, upper back; osteoarthritis pain; sciatica; piriformis syndrome; tennis elbow; fibromyalgia; carpal tunnel pain; and upper back or neck pain.

When using proper techniques, deep tissue massage can be more effective in relieving pain than physical therapy, exercise, prescription medications, chiropractic, acupuncture, diet, and over-the-counter drugs.

So, why do I hurt after receiving a deep tissue massage?

Our muscles have developed patterns over the years and we’ve worked very hard to keep our muscles humming along in those patterns. Unfortunately, as we age, those muscular patterns are harder and harder to break and correct. This ends up in stiffness, limited range of motion, and chronic pain.

Have you ever gone to the gym for the first time, and as you are working out you think to yourself, “Wow, this feels great! I’m in great shape!” Then work harder and longer? When you wake up the next day, you can barely move, because you’ve worked muscles that you haven’t worked in years!

This same concept is true for therapeutic, deep tissue massage. We are going into muscles that you have created repetitive motion patterns and are working them. We are teaching them to release when in a neutral position. We are going through each layer and retraining those muscles. This takes time.

It’s important to maintain a hurts so good attitude, and not a hurts so bad one. A good massage therapist can feel how your muscle is reacting to the pressure and hitting the area so it is reacting, but not go further. With that said, we cannot feel your pain, and every person has a different pain threshold. A simple depth correction is easy, when a client mentions that the pain is too much.

Often a client will feel so good after their massage, yet be sore the next day or two. This also applies to the above workout analogy. When you come in for your next appointment, please mention this to your massage therapist and they can assess and make any corrections.

Bruising, however, is a different issue. Some people bruise easily or are on medications that cause bruising. It is very important that you disclose this information to your therapist. In general, you should not bruise after a deep tissue massage. There are exceptions, and that is a discussion for you and your therapist.

Deep tissue isn’t always the most effective way to help with your muscular issues and it’s important to discuss with your massage therapist all of your issues, so they can properly assess your personal needs, and figure out the most effective modality.

If you are interested in a therapeutic massage, please call me for an appointment, 520-771-1514. My website is www.mymendingplace.com and I’m located at MEND Therapeutic Massage and Restorative Skincare 15920 N Oracle Rd., Ste 170 Tucson, AZ 85739 (next to the Golden Goose).