Some people have soreness following therapeutic massage and others never do. The possibility of having sore muscles following a massage is more common with your very first massage. Soreness occurs because “new” things are happening to your muscles. They get kneaded, moved, squeezed.
All of this can release metabolic (body) wastes and other materials that are stored in your muscles and other soft tissues (skin, fat, fascia.) These waste products are being flushed from the soft tissues. Massage stirs things up. This is not a bad thing but sometimes, for some people, massage can cause muscle soreness.
A deeper “therapeutic” massage is more likely to cause soreness than a really light massage. However, the deeper massage may be exactly what you need.
Soreness may start quickly or within a day but is usually gone within just a few (2-3) days. Sometimes it can last longer. If your massages are far between, each one is just like having a first massage over again. The first massage usually causes the most soreness (if there will be any.)
It’s less likely you will have soreness or tenderness afterward if you have massage more often. Your body adapts to massage and you will have less soreness if you can have massage more frequently. One half hour every other week is more beneficial than one hour once a month.
You will also enjoy more of the health benefits of massage if you can have a session more frequently.
Each body and individual is different. That means that the therapist and YOU must direct the massage in the way that is most beneficial for you.
Drinking lots of water helps flush the metabolic (body) wastes that are released by the massage through normal elimination channels–your kidneys. This helps prevent soreness and is always something to do following a massage (unless your doctor says otherwise).
You may also ice or heat these sore areas to help get rid of the tenderness.
A more general whole-body massage–rather than a “poking” type of massage or one that focuses on only tight parts of your body–may help prevent soreness.
If you scroll down to the Massage Category here at SimplePainRelief.com you will find an article about How To Find A Massage Therapist Who Can Help You. It will help you know the questions to ask or talk with your massage therapist about. And, don’t be shy about directing your massage therapist and talking with him or her; it’s your body and you get to be in charge of what happens to it.
So, the more often you can have therapeutic massage, the more water you drink, and more open communication between you and your massage therapist, the less likely you will be to have soreness after massage.