Experiencing Pain After a Deep Tissue Massage (2023)

Is it Normal to Feel Fain Following a Massage Treatment?

One of the things we get asked about often here at Araya Beauty during or immediately after some of our more intense massage treatments is ‘it it supposed to hurt?!’ and the answer, quite frankly, is ‘yes’! If done correctly, a deep tissuemassage should invoke some feelings of initial pain, often followed by a couple of days’ soreness or even mild bruising; it’s not for the feint-hearted but as the saying goes; “no pain, no gain”!

Of course, the pain should never be excruciating (please tell us if it is!). We pride ourselves on being attentive, respectful communicative before, during and after all of our massage treatments from start to finish and we do offer softer, more relaxing options such as Swedish massagesfor those who don’t like it ‘rough’, so to speak!

Most of our massage clients know by now that deep tissue massages can be some of the most relieving and beneficial types of massages to receive. However, some can often become apprehensive to receive a deep tissue massage when they hear that there might be some pain or soreness involved in the process.

Generally speaking, soreness is simply a positive side effect that the massage was successful in doing it’s job in relieving all of your pesky knots and muscle tension.

Our clients’ well-being and piece of mind is, of course, paramount to everything to we strive for at Araya Beauty, so let’s run through some of the more common questions we get asked in relation to deep tissue massage therapy to help educate, inform and perhaps put your mind at ease if you’ve never experienced this truly transformational therapy just yet, or even if you have, and you’re feeling if it’s ‘normal’ to feel some aches and pains!

Why Might I Experience Some Pain During My Deep Tissue Massage?

Because the deep tissue massage is used for stiffness, knots, chronic pain, contracted areas, and muscle tightness, your massage therapist will apply pressure and use deep strokes in order to get everything feeling back to normal again. Deep pressure is used to break apart your painful, stubborn knots. Knots can be described as a group of rigid tissue.

(Video) Why do I get sore after a massage?

Your therapist will also use a friction technique by going against the grain of your muscles to assist in the realignment of tissue fibres. Another technique often used in the deep tissue massage is the stripping method. During this method, your masseuse will use deep pressure along your muscle fibres.

Our therapists often use their elbows, knuckles, hands, forearms and even feet during the massage. While the entire process isn’t painful by itself, there are moments of discomfort and pain. These moments will most likely occur when your therapist is working on scar tissue, knots, or adhesions.

Experiencing Pain After a Deep Tissue Massage (1)

What Should I Do if I Experience Pain or Discomfort During My Massage?

First, you should know that feeling some levels of pain is good sign. This means that your therapist is breaking up those knots and realigning stiff muscles. However, if the pain becomes too intense or excruciating, you should always notify your massage therapist. Our therapists are trained to deal will all levels of pain sensitivity and will work to approach your particular situation using another technique or work to further prep your muscles.

Another thing to do during your massage during moments of discomfort is to do your very best to relax through it. Sometimes pain can cause us to tense our muscles up. By tensing your muscles, therapist will need to apply even more pressure in order to get everything working properly, thus causing a more uncomfortable experience.

This is why it is highly suggested to keep your muscles calm and relaxed throughout the entirety of the deep tissue massage. You may do so by frequently taking deep breaths and keeping your body loose.

Why Might I Feel Pain After My Deep Tissue Massage?

The kind of pain you may feel after a deep tissue massage is very similar to the pain an athlete might feel after an intense workout. Often times, soreness can be a positive sign that things are healing or correcting and it has beenscientifically-proven to reduce chronic stress levelsin regular recipients.

(Video) When Deep Tissue is TOO Painful! How to Keep Massaging

Your muscles have essentially been manipulated, stretched, and worked on for the best part of an hour with us. So naturally, because your muscles were working so hard, they may feel a little bit tender within the next couple of days. However, this is a good sign. This means that you are on the road to much more relaxed, functioning muscles. Within as little as 48 hours, you should be feeling brand new.

How Can I Alleviate the Soreness that Comes After a Deep Tissue Massage?

There are many things you may do in order to relieve some of the soreness felt in result of a deep tissue massage. One of the most highly suggested things to do is to remain hydrated. Massage therapists suggest consuming plenty of water during the day of your massage, and after your appointment too! After all, hydrated muscles are healthier muscles.

Another suggested remedy is to apply some heat to the sore areas. For example, many often suggest a warm epsom salt bath or relaxing in bed with a heating pad or a good ol’ fashioned hot water bottle!

We’re also huge fans of Tiger Balm here at Araya Beauty, an ancient oriental muscle-soothing formula that many active sportspeople in Ireland will be more than familiar with. A carefully-administered layering of this potent balm can relieve even the deepest of muscular tension.

Experiencing Pain After a Deep Tissue Massage (2)

Why is Pain and Soreness Associated with a Deep Tissue Massage a Good Thing?

Feeling some pain or discomfort with a deep tissue massage is perfectly normal, and it’s the best kind of pain and soreness you can feel! While you may feel some discomfort, you will also feel an overflow of relief as your muscles slowly relax and those knots break away.

You can rest safe in the knowledge that all the while once you’ve relaxed on our massage beds, your therapist is working hard to eliminate all of your muscle tension and knots. After 48 hours, you will feel increased flexibility and an overall lack of tension. Your muscles will feel more relaxed, leaving your feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

(Video) What to Do after a Deep Tissue Massage | Deep Massage

What are the Benefits of Deep Tissue Massage?

We highlight in more detail what the preparation, process and benefits of our deep tissue massage treatments are over on our main treatment page athttps://www.arayabeauty.com/treatments/massage-spa/deep-tissue/but five additional, long-lasting and scientifically factual benefits to embracing this tried and tested well-being initiative include the following:

1. Helps to treat chronic back pain

2. Assists in lowering higher blood pressure

3. Breaks up scar tissue and knots

4. A proven stress and muscle tension reliever

5. Effective, natural (and perfectly legal!) performance-enhancing treatment for athletes

As you can see, the benefits of a deep tissue massage are extraordinary, and can suit a wide variety of people. Whether you have just a few knots, or a lot, a deep tissue massage will offer you plenty and positive, long-lasting side effects.

(Video) No Pain No Gain?? During Deep Tissue Massage

Experiencing Pain After a Deep Tissue Massage (3)

In conclusion, receiving a deep tissue massage is one of the best things you can do for your muscles. No one should be forced to live with chronic muscle pain and stiffness, especially when there is a solution close by. While there is some pain and discomfort involved in a deep tissue massage, you should never fear receiving one. The pain should never be excruciating or unbearable.

It is perfectly normal to feel small level of pain during and after the massage, and the pain is necessary in the healing and regrouping of your muscles. If feeling apprehensive or nervous, speak with your massage therapist prior to the massage. You may also keep up the communication during the deep tissue massage, communicating with your therapist if the pain is too much for you.

Our team of fully qualified massage therapists here at Araya Beauty are here to help you, and will work with you to create the most positive experience available. You will feel relieved to know that the small amount of pain you are feeling is the therapist at work in relieving all of your deep tension.

With only a little discomfort and soreness, your muscles will soon be feeling brand new. Your new, relaxed and rejuvenated body will soon be ready to conquer to the world!

Book a Deep Tissue Massage Treatment Today


Is it normal to hurt after a deep tissue massage? ›

Post massage muscle soreness is common to experience after receiving a deep tissue massage. Some clients begin to feel achy straight away, while most people tend to experience soreness the following day.

What are the side effects of a deep tissue massage? ›

Most Common Side Effects
  • Lingering Pain. Due to the pressurised techniques used in a deep tissue massage, some people have suffered from some version of pain during and/or after their therapy session. ...
  • Headaches/Migraines. ...
  • Fatigue or Sleepiness. ...
  • Inflammation. ...
  • Nausea.

How do you relieve pain from a deep tissue massage? ›

It's not unusual to have some lingering soreness for a few days following a deep tissue massage. Using a heating pad or a cold pack wrapped in a towel may help to relieve soreness. Though massage therapy is generally safe, deep tissue massage uses very firm pressure and may not be safe for everyone.

Can you damage muscles from deep tissue massage? ›

In some cases, there is a possibility that a deep tissue massage has caused a new injury. Most reported cases of this are in areas of the back and neck. It is likely a muscle injury, but also may indicate nerve damage.

How often should you get a deep tissue massage? ›

In most instances, deep tissue massage once or twice a week is usually enough to manage pain sufficiently. However, it can be helpful to have the equipment necessary to perform massage at home so that you can get immediate relief if your pain is particularly bad one day.

Can deep tissue massage cause inflammation? ›

Massage is like exercise: It forces blood into your muscles, bringing nutrients and removing toxins. This process can temporarily increase inflammation (the healing response) to areas that the body feels need attention. This inflammation can bring discomfort.

Can a massage therapist feel inflammation? ›

If you have an acute injury, therapists can feel heat and inflammation. Chronic injuries show themselves in the form of dehydrated muscles that feel tight.

How many days are you sore after a deep tissue massage? ›

Usually, any post-massage soreness will subside within a day or so. In the meantime, there are several ways to relieve soreness.

Should you rest after a deep tissue massage? ›

Get a good night's rest. While you're sleeping, your muscles are able to recover from the stress of the massage and efficiently utilize the nutrients that are being provided by the increased blood flow. Aim for a minimum of 6 hours. Schedule a follow-up appointment.

How long does it take to recover from deep tissue massage? ›

At a minimum, you should rest for at least 24 hours after your massage to ensure your muscles have plenty of time to repair themselves. Post-massage soreness is completely normal after a sports massage, and your muscles may still feel tight after 48 hours, which is a sign they are still recovering.

Can you over massage a knot? ›

You can massage muscle knots every day, but don't over-do it as this could actually cause more irritation. Sometimes muscle knots can go away on their own, but a massage is definitely the fastest and most effective way to loosen the muscle and get rid of muscle knots.

Can massage therapists feel knots? ›

Massage therapists are trained to feel where knots occur by looking for tension in the back, neck and shoulders. They find this tension and release it by applying deep compression with their thumb, fingers or elbow, and holding for 20-30 seconds.

Should I ice or heat after deep tissue massage? ›

After a deep tissue massage there can be some stiffness, achiness, or soreness in a localized areas that lasts a day or two. It is highly recommended to apply ice after a deep tissue massage and any time you feel pain. Ice will assist in the recovery process and help your body heal.

How much water should I drink after a deep tissue massage? ›

It is generally recommended to drink between 1-1.5 litres of water after a treatment, depending on the time of day. Drinking large amounts after a night treatment may have you getting up a few times during the night for the loo!

Who should not get a deep tissue massage? ›

People with Osteoporosis and Cancer that has spread to the bones should avoid Deep Tissue Massage because it can cause fractures in your bones. If you have an open wound or a skin infection, then reschedule your appointment. This way, you avoid developing a new infection and prevent the condition from getting worse.

What is the popping feeling during massage? ›

Going over tense areas with double thumbs. This popping or crunching feeling is breaking down what has built up, the body is then more able to flush out these toxins. Some clients may wince at this feeling others describe it as a 'good pain' and it instantly feels better once this has been done.

When should deep tissue massage be avoided? ›

If your client is taking medication that increases risk for blood clots or deep vein thrombosis, avoid deep tissue massage, and if low blood pressure or orthostatic hypotension is a concern, use fast, invigorating strokes toward the end of the session.

What should you not do before a deep tissue massage? ›

Do not eat a heavy meal or drink a large amount of liquids in the hours before your massage. Deep tissue massage requires intense pressure, which can be uncomfortable if your stomach is full or trying to digest a large meal. For a deep tissue massage to be effective, you must be relaxed.

What happens if you don t drink enough water after a massage? ›

What happens if you don't drink water after a massage? The simple answer is you might experience pain, fatigue, and what is commonly called the DOMS, or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, after your massage.

How long does post massage sickness last? ›

Usually, these side effects are minor and are nothing of concern; they will usually subside within a few days.

How much do you tip a massage therapist? ›

We spoke to two etiquette experts, who suggested leaving a 15% to 20% tip, if you're able. Twenty percent is generous for the massage therapist and easy on the brain, which may be feeling more relaxed than ever after a massage. The math is straightforward. To find 20%, start by finding 10%, then double that amount.

How long should you rest after a deep tissue massage? ›

Get a good night's rest. While you're sleeping, your muscles are able to recover from the stress of the massage and efficiently utilize the nutrients that are being provided by the increased blood flow. Aim for a minimum of 6 hours. Schedule a follow-up appointment.

How long does deep tissue massage take to heal? ›

At a minimum, you should rest for at least 24 hours after your massage to ensure your muscles have plenty of time to repair themselves. Post-massage soreness is completely normal after a sports massage, and your muscles may still feel tight after 48 hours, which is a sign they are still recovering.

Why is deep tissue massage so painful? ›

So, for many DTM therapists, the answer to the question, “why do deep tissue massages hurt” is pretty simple and straightforward, it is due to the amount of pressure applied to the muscles of the affected body part in order to break away the scar tissues that some people may feel the pain and soreness afterward.

Should I feel bruised after deep tissue massage? ›

"Your skin might get a little red after a massage, but typically people don't get bruises," says Harrison.

What should I do the day after a deep tissue massage? ›

After receiving a deep tissue massage, avoid strenuous activity for a day or two, to allow your muscles time to rebuild. Be sure to drink plenty of water as well. A warm Epsom salt bath is a great way to care for yourself following a deep tissue massage.

Is it good if a massage hurts? ›

If massages always hurt you, it could mean several things. It could mean that the tissue that is being massaged is not 100% healthy and having a massage would be very therapeutic for that tissue by helping to improve your circulation so you have less aches and pains.


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