When Massage Hurts: Understanding Good Pain and How to Feel Better

Is it normal to feel pain after a massage? After stimulating muscles that you don't normally use, you may experience late-onset muscle pain. This is a physical response to inflammation as the body heals. This can happen if your muscles aren't used to massages. Deep-tissue massages focus on deeper muscle structures and loosening the fascia.

The movements are similar to those of a Swedish massage, but they focus more on the knots and a greater amount of pressure is used. Deep tissue massages shouldn't hurt, but they won't necessarily be comfortable. There may also be some pain after the session is over. Certain types of oriental massage techniques also use more pressure than standard Swedish massage, which can be painful for the most sensitive people.

Are massages supposed to hurt? If you've ever had a massage, you'll know that it can sometimes be a little painful. Some of us have a very low pain tolerance and others have a very high pain tolerance, so that could be a good reason why some of us experience more pain during massages, while others don't. But for the most part, massages should be relaxing and not strain the body. Sometimes, if there's an area that's been sore for a while or you haven't done any body work in a few months or years, then yes, the massage will probably be a little painful, but it will be a good type of pain.

The type of pain you know you're going to benefit from. Have you ever had a massage with pain and come out with the same pain or maybe more? Deep tissue massages may cause some discomfort or mild pain in areas that cause problems. Discomfort is normal with this type of massage therapy. Most customers say it's a “good pain”, where it's a little uncomfortable but feels good at the same time.

Read on to learn what to expect when you get a deep tissue massage. Fitness, health and wellness tips sent to you weekly Cleveland Clinic is a not-for-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not promote products or services other than Cleveland Clinic.

Policy: Swelling and discomfort usually last from a few hours to about a day and a half. The same things you do to treat sore muscles after exercise can ease pain after a massage. Massage doesn't have to hurt to be effective. Many massage therapists are trained in multiple techniques that vary in pressure and time.

If a technique doesn't seem therapeutic to you, but simply feels like pain, please speak up. We may be able to detect a problem area, but we can't feel the intensity of its pain response. Also, tell your massage therapist about your medical history, changes in medications, allergies, and recent illnesses. Each of these factors can influence the massage techniques used and the body's response to them.

Communicating with your therapist will give you the most benefit from your massage. Our main goal is to help you feel better. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Have you ever felt sore after a massage? Find out why and how to feel better with a massage therapist.

In massage, there is a curious phenomenon, well known as “good pain”. It arises from a sensory contradiction between sensitivity to pressure and the “instinctive” feeling that pressure is also a source of relief. So pressure can be an intense feeling that feels good in some way. Good aches are often dull and painful, and are often described as a “sweet pain”.

The best good pain can be a relief such that “pain” isn't even the right word. Keep in mind that feeling safe is essential to experiencing good pain. Small differences in trust and comfort can make the difference between severe pain being good or bad. Much of the “goodness” of good pain comes from the mental context, from knowing that a pain is not dangerous or useless, that it will not increase suddenly or anything more disgusting or shocking.

In massage therapy, so much can be achieved while inflicting only good pain on patients that severe pain must be justified with vivid, rapid and somewhat lasting benefits, which is a very high bar to overcome. All health care practices must be justified by benefits. As risk, pain and expenses increase, so should benefits. It simply doesn't make sense to tolerate and pay for painful treatment without an obvious return on investment.

Severe pain is an interesting topic because it's a contradiction that somehow manages to make perfect sense when you experience it. The feeling is unique and distinctive, but it doesn't have a word of its own. Typical patient who discovers “good pain” The contradiction between the good and bad parts of pain can be strong. Severe pain can involve an undeniably unpleasant or disgusting or sick component, a truly unpleasant quality, and yet be accompanied by a clear sense of relief, such as an itch when scratching.

Nobody really knows how a painful massage can also feel so good at the same time. This is a sensory phenomenon that is mostly beyond the reach of science, not entirely 17; all we can do is speculate. A main question is whether good pain is good because we expect relief to follow pain or because positive and negative qualities occur simultaneously. My bet is on the latter.

Since this type of massage therapy is intended to relieve stiffness, contracted areas of the body, muscle knots and muscle tension, massage therapists apply pressure and perform deep movements to reach the inner layers of muscle fibers and stiff tissues. Strong massage may not be called “deep tissue”; there are several other massage styles and manual therapies that are quite intense. It's clumsy, tends to indicate a simplistic “the more the better” approach to work, and it's simply not necessary, that's not what defines “intensity” in a good massage.

Florence Baird
Florence Baird

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