After an intense workout or a long day at the office, your muscles may become sore and painful. One effective way to speed up the recovery process is to have a therapeutic massage.
During a regular massage, your sore muscles are stimulated, which helps increase blood circulation to the affected area and reduce lactic acid buildup.
A massage further relieves inflammation that may have been caused by tiny tears in your muscles.
The result is less muscle pain and soreness.
Besides, once the lactic acid buildup and inflammation in your muscles are taken care of, you’re less likely to suffer from future muscle injuries.
Undoubtedly, a massage has many benefits for people suffering from muscle pain.
The good news is that today, getting a therapeutic massage is easy. You can get muscle pain relief massage from a local massage therapy center or your neighborhood spa.
Further, there are numerous massage tools available for muscle pain relief. For instance, using a Relaxe neck and back massager or a foot massager can help quicken muscle healing even when you’re recovering at home.
Let’s delve deeper and learn more on this subject.
What’s Causing My Sore Muscles?
Muscle aches can occur in any part of your body. And although there is no single cause of sore muscles, some of the most common reasons why you may be having painful and sore muscles include.
Stress –During stressful situations, your brain sends signals to the nerves to activate their protection mode. Part of the response is that the nerves will cause your muscles to tighten. Tight muscles will not only become sore, but they can also inhibit blood circulation leading to pain.
Exercise – Trying out new exercise routines can make you more susceptible to muscle aches. Always warm up and cool down before and after exercising to protect your muscles from aches and pains. Also, go slow on the exercise.
Poor sleeping position – If you often wake up sore after a night’s sleep, maybe your sleeping position is to blame. A poor sleeping posture will often lead to sore shoulders, back, and neck. A poor quality mattress, lack of enough sleep, or sleeping for too long are other sleep-related causes of sore muscles.
Dehydration – When you’re dehydrated, your body will try to get fluids from your body tissues, leading to muscle cramps. A buildup of toxins due to the body's inability to flush out waste can also lead to inflammation and muscle pain.
Injuries – Sometimes, a sprain or strain may cause muscle fatigue or soreness. Some injuries will require a few days of rest or over-the-counter medication to heal. However, injuries that don’t improve with time may need a visit to the doctor.
Diseases – Several medical conditions can lead to muscle aches. Some of which include:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Lyme disease
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
How Can Massage Help Sore Muscles Recover?
If you’re experiencing body aches and your muscles feel really tight, a massage can help.
However, always remember to talk to your massage therapist in case you’re injured or have an underlying medical condition before getting your massage.
Nevertheless, various types of massage such as deep tissue massage, Swedish massage, and sports massage have been shown to speed the recovery of sore muscles.
Want to understand more about how the science behind the use of massage therapy for the recovery of sore muscles works?
Here we go.
1. Massage Therapy Reduces Inflammation
When you have a strain or a muscle injury, your body’s defense mechanism is activated. Your body will create inflammation around the injured part to keep infections away. This cushion or swelling may cause soreness or pain when it presses against your nerves.
The good news is that a massage stimulates the production of cytokines, which are chemicals that regulate inflammation. These chemicals will trigger your body to release the fluid found in the inflamed area, leading to reduced soreness.
2. Increases Blood Flow
The pressure exerted on sore muscles during a massage breaks up muscle cramps and allows oxygenated blood to flow to the sore area.
This blood feeds the cells with nutrients and oxygen, which speeds up recovery.
3. Removes Waste Products
The overuse of muscles due to constant exercise can lead to waste buildup.
During a massage, your lymphatic system is stimulated, increasing the removal of waste products. This, in turn, decreases muscle fatigue and pain.
4. Tension Release
A massage helps work out the body, which releases any knots or spasms in your muscles.
The result is that you’ll feel less sore and more relaxed.
Could Massage Help Boost Muscle Fitness
Massage therapy is not only beneficial for muscle recovery, but it can also help in muscle growth and fitness.
For starters, massage therapy sessions help loosen up your muscles. Continually stretching your muscles during exercise or when performing other physical activities makes them stiffer. This stiffness also increases with age.
However, a massage, especially one that incorporates some stretching exercise routines, will give you the muscle flexibility you need even during old age.
A massage also boosts muscle fitness as it increases blood circulation. This not only makes you recover faster from muscle soreness, but it also helps with muscle growth. Your muscles will get the oxygen and nutrients they need to rebuild and grow.
Your muscles will also work better after a massage. Physical activity and regular exercises often strain the fascia, the connective fibers under the skin. Fascia helps your muscles work efficiently.
However, when these connective fibers are in bad shape, it becomes harder for the muscles to slide past each other. A massage helps work out the fascia fibers, loosening them up, so the muscles can work better with less effort.
Lastly, a massage relaxes your body, which is good for muscle growth. Rubbing the skin during a massage stimulates the vagus nerve, which helps release feel-good hormones such as endorphin, serotonin, and oxytocin.
These hormones do more than just improve your mood, as they also ease muscle pain and soreness, providing the perfect environment for muscle growth.
How to Prevent Sore Muscles and Joint Pain
Unless an underlying medical condition is the cause of your muscle pain, there are tips you can use to lower your risk of suffering from muscle aches. Some of these tips are explained below:
- Use a Relaxe massager – Relaxe massagers such as the Shiatsu Foot massager or a Zero Gravity Shiatsu massage chair can help prevent and relieve tight muscles when you’re unable to visit a professional massage therapist. For instance, foam rolling on an electrical foam roller is good before a workout, especially on muscles that always feel sore after exercising. A Shiatsu foot spa massager with heat can also be used before bed to boost circulation to your feet muscles
- Do stretch exercises before and after workouts – Stretch exercises help circulate blood to your muscles and also increase the production of endorphins that help reduce pain after a workout
- Stay hydrated – Drinking plenty of water helps prevent muscle cramps, control your body temperature, loosen your joints, and gets rid of toxins
- Get enough sleep – Getting plenty of sleep releases growth hormones that help in muscle growth and repair
- Take some Vitamin C – Antioxidants such as vitamin C are known to prevent muscle soreness
- Eat enough protein – Eating food rich in proteins before and after a workout can help reduce symptoms of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)
In closing, whether your sore muscles are caused by lack of enough sleep, stress, or an injury, a therapeutic massage can help.
A massage increases blood flow, helps reduce muscle tension, and gets rid of toxic waste from your aching muscles. The result is reduced soreness and improved muscle growth.
Also, remember, you can always reap the benefits of a regular massage by getting a Relaxe massager. Using a massager on a regular basis will lead to reduced pain and improved movement in your tight muscles.