When Massage Therapy is Painful: Understanding Good Pain

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 and can happen if your muscles aren't used to massages. Massages are not supposed to be a painful therapy, even though they can be perceived this way. Some clients and even some massage therapists believe that pain is only part of the massage and it has to be painful for it to work.

Fascias are connective tissues in our body that work to hold muscles, organs, and other body structures in place. Fascias sometimes appear as bands and other times as sheets, and it is in fascias that activation points can appear. A trigger point is a small, painful knot in the fascia and is sometimes discovered by accident during a regular massage. Trigger points usually send pain to other parts of the body, so the pain you may feel in your forearm originates from a trigger point in your shoulder.

These spots are hypersensitive and you'll feel some pain as your massage therapist resolves them. 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. 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. First, deep tissue massage therapy requires firm pressure to reach the deeper layers of the muscle. This type of therapy is effective in relieving chronic pain and pain. The most common areas of the body to receive this massage are the upper back, the lower back and the neck area.

Some (especially athletes) may also request this therapy for the leg and shoulder area. Like pain after training, pain is not a sign that deep tissue massage has been effective. If you end up feeling pain during the massage and it's not tolerable, you should always let your masseuse know. Your therapist will be able to use different pressures and adjust how you will proceed with the rest of your massage therapy session.

It may look like you just did a good workout. The pain should go away after 24 to 36 hours. Some people find that drinking a little more water can help with pain. Pain can occur because your muscles are not used to deep treatment.

However, if this is not the case, you should contact your massage therapist immediately and apply ice to your back or pain point after a deep tissue massage, you may experience a slight headache which is quite common and also goes away over time.

Florence Baird
Florence Baird

Award-winning tv practitioner. Typical tv expert. Incurable organizer. Incurable zombie scholar. Infuriatingly humble twitter specialist.