Not only does massage therapy feel good, it can be one of the most beneficial treatments for soft tissue concerns. But it’s not foolproof; there can be issues that follow a massage. Thankfully, these are usually rare.
Massage is simply the practice of pressing and kneading the skin and underlying muscles, tendons, and ligaments to relieve and prevent pain, according to the Mayo Clinic. There are several types of massage, with some of the most popular being Swedish, deep tissue, sports, and trigger point. Massage can improve blood flow and reduce blood pressure, improve pain and muscle soreness, lower stress, increase energy, and even improve the immune system.
One common occurrence following a massage is some minor muscle aches, according to PainScience. This is generally short-lived and nothing to be concerned about. But there are some more serious side effects that can follow massage, particularly the deep tissue variety. Let’s take a look.
These people should considering avoiding massage therapy
A massage might trigger a new injury like a bruise or a nerve injury. Most of these injuries should be minor, but any injury comes with risk (via PainScience). Massage could also make current injuries or pain issues worse, though that certainly is never the intent. And massage could put a slight strain on the nervous system, which should recover naturally. Give your body time to rest, however, and be sure to hydrate well following a massage.
Deep tissue massage should definitely be avoided by anyone who has blood clots, as it could dislodge the clot, according to Verywell Health. People with osteoporosis, people who are pregnant, anyone who has recently had surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation should also check with their doctor before going for massages.
Deep tissue massage may also be an uncomfortable experience for some people, as the massage therapist works deep into muscles to access problem areas. If you try it, be sure to maintain communication with your massage therapist to let them know how you’re feeling. You shouldn’t be in pain, and they can adjust pressure and techniques to address any issues.
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