After working out, many people feel sore. Some people even get muscle cramps. But should you massage these sore muscles?
Massage therapy has been around for thousands of years, and it’s proven to help relieve muscle tension and reduce inflammation. It also helps increase blood flow to the area, making it less likely that you’ll experience muscle cramps.
But do you really need to massage your sore muscles? In this article, we’ll look at why massaging sore muscles might not be as effective as you think. We’ll also look at whether massaging sore muscles is safe for everyone.
Massage therapy is often recommended for athletes who experience muscle soreness after exercise. Studies show that massage improves blood flow and reduces inflammation. In addition, it helps reduce anxiety and stress and promotes relaxation.
What are Sore Muscles
Sore muscles can occur from a variety of causes. They’re most common after intense workouts or when someone performs an activity with poor form.
Your body doesn’t receive proper stimulation when you perform an activity incorrectly. This results in overuse injuries such as tendonitis or muscle strains.
Other causes include
- Excessive use of certain muscles
- Poor posture
- A lack of flexibility
- An injury
Reasons For Sore Muscles
There can be multiple reasons for sore muscles here we are going to discuss some common reasons for sore muscles in detail.
1. Muscle Strain
A strain occurs when too much force is applied to a muscle group. The result is pain and swelling. Strains usually happen during sports activities like running, tennis, basketball, soccer, football, volleyball, etc.
Tendonitis is caused by repetitive motion. It happens when tendons become inflamed due to repeated movement. Common symptoms include stiffness, tenderness, and swelling.
Bursae are fluid-filled sacs located between bones and joints. When they become irritated, they cause pain and swelling.
Sprains are tears in ligaments (connective tissue). Ligaments connect two bones together and provide stability. If a ligament becomes torn, it can cause pain, swelling, and bruising.
Tendinitis is another type of irritation. Tendons are fibrous cords that attach muscles to bone. These cords are made up of collagen fibers. Collagen fibers are tough, but if they become damaged, they can tear.
6. Myofascial Pain Syndrome
Myofascial pain syndrome refers to painful knots of tight bands of muscle fibers that surround nerves.
Fibromyalgia is a condition characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain. People with fibromyalgia may have chronic fatigue, sleep problems, depression, and other health issues.
8. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a disorder where pressure builds up on the median nerve inside the wrist. Symptoms include numbness and tingling in the hand, arm, and shoulder.
9. Rotator Cuff Injury
Rotator cuff injuries affect the rotator cuff, which is a group of four muscles that stabilize the shoulder joint.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that affects cartilage, which is the smooth, slippery material found within joints. Cartilage acts as a cushion between bones, allowing them to move smoothly against each other. As osteoarthritis progresses, the cartilage wears down until there’s no more cushion left.
11. Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes your immune system to attack your own tissues.
Should You Massage Sore Muscles?
If you do not know how to massage sore muscles then don’t worry you will learn about this topic through our article. We will explain all the things related to massage therapy.
The answer to this question depends upon many factors. First thing first let us understand what exactly is massage therapy.
Massage Therapy Definition
Massage therapy is the manipulation of soft tissues using hands, forearms, elbows, knees, feet, or any part of the body in order to promote relaxation and improve circulation.
There are different types of massages such as Swedish Massage, Deep Tissue Massage, Sports Massage, Reflexology, Acupressure, Shiatsu, Hot Stone Massage, and Trigger Point Therapy.
Benefits Of Massaging Sore Muscles
Massaging sore muscles helps to reduce inflammation and increase blood flow.
- It also reduces stress and tension.
- It improves range of motion and flexibility.
- It relieves pain and promotes healing.
- It increases energy levels.
How To Massage Sore Muscular
To massage sore muscles follow these steps:
- Take a warm shower or bath before going for a massage. This will help to relax your muscles.
- Apply lotion or cream to your skin.
- Wear comfortable clothes.
- Put on some music. (Optional)
- Lie down on a bed or mat.
- Place your head towards the wall.
- Stretch out your arms and legs.
- Now place your palms over your eyes.
- Relax your mind and body.
- Start massaging your neck, shoulders, back, arms, hands, wrists, ankles, calves, thighs, hips, buttocks, and lower back. Or massage sore muscles.
- Continue massaging your body from top to bottom.
- When you reach your toes, stop massaging.
- Do it again slowly.
- Repeat the process at least three times.
- Finally, get into a deep sleep.
- Wake up after 30 minutes.
- Get ready for work.
- Enjoy your day!
Should you massage sore muscles?
Yes, if you have time then go ahead with it. It can be very helpful when you have a muscle injury. But, make sure that you take proper care of yourself while doing so.
You should avoid doing too much exercise immediately after having a massage. If you feel pain during the massage, then you should stop it immediately.
This would only hurt you further. So, always remember to listen to your body.
Does massaging your muscles make them less sore?
Yes, massaging sore muscles greatly lessens the soreness of sore muscles. Massaging makes tence tissues relaxed, relieves pain, improves blood flow, and increases the temperature.
Is It OK To Massage A Sore Muscle?
Yes, it is perfectly fine to massage a sore muscle. However, you must keep in mind that you shouldn’t do it more than twice per week.
Do you need to use oil while massaging sore muscles?
Not essential. But, you may apply light oil if you want. Since oils can improve the results of massage therapy and in the case of sore muscles right oil can greatly boost the recovery process of sore muscles.
Can you massage sore muscles without hurting yourself?
Yes, you can massage your sore muscles without causing any harm. But, you need to be careful about the pressure applied.
If you don’t know how to massage sore muscles, then you can watch videos online. There are plenty of YouTube videos that teach you the technique.
Is too much massage harmful?
No, it isn’t. But it can be, learn about it in detail here. In fact, it is quite beneficial. But, you should never massage your sore muscles more than once every two days.
Do massages help muscle recovery?
Yes, massages help muscle recovery. A massage can be considered as one of the best ways to recover from muscle injury. It has been proven by various studies that a massage can speed up the recovery process.
When we talk about muscle recovery, we mean the process of restoring strength and mobility to injured muscles. The most important point to remember here is that a massage should only be performed when the injury is fresh. If you perform a massage on a bruised area, it may cause further damage to the tissue.
How Should I Treat Muscle Pain?
If you notice any signs of muscle soreness, such as tenderness, stiffness, or aching, you should stop exercising immediately and rest the affected areas until the symptoms go away.
You may want to ice the affected areas if you have access to cold water. Ice packs work best on smaller areas like your hands, wrists, and feet.
You can also apply heat to stimulate circulation and promote healing. Heat treatments may cause some discomfort, but they don’t usually last long enough to hurt.
Some people find relief from sore muscles by taking ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin). However, you shouldn’t take aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) unless directed to do so by your doctor.
These medications can interfere with how well your body heals itself. If you’ve just had surgery, talk to your surgeon before using NSAIDs.
If you’re unsure about what type of treatment will provide the best relief, ask your doctor.
Is Massaging Sore Muscles Safe?
It’s important to note that there isn’t much evidence supporting the effectiveness of massage therapy for treating muscle soreness.
However, many doctors recommend massages for their patients. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, “massage therapy is one of the safest forms of complementary medicine.”
In fact, studies suggest that massage therapy could actually improve health outcomes. One study found that women who received regular massages were less likely to develop breast cancer than those who didn’t get massages. Another study showed that women who got massages regularly experienced fewer hot flashes during menopause than women who did not.
Should You Massage Sore Muscles After Workout
Yes, you should, it is best to gently massage muscles after a workout if you feel soreness in muscles. Gentle massage after a workout improves blood flow, relieves pain, and promot healing in muscles so you should massage sore muscles after a workout.
Massage Therapy Techniques
There are several different techniques used to treat sore muscles. Some involve rubbing the area while others focus on stretching the muscles.
Here are some basic techniques:
- Swedish massage involves kneading the muscles with gliding strokes. This technique helps increase blood flow to the affected area. It also relieves tension in the muscles and promotes relaxation.
- Deep tissue massage focuses on pressing deep into the muscles and tendons. This technique stimulates the release of endorphins, natural substances that relieve stress and reduce pain.
- Myofascial trigger point therapy uses pressure to locate and relax tight spots in the muscles. The goal is to ease muscle spasms and restore normal function.
- Rolfing uses gentle stretches to lengthen tight muscles. It’s often performed by a professional massage therapist.
- Acupuncture involves inserting thin needles at specific points along the body’s meridians. The theory behind acupuncture is that it restores energy flow through these pathways.
- Reflexology focuses on applying pressure to certain parts of the foot to help balance the body’s systems.
- Trigger point therapy is similar to myofascial trigger point treatment. Instead of focusing on individual muscles, this approach targets areas where multiple muscles converge.
In conclusion, sore muscles are common after working out, especially if you’re doing the heavy lifting. However, massaging your muscle groups regularly can help prevent injuries and keep you from having to spend extra time recovering.
To begin, use your hands to gently rub over your muscles, paying particular attention to areas where you tend to pull or strain your muscles. Afterward, apply a warm compress to the area and leave it on for 15 minutes or longer. This will help relax your muscles and reduce inflammation.