What Does It Mean When a Massage Hurts?

Often, the pain associated with massage comes from the release of chronic muscle tension. This can be due to poor technique on the part of the masseur, who may work too deeply and damage the tissue. But are massages supposed to hurt? It depends on the type of massage. Swedish massage is very light and uses little pressure, so there is usually no discomfort.

On the other hand, deep tissue massage is beneficial for any type of injury and can help with the healing process. If massages always hurt you, it could mean that the tissue being massaged is not 100% healthy and receiving a massage would be therapeutic for that tissue. It could also mean that you need to communicate more with your massage therapist to let them know if there's too much or too little pressure.

Massage therapy

can cause some discomfort if you're already experiencing aches and pains all over your body.

Trigger points are small, painful knots in the fascia that can spread pain to other parts of the body. Adhesions are painful places on the body where scar tissue has formed, and they can be pulled uncomfortably during a massage. Deep tissue massages focus on deeper muscle structures and on loosening the fascia, and they shouldn't hurt but won't necessarily be comfortable. Oriental massage techniques also use more pressure than standard Swedish massage, which can be painful for more sensitive people.

If you're sensitive to high pressure or concerned about painful massages, consider a Swedish massage instead of a deep-tissue massage or more intense techniques. After a deep tissue massage, you may experience a slight headache, which is quite common and also goes away over time.

Mark Szymonik
Mark Szymonik

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