Do your muscles feel sore and achy after a workout? If yes, then have you considered getting a massage?
Whether you suffer from post-workout injuries or delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), all you need is a good massage. Athletes and wellness professionals consider massage an integral part of the training process. It is because the benefits of massage after training go way beyond relaxation.
Do you want to know how post-exercise massage significantly improves your recovery and reduces the risk of injury? Continue reading.
What Causes Muscle Soreness?
Muscle soreness occurs when the muscles are stressed due to a workout or other physical activity. It can be acute or delayed.
Acute muscle soreness is felt during the exercise. It is because of the quick build-up of metabolites during intense activity. Acute soreness immediately disappears after stopping the exercise.
On the other hand, delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) occurs after the exercise. It happens because of microscopic tears in the muscles and surrounding connective tissues. Due to this, the muscle gets damaged, inflamed, and injured.
Symptoms Of Post-Workout Muscle Soreness
Symptoms of delayed onset muscle soreness typically occur between 12 to 24 hours after a workout session. The symptoms tend to peak for 2-3 days, after which they will settle down.
Common symptoms include:
- Pain and stiffness in the muscles
- Muscles that feel tender to touch
- Swelling in the affected area
- Muscle fatigue and loss of muscle strength
Does Massaging a Sore Muscle Make It Heal Faster?
Massage is a therapeutic technique widely used for soothing sore muscles, treating sports injuries, and reducing muscle spasms, tightness, and adhesions.
It decreases post-workout pain and inflammation, ensures speedy recovery, restores muscle flexibility and range of motion, and enhances overall performance.
A review showed that post-workout massage within 24, 48, or 72 hours significantly decreased muscle soreness.
How Does Massage Promote Recovery?
Massage work by increasing blood circulation, which delivers more oxygen and nutrients to the soft tissues and organs. The increased supply of vital nutrients to tissues speeds up the recovery of injured muscles. It relieves muscle tightness and breaks down scar tissue to promote relaxation and healing.
The research found that massage therapy reduces inflammation and pain and improves muscle endurance and overall physical performance. It boosts the production of mitochondria in the muscles, the powerhouse of the cells, which helps generate energy at the cellular level.
Another study found that massage reduced the production of a compound called cytokines, which is critical in the inflammatory processes. They also found stimulation of mitochondria which improved cell function and allowed the body to recover faster from exercise-induced muscle damage.
How Long Should You Massage Sore Muscles?
Depending on your pain, you can massage tender muscles anywhere between 30 to 120 minutes.
A study concluded that 30 minutes of therapeutic massage effectively alleviated symptoms of delayed onset muscle soreness by 30%.
What Type of Massage Is Best for Muscle Recovery?
Different types of massage can help with post work out muscle recovery.
Following are some of the best types of massage that will help relieve pain and muscle tension.
- Swedish massage
Swedish massage, also called relaxation massage, uses slow, rhythmic movements, flowing strokes, and gentle muscle kneading. It promotes relaxation and calming the body from mental and physical stress.
- Sports massage
Sports massage uses muscle manipulation techniques to break up scar tissue. It dilates blood vessels and increases the removal of waste products to reduce tenderness and inflammation. The goal of this massage is to boost athletic performance, improve mobility, enhance recovery, and treat/prevent sports injuries.
- Deep tissue massage
Deep tissue massage involves applying pressure on the deeper layers of the muscles to release the tension and promote healing. The therapist usually starts with low strokes to warm the muscles and then applies deep pressure along the length to target the inner muscles. This type of massage works best for treating musculoskeletal injuries, chronic pain, or other sports-related injuries.
- Remedial massage
Remedial massage focuses on manipulating both superficial and deeper layers of tissue to rehabilitate muscle movement patterns, increase relaxation, reduce muscle tension, and speed up recovery.
Reflexology is originated from Chinese tradition in which the reflex areas of feet are targeted, which are thought to be connected to specific body parts. Massaging these areas stimulate endorphins and boost energy and metabolism. It also calms and relaxes the body and mind.
This massage is a combination of acupressure, yoga, passive stretching, and vigorous massage. It promotes flexibility and relaxation, improves range of motion, increases oxygen delivery, and reduces muscle stress.
Shiatsu originated in Japan, where the massage is done on a futon-style mat. It involves acupressure along with stretches.
When Should You Start Massage Therapy After Muscle Injury?
When it comes to incorporating massage therapy into your recovery plan, you must choose the type of massage that is adequate for post-workout muscle recovery. For instance, massage therapy will work best for reducing stiffness and pain if you have a mild injury, i.e., muscle strain. But in case of more serious injuries such as fractures, massage therapy should not be started until the swelling has gone down.
You must consider a few things before going for a massage, such as:
- Type of injury
- Severity of injury
- Pain tolerance
- Overall health and fitness
Post-Workout Recovery at Home With BioMats
You might often experience chronic muscle pain and soreness if you are an athlete or gym enthusiast. So, you must consider including therapies in your post-workout routine to maximise results on and off the field.
Recovery systems BioMat is a high-quality therapy equipment that provides instant relief from muscle pain and soreness. We also offer an air compression leg massager in Singapore and beyond.
It is designed with a remarkable combination of 5 modalities, i.e., PEMF, far infrared, negative ion, heat, and red-light therapy. These combinations boost wound healing, increase blood circulation, deliver fresh nutrients for faster muscle repair, and enhance recovery.
Muscle soreness is a painful condition of muscles which commonly occurs due to exercise or other physical activity. Massage is a great way to release tension, earn treat muscle soreness. It manipulates the body’s soft tissues by applying pressure on different parts of the body. It increases temperature and lymphatic flow and releases happy hormones, which help the body relax, heal, and recover faster.
Does massage speed up muscle recovery?
Yes, massage ensures fast recovery by increasing blood flow and nutrition to the damaged tissue. It also boosts overall performance and health.
Is it good to massage an injured muscle?
Massaging an injured muscle is a great way to speed up recovery and prevent future injuries. It reduces pain, inflammation, and muscle stress and promotes flexibility, blood circulation and muscular strength.
What is the best massage for muscle recovery?
There are different types of massages that you can consider for muscle recovery. Common massages for muscle relaxation include Swedish massage, sports massage, remedial massage, deep tissue massage, reflexology, relaxation, thai, and shiatsu.