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Soreness After Massage

People often think that a massage is like a relaxing getaway in paradise. While this might be true for some, it’s kind of like a trip to the gym for others. Those that feel muscle pain or suffer from injuries visit a massage therapist to work muscles that need to be targeted, which is also the goal during a workout. Also similar to a workout, the muscles that were focused on during the massage session will often become sore and tight after. In the next section, we’ll explain what’s actually happening in the body during a massage.

What Causes Soreness?

Massage therapists use several techniques during a massage to work the muscles in different ways. While the different methods of massage might look unique on the outside, the inside of the body should have generally the same reaction to each: the blood and nutrients are pushed toward the muscles while removing toxins. This causes the body to become inflamed as it heals, and the body often responds with muscle soreness. People experience a build-up of lactic acid in certain muscles that aren’t used to being worked, which can cause discomfort. Though your body will become familiar with this process over time, there are ways to speed this up.

How Can I Relieve Soreness?

Muscle soreness tends to go away the next day, but it’s good practice to take care of your muscles outside of your massage sessions. There are a few—seemingly simple—things you can do to help ease the soreness, such as drinking plenty of water or getting a good night of sleep. However, there are also some steps you can take that require a little more work. Though it’s often uncomfortable, stretching, heating, or freezing your muscles are some of the most effective ways to relieve soreness. Gentle stretches can release tension and improve circulation, and heat and cold therapy work best when alternating them every 15 minutes using a heating pad and ice pack. We would also recommend either taking a hot shower/bath with Epsom salt to relax or a cold shower/ice bath to boost blood flow. 

Again, muscle soreness is normal after a massage, especially after a deep-tissue massage, but we want to remind our clients that they don’t need to experience pain during their session to feel relief after, as this is actually counter-productive. If you’ve never received a massage from us before, we invite you to check out our What To Expect For Your First Massage blog post to learn more about how important it is to communicate to your massage therapist before, during, and after your session.  

Where Do I Book My Massage?

At Functional Bodywork Therapy, we offer different types of massages and techniques to meet our clients’ needs. If you know what type of massage you would like, you can book your session online here, or you can give us a call at 919-548-8459 to schedule an appointment. 


Cronkleton, E. (2020). How to Relieve Sore Muscles After a Massage.
Schreiber, K. (2014). Everything We Thought We Knew About Massage Is Wrong.

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