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Why am I sore after massage?

Sore After Massage? Find Out Why & What You Can Do

If you're sore after massage this article can help you find out why as well as what to do about it.

Understanding post-massage soreness often stems from the manipulation of muscle tissue during therapy, which can stimulate areas of tension and lead to a sensation akin to that experienced after an intense workout.

This response is your body's way of healing and adjusting to the release of toxins and increased circulation prompted by massage techniques.

Why does it happen?

Your body might feel sore after a massage because the therapist is working out tight muscles, often called knots.

They push, pull, and stretch your muscles to help them relax. This can cause your muscle fibers to wake up and sometimes get a little upset.

Think of it like exercise; when you work out hard, your muscles can ache the next day because they're healing and getting stronger.

A woman enjoying a relaxing spa massage surrounded by tranquil decor.

Also, during a deep tissue massage or other types of intense massages, the blood flow increases and toxins that were stuck in your muscles are released.

These toxins need to move out of your body which may make you feel achy or sore as this process happens.

Your comfort is important though, so a good massage therapist will always adjust their touch if it's too much to make you feel good.

How to Alleviate Soreness After a Massage

To ease your post-massage discomfort, there are several effective strategies to restore comfort and enhance recovery.

A relaxing hot tub surrounded by lush greenery in a bustling atmosphere.

Keep reading for valuable insights that can help you bounce back with ease.


Drinking lots of water is key after getting a massage. Your muscles need water to work well and stay healthy.

If you don't drink enough, your muscles may get sore because they can't do their job right.

After a massage, make sure you sip on water or drinks that help put fluids back in your body.

Staying hydrated helps ease the ache and keeps muscles happy.

If you still feel tight and sore, try gentle stretching next. This can help your muscles relax more after a massage.

Gentle Stretching

Gentle stretching after a massage can make your muscles feel better. It increases flexibility and eases muscle tension.

Take a few minutes to stretch out the areas that were worked on during your session.

This helps your muscles remember their new, relaxed state.

Make sure you don't push too hard when you stretch; it should feel good.

Stretching keeps the blood flowing and helps stop soreness from getting worse.

Also, doing this could prevent knots from coming back quickly.

Next, let's talk about how applying heat can soothe those sore spots even more.

Heat Therapy

Heat therapy is great for easing muscle pain after a massage. It makes blood flow better and helps muscles relax.

You can try using a heating pad or putting a warm towel on sore spots.

This warmth helps your body heal by calming inflammation.

To use heat therapy, you don't need much – just something warm against your skin for a bit of time.

It's simple but powerful in helping your muscles feel better after they've been worked on by a massage therapist.

Essential Oils

Essential oils can be a great help after a massage. They have special powers to calm your muscles and fight swelling. Peppermint, lavender, and eucalyptus oils are really good for this.

You might use them in a lotion or oil that gets rubbed on your skin. This extra step makes the massage work even better.

These lovely-smelling oils make you feel relaxed, too. Think of it like helping your body heal from the inside out by taking deep breaths of calming scents like chamomile or rosemary oil.

But always mix these strong oils with something milder before putting them on your skin.

Using essential oils helps more blood flow to your sore spots which means they get better faster.

Just make sure you pick high-quality ones and use them right so they can do their job well and leave you feeling less sore after getting worked on by those powerful hands!

Cold Therapy

While essential oils may soothe your senses, cold therapy could tackle the muscle soreness directly. Ice packs or cold compresses help calm down hot, inflamed muscles after a massage.

This chill treatment reduces swelling and can potentially relieve the pain after massage.

You might use it on its own or with other methods like rolling out muscles or adding some warmth.

For someone very active or dealing with tight muscles all the time, cold therapy is handy and easy to do.

Just wrap an ice pack in cloth so it's not too harsh on your skin and apply it where you're sore.

Do this for short times throughout the day to help your muscles heal faster.

When to Seek Medical Attention

Sometimes a massage can leave you feeling really sore. If the pain is too much or doesn't go away, you should see a doctor.

A person in visible pain seeking medical attention at a doctor's office.

- Make an appointment with healthcare if your soreness comes with a fever or throwing up.

- Talk to someone like a registered massage therapist if regular massages always make you feel bad afterward; something might not be right.

- Check in with a professional if the pain keeps you from doing normal things like moving around easily or sleeping well.

- Seek help immediately if an area that was massaged looks wrong, such as being very red or swollen, which could mean there’s injury or infection.


Why am I sore after a massage?

You might be sore after a massage because the therapist worked on tight muscles and knots. This can happen with types of massages like deep tissue, sports massage, or Swedish massage.

What helps to relieve pain after a massage?

To ease pain after a session, you can take hot showers, use Epsom salt in your bath, or apply ice to swollen areas. Gentle exercises and drinking lots of water may also help.

Can certain things make muscle soreness worse after getting a massage?

Yes! Not drinking enough water can dehydrate you and make your muscles ache more. Also doing hard workouts right away or not resting enough could make you hurt more.

Are there any special treatments that reduce muscle pain from massages?

Using things like topical treatment creams or oils that have herbs like ginger in them might help lessen the pain. Some people may feel better using heat pads too.

Is it okay to exercise after having a painful therapy session?

It's best to wait until your muscles don't feel as sore which might be one day later or several days before doing heavy exercise again.

How do mindfulness and meditation connect with easing post-massage discomfort?

Mindfulness activities like guided meditations or yoga nidra help calm your mind and body which can lower feelings of being sore by relaxing tightened muscles.


Feeling sore after a massage is normal because your muscles got worked on.

You can make the soreness better by drinking water, stretching, or using heat.

However, it's important to note that individual experiences with massage and recovery can vary, and the effectiveness of certain recovery strategies might differ from person to person.

If you're concerned about it go see your doctor.

Getting massages more often can potentially help your body get used to them and hurt less afterward.

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We do not provide medical advice. The content of this article, including text, graphics, and other material, is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a health condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article.

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