Dangers of Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue massage has become increasingly popular over the past few years. It’s often touted as a way to relieve chronic back pain, reduce stress, and even help with weight loss. But deep tissue massages aren’t without risks.

Deep tissue massage is great for relieving muscle tension, but it can also cause serious injuries. In fact, many people who get deep tissue massages end up in the emergency room because of these injuries.

If you’ve never had a deep tissue massage before, you should probably steer clear. However, if you already enjoy deep tissue massages, then read on to learn how to protect yourself from injury while receiving deep tissue massages.

I’m going to cover everything from common injuries to dangerous techniques used during deep tissue massages. And I’ll share my top tips for protecting yourself from injury during deep tissue massages!

Dangers of Deep Tissue Massage

Can a deep tissue massage be harmful

A deep tissue massage is performed by pressing into muscles that are deeper than your typical massage. These muscles include:
The trapezius (the large muscle at the base of your neck)
The rhomboids (muscles along the sides of your upper arms)
The pectoralis major (a chest muscle)
The latissimus dorsi (back of your shoulder blades)
The erector spinae (spinal muscles)
These muscles are very dense and hard to press against. They’re also located in areas where bones are close together, making them susceptible to being broken or injured.
The most common injury associated with deep tissue massages is called “trigger finger.” This occurs when someone tries to move their fingers too quickly after having received a deep tissue massage.
Trigger finger happens because the tendons connecting the muscles to the joints have been stretched out. When they snap back into place, they pull on the surrounding tissues, causing inflammation and swelling.
Trigger finger usually goes away within a week or two. If it doesn’t go away, however, you may need surgery to repair the tendon.

Can deep tissue massage do more harm than good

While trigger finger is one of the most common injuries associated with deep tissue massaging, there are other potential problems that can occur. For example, some people report feeling dizzy or lightheaded after getting a deep tissue massage. Others feel like they’re about to pass out.
This is caused by an increase in blood pressure. Blood pressure increases when we tense our muscles. So, when we tense our muscles during a deep tissue massage, blood flow to those muscles decreases. As a result, blood pressure drops, which causes us to feel faint.
This isn’t something you want to experience while receiving a deep tissue massage. So, make sure to tell your therapist not to apply any pressure to certain parts of your body.

What Are The Dangers Of Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue massage has its risks. But, if you know what to look for, you can avoid most of them. Here’s what to watch out for:
1. Broken Bones
Broken bones are the most common type of injury associated with deep tissue massage. People often break their wrists, elbows, shoulders, knees, and ankles.
2. Bruises
Bruising is another type of injury that can happen during a deep tissue massage. It’s caused by applying too much force to a specific area of the body.
3. Infections
Infections are rare, but they can happen. Your therapist will likely use sterile tools and cleanliness standards to prevent infections.
4. Nerve Damage
Nerves run through many of the muscles that get worked during deep tissue massage. Injuries to these nerves can cause pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, or paralysis.
5. Muscle Spasms
Muscle spasms are another type of injury that could occur during a deep tissue massage session.

Can deep tissue massage damage kidneys

Another possible problem that might arise from deep tissue massage is kidney damage. According to the National Kidney Foundation, kidney disease is the third leading cause of death in the United States.
If you have diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or other conditions that put you at risk for developing kidney disease, then you should talk to your doctor before getting a deep tissue massage treatment.

Dangers of Deep Tissue Massage

Can a deep tissue massage cause a blood clot

A blood clot is another possible complication that can occur during a deep tissue therapy session. A blood clot forms when platelets (small cells found in blood) clump together. This process occurs naturally as part of the healing process. However, sometimes a blood clot can form without warning.
When this happens, it’s called a thrombosis. Thromboses can be dangerous, so it’s important to let your doctor know if you’ve had a recent deep tissue massage.

Can massage make inflammation worse

Inflammation is the body’s natural response to infection or irritation. Inflammation helps protect against bacteria and viruses.
However, chronic inflammation can lead to serious health problems such as arthritis, asthma, cancer, cardiovascular disease, depression, diabetes, fibromyalgia, gout, headaches, migraines, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, stroke, ulcers, and more.
So, if you’re experiencing symptoms of inflammation, it’s best to see a medical professional. They’ll be able to determine whether or not you need to stop receiving deep tissue massages.

Can you get nerve damage from a deep tissue massage

According to the American Physical Therapy Association, there are three types of nerve injuries that can occur during deep tissue massage. These include pinched nerves, bruised nerves, and damaged nerves.
Pinched nerves are those that are compressed between two bones. The compression causes pain and numbness around the affected area.
Bruised nerves are those that are injured because of excessive force applied to an area. This kind of injury usually results in swelling and bruising.
Damaged nerves are those that are cut or torn. Damaged nerves often result in permanent disability.

Can massaging too hard cause damage

Massaging too hard can also cause injury. If you apply too much pressure to a muscle, you may injure the muscle fibers. This will cause them to tear and pull apart.
This type of injury is called strain. Strain can cause soreness, stiffness, and even cramps. It can also lead to long-term issues like scarring and adhesions.

How is Deep Tissue Massage Different From Other Techniques?

Deep tissue massage is different from other types of massage therapy. While other forms of massage focus on relaxing the muscles, deep tissue massage focuses on strengthening them.
Deep tissue massage involves working deeper layers of muscle tissue. These include the fascia, ligaments, and connective tissue. By focusing on these layers, deep tissue massage helps improve flexibility and mobility.

Is it OK to massage pulled muscles

If you have a pulled muscle, you shouldn’t receive any type of massage. A pulled muscle occurs when one of the tendons that connects a muscle to its bone becomes stretched beyond its normal length.
This stretching causes friction between the tendon and surrounding tissues. Over time, this friction leads to scarring and adhesions (tissues that form over the scar). Scarring and adhesions make it difficult for the muscle to move properly.
This condition is called a “pulled” muscle. It’s also known as a “strained” muscle.

How To Avoid These Problems During Deep Tissue Massages

To avoid all of these problems, here are some things you need to do:
Tell your therapist how long you plan on having the massage. If you don’t think you’ll need more than 30 minutes, ask him/her to give you a light touch instead.
Ask your therapist about his/her training. Find out whether he/she has received professional certification.
Make sure your therapist uses only certified equipment. Ask him/her to show you the equipment and explain how it works.
Ask your therapist to check your pulse after every 15-20 minutes. If you notice that your pulse rate is increasing, then stop the massage. You may feel dizzy, weak, or even faint.
Ask your therapist to tell you exactly where he/she is touching you.
Ask your therapist if there is anything else you should know about deep tissue massages.


Deep tissue massage has become increasingly popular over the past decade. While it’s true that deep tissue massage can provide relief from pain, it’s important to know that it can also cause problems like muscle strain, injury, and nerve damage.

In fact, according to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), deep tissue massage is not recommended for individuals who have had recent surgery, suffer from arthritis, or have recently suffered a serious injury.

That said, if you’re interested in trying deep tissue massage, here are some basic guidelines that can help you avoid potential injuries and ensure safety.

First, never perform deep tissue massage on someone without their consent. Second, never use pressure points that are located along the spine or neck. Third, never apply pressure to areas where blood flow is restricted. Finally, never hold onto a client after performing a deep tissue massage.

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