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Massage

Massage therapy can help to decrease pain and muscle aches, reduce stress and anxiety, and promote overall wellness and relaxation.

Will pressing on/massaging muscles that are sore from working out help speed recovery?

Karen Orlosky (Lafayette, CO) on Oct 10, 2014
We all press, massage, touch areas of our bodies that hurt instinctively because it can help the soreness go away. There is a direct benefit to massage and other bodywork techniques for soreness after working out.
YJ Word (Roswell, GA) on Oct 10, 2014
After a workout the small fibers in the muscle tear and rebuild. That's how they get bigger. Many times we are sore after a workout because of acid build up. Accupressure can be helpful also known as shiatsu. Because of oxygen release. And that is done through applied pressure to the area. But breathing correctly is important. You should scheldule.
Jesse Freeman (Mansfield, TX) on Oct 10, 2014
Yes because you are starting to break up the toxins and lactic acid built up within the muscle tissue.
Johanna Wasen (Blue Ash, OH) on Oct 10, 2014
You have a buildup of lactic acid in your muscles and in time, your body will flush it out. Of course, massage, exercise, perspiration, and fluids will speed up the process. Sometimes, intense workout sessions can result in microtears in the muscle tissue, wherein massage will have the added benefit of squeezing old blood out and permeating new blood into the tissue, speeding up the healing process and aiding in quick pain relief.
Hubert Holtzclaw (Dorchester Center, MA) on Oct 10, 2014
It will help but getting a massage by a licensed therapist would be much more beneficial. Properly applied massage can reduce soreness and inflamation and also reduces recovery time and also may enhance recovery response and may contribute to and enhance muscle growth.
Larry Joyner (Rocky Hill, CT) on Oct 10, 2014
Yes, it will help release the lactic acid in muscles and relieves the soreness.
Katherine Turner (Schertz, TX) on Oct 10, 2014
for some people yes for some no. it is really up to the body and how it reacts to the pressure. for a lot of people pressure pointing or trigger point if done correctly will help the recovery time, but keep in mind that every body is different therefore everyone doesn't react the same way
Therese Kortas (Woodridge, IL) on Oct 10, 2014
Yes most definitly
Ashley Oliva (Winter Garden, FL) on Oct 10, 2014
After a workout, the muscles are sore because the muscle has incurred microscopic tears. Compressing and massaging the muscles helps by pumping and pushing some of the acid out of the muscles. Massage would also benefit you greatly by warming up the muscles and encouraging the healing process. The massage therapist will also help you stretch targeted muscles. Along with self-massage, stretch thoroughly after a workout. Feel the stretch and hold for about 20 seconds. Do this three times on each area. This stretching will hurt a bit because the muscles will be tight, but it will help you feel better. Make sure that you always stretch before your workouts as well. Drink lots of water and eat a good amount of protein and fats. That will give muscles the energy they need to heal and regenerate.
Jean Devine (Bristol, CT) on Oct 10, 2014
It actually depends on the condition of your muscles, where you are pressing, and how much pressure you are using. Your muscles are living tissues. The amount of pressure that feels good on one day may hurt on another. However, if you find that self-massage does help, go ahead and continue. The best thing to do after a workout is to gently stretch, but be careful not to overstretch. Bring your muscles gently to the end of their limit, and then don't bounce, just hold. Another method of relieving sore muscles is to soak in a warm tub with Epsom salts for about 20 minutes. It always helps me when I've had a long day. If you want more relief, try a professional massage therapist. One that specializes in sports massage will also be able to give you some tips on what you can do for yourself.
Macherie Ward (Gretna, LA) on Oct 10, 2014
Of course! I would also suggest a nice soak as well. I use a cup of Epsom salt, a cup of apple cider vinegar and a few spoonfuls of baking soda.
Josee Knecht (Memphis, TN) on Oct 10, 2014
Absolutely! But only long, broad Swedish strokes will work. They gently help your immune system process the byproducts from your workouts (like lactic acid). Pre- and post-workout sports massage blend Swedish strokes with stretching to aid in workout recovery.
Agnes Mlynarska (New York, NY) on Oct 10, 2014
Exercising causes tiny tears in muscle fibers. It leads to an immune reaction causing inflammation and soreness. Inflammation is necessary for repairing the injured cells. What does massage do to help? It reduces the production of cytokines, which play a critical role in inflammation, but also stimulates mitochondria, the tiny powerhouses inside cells that convert glucose into the energy essential for cell function and repair. That helps the muscle adapt to the demands of increased exercise. With massage you can suppress inflammation and actually enhance cell recovery.
Stephanie Welch (Cambridge, MA) on Oct 10, 2014
Yes! This has been scientifically validated. The New York Times posted an article about a study in which volunteers were asked to bike until exhausted, then had biopsies taken of their leg muscles with and without massage. "They found that massage reduced the production of compounds called cytokines, which play a critical role in inflammation. Massage also stimulated mitochondria, the tiny powerhouses inside cells that convert glucose into the energy essential for cell function and repair." Reducing the inflammation reduces the pain, but whereas anti-inflammatory medications can actual impede muscle building, massage promotes it by stimulating mitochondrial growth, too. For more details, check out the full article: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/06/how-massage-heals-sore-muscles/
Anthony Villalobos (Dallas, TX) on Oct 10, 2014
Just pressing won,t really do anything, but getting a massage will. It helps the blood flow to those sore muscles and can decrease soreness. Stretching also helps.
Stacey Allen (San Marcos, CA) on Oct 10, 2014
You may want to soak in an Epsom salt bath after working out. When your muscles work, they produce lactic acid and that is what makes you sore. Epsom salt pulls that lactic acid out of your body so you are less sore in the morning. Also, a circulatory (Swedish or lymphatic massage) would help after the soreness has started.
Jeff Hysong (Glendale, AZ) on Oct 10, 2014
Lymph flow will be increased with use of massage in any form.. Lymph helps take toxins away from muscles and speeds blood flow, which will bring in new nutrients to the area and promote healing of torn and sore muscles.
Brian Keith (Redwood City, CA) on Oct 10, 2014
Generally, there are two types of sore muscles: (1) Soreness from resistance (2) Trigger points located in specific points within each muscle Lifting weights, using resistance to tone or build, and/or having deep tissue massage works to strip muscles and causes the muscles used to break down. That process of rebuilding causes soreness as the muscles repair. Trigger points are specific areas found in various muscles when muscles are fatigued, stressed, and/or overworked. Deactivating trigger points will release pain emanating from the local or referred areas from the specific trigger points in the muscles.
Lisanne Franco (New York, NY) on Oct 10, 2014
I believe the answer is: Yes, it can. The soreness you feel after a workout usually comes from several factors. First, there is an inflammatory response that occurs when you work or overwork your muscles. This response can result in minor pain and stiffness. Also, there is a natural release of toxins that can also cause minor pain. Pressing on or massaging the sore area is not only assisting in moving along the inflammation and toxins but also allowing the flow of fresh blood and fluids into the muscle. This flow of fresh fluids brings with it nutrients and oxygen which help heal the muscle tissue. As a massage therapist I naturally believe that massage can assist in repairing muscle damage. If the pain is severe you can always use the method of contrast bathing. That is, alternating 10 minutes ice with 10 minutes heat. Always end with heat as you never want to leave a muscle cold. One more thought for prevention is to warm up before you exercise, and don't forget to stretch after your workout.
Renata Ellison (Plymouth Meeting, PA) on Oct 10, 2014
It will help to relax the muscle however, don't press on the middle or "belly" of the muscle. Focus more on the ends of it (top and bottom). Good old fashioned rest, ice, heat, and stretching will also help to alleviate your discomfort. Hope this helps :)
Sean McCoy (Chandler, AZ) on Oct 10, 2014
"Static pressure", or "Compressions", besides feeling good to sore muscles, does generate a small amount of icnreased blood, lymph and oxygen flow to and from the affected muscles. It is this increase in blood and oxygen that brings nutrients to the muscle cells. The increase of lymph flow speeds removal of metabolic waste. And those 3 components can be the best way to speed exercise recovery. However, to maximize this effect, also slowly and gently glide the hand that is performing the compression towards your heart. Example: Your biceps are sore at the elbow. Gently squeeze the biceps above the elbow crease as it feels good. After a few seconds release some pressure in your grip and glide your hand upwards, towards your shoulder. Then repeat for up to 5 minutes. Wait 30 minutes and see how you feel! If you have any inflammation, perform the compression & gentle gliding "above" the point of inflammation (NOT ON THE INFLAMED AREA). Start the compression just a little closer to the heart, rather than the point of inflammation. This will create a "siphoning" effect which assists in the reduction of inflammation.
Jamie Vares (Honolulu, HI) on Oct 10, 2014
Yes. It's best to flush out toxins and do broad effleurage to sooth them. It helped when I started weight lifting again. Ideally you would get a post-workout massage right away. Since it's been a few days, you may just want a recovery-oriented massage. Hope this helps you - and don't forget to stretch before and after workouts.
Luis Rivera (Marietta, IL) on Oct 10, 2014
Pressing will cause the neurology to the area to stop sending pain signals from the area, as when you work out you often cause micro trauma to the areas you work. Using flowing motion along with a firm press will introduce blood into the area and cause the area to remove waste and increase healing. The body heals and nurtures through increased blood flow, and the opposite can be detrimental. Feel free to ask more if you like.
Stacy Williams (Jacksonville, FL) on Oct 10, 2014
A massage after vigorous exercise unquestionably feels good, and it seems to reduce pain and help muscles recover. Many people, both athletes and health professionals, have long contended that massage eases inflammation, improves blood flow and reduces muscle tightness. When pressing on the muscles, do not press too hard. Too much pressure could increase pain and lengthen the healing time. Make sure whoever touches the achy muscles knows not to massage too deep or too long.
Kimo Williams (Burbank, CA) on Oct 10, 2014
A study was recently published confirming the physiological change and increased recovery of muscle tissue after training. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/06/how-massage-heals-sore-muscles/
Crystal Campbell (Houston, TX) on Oct 10, 2014
Massaging sore muscles is fine as long as there is no swelling or broken skin near the affected area. I would suggest that you try a cold pack on the area and apply the cold for 7 minutes on and off, for up to 30 minutes. If the area is not too painful, you may also stretch the muscle to get the blood flowing. As a rule, stretching is always best done before a work ut to prevent unnecessary injury to the muscle. If you have some extra time in the evening, soak your sore muscles in a warm bath with Epsom salt and baking soda. Good luck with you work out! Crystal
Lee Windhawk (Saint Peters, MO) on Oct 10, 2014
Sometimes, but it is best to have a sports massage or deep tissue session with a licensed massage therapist.
Desiree Felker (Roswell, NM) on Oct 10, 2014
Yes! Lactic acid builds up in muscles after strenuous workouts, and massage releases those toxins so they can be flushed. Drink plenty of water after a massage to help flush these toxins so they do not cause a knot or soreness somewhere else in the body. Massage increases blood and oxygen flow to the tissues in the body, which also promotes muscle healing and reduces pain. Compression, or pressing on the muscle, is a technique used in sports massage and is very safe when performed by a licensed professional. A massage therapist might also use heat, ice or stretched to soothe inflamed or stressed muscles. Find a therapist licensed in your state who has experience with sports massage. You will be pleased with the results.
Kenny Young (Plant City, FL) on Oct 10, 2014
Absolutely. What you will be doing is manually flushing away the toxins that are making you sore, and bringing in fresh blood, oxygen and nutrients to heal the area more quickly. This works even better if your muscles are relaxed.
Ryan Iuliano (Boston, MA) on Oct 10, 2014
Self-massaging sore muscles is a natural response to discomfort, provides some relief, and is likely how the practice of massage began. As for soreness going away more quickly; massage promotes the circulation of blood, which will facilitate repair and recovery of the micro-tears in muscle caused by exercise. While self-care is important, professional bodywork can provide more thorough and focused healing and decrease recovery time, getting you back on track faster.
George Marlow (Phoenix, AZ) on Oct 10, 2014
Drink more water and stretch.
Mark Lechtner (Hickory, NC) on Oct 10, 2014
Massaging the group of muscles worked in the gym will help to speed up recovery and help muscles relax and lengthen.
Sterling Alexander (Palm Springs, CA) on Oct 10, 2014
The soreness you feel after working out is from normal muscle metabolism. When your muscles expand and contract, "performing work", they burn oxygen and glucose. Through this normal muscle exertion about a dozen byproducts are produced. Lactic acid, one common such byproduct, can cause aches or soreness. A structural change that occurs with muscle exertion and contraction is the stretching and even tearing of the muscles fibers. This is how muscles grow. This damage is a structural reason for muscle to ache and to hurt. Self-massage therapy or massage by a therapist will improve blood circulation and remove the byproducts. Increased blood flow brings oxygen to the tissues and provides systemic relief. Have a massage followed by water, food and rest.
Dean Moseley (Stafford, VA) on Oct 10, 2014
Not just pushing but streching the muscles before and after your work out will help. Pushing, rubbing, even lightly kneading will help.
Jerome Jefferson (Saint Petersburg, FL) on Oct 10, 2014
Massage is really great for those who workout. It helps with promoting good blood flow into the sore muscles which in return helps with a speedy recovery to get back to your workouts. If doing it yourself isn't getting results, go to a licensed massage therapist and they will know exactly what to do.
Sheree Sophas (Arverne, NY) on Oct 10, 2014
Absolutely! When your muscles are sore, it is your body's way of asking you, "hey, can I get an increase in circulation over here?" The greater the amount of circulation, the less tension/pain one will experience. Keep in mind, this does not necessarily mean you need deep work but an increase of blood flow to the affected area.
Kevin Franklin (Brandon, FL) on Oct 10, 2014
Massage is proven to help aid the body in healing itself. This is why after events athletes will have a massage. Working out in the gym is no different. The sooner the better. Once the toxins in your body set in it will take more work and add a little more pain. Let me know if you need more information on this please and take care.
Rowan Hill (Spring Hill, FL) on Oct 10, 2014
As a personal trainer and massage therapist with many years of experience in both fields, I feel that I am in an excellent position to answer this question. Yes, "pressing on" or massaging sore muscles can indeed speed recovery. The field of sports massage and thousands of athletes worldwide can attest to this fact. In fact, when the Russians dominated the Olympic sports world during the Cold War era, much of the success of their athletes was attributed to appropriately applied sports massage. Ah, but "there's the rub" (pun intended)! Appropriately applied massage!!! If strokes are incorrectly applied with too much or too little pressure, the effects will be mitigated. In the case of too much pressure, soreness may actually increase secondary to the pressure. As a trainer and a therapist, I like to educate my clients on self-massage and stretching techniques, but also remind them that for full optimization of their recovery and athletic performance, NOTHING replaces professional therapeutic bodywork by an experienced and "emotionally and cognitively present" therapist. (The term "present" means for these purposes that the therapist is thinking about and actively communicating with your muscles by means of appopriate touch, and is not thinking about whether he or she is having pork loin or tofu salad for dinner tonight!) In other words, clinical skill and empathic touch will help you more than self-massage ALTHOUGH self-massage and stretching, taught by an excellent therapist/trainer, can move you well in the direction of your goals and should be employed regularly! Hope this helps!
Raquel Merrill (, ) on Oct 10, 2014
Immediate pressure on a muscle cramp is the best way to help with pain. Self care massage techniques are the best way to increase benefits of massage in between your table time!
Melanie St. Ours (Washington, DC) on Oct 10, 2014
Massage can absolutely help speed recovery and enhance performance. Massage will increase circulation to sore muscles, assisting the body to carry metabolic wastes away from the muscle tissue so that you recover faster. Massage can also release areas of fascia and muscle that have formed adhesions (or "knots") which improves range-of-motion and keeps muscles supple. If you want to get some of the benefits of working with a professional therapist at home, you can try using a foam roller, though you will get much more out of working with a highly trained therapist.
Richard Bartlett (Lansing, MI) on Oct 10, 2014
Yes! Simple self-massage techniques can help you recover more quickly from workouts. You can try the following, though you should wait until about 30 minutes have passed to cool down from your workout: Effleurage, or flowing strokes down the limb toward the heart, help increase veinous blood flow. Deep tissue work, which in its simplest form, might be a rub using the knuckles into the deepest parts of the muscle. Be sure to find a position where the muscles can relax when you do this. Rolling or jostling motions, to the leg or arm, which may help muscles to relax and avoid tension or cramping. I would recommend seeing an experienced massage therapist in your area, or even taking a beginning class in massage, so you can learn some techniques to use for yourself.
Efren Jimenez (Burbank, CA) on Oct 10, 2014
Exercise is very important to keep muscles healthy and avoid atrophy. Also important are rest and recovery time after a good workout session. Massage can help muscles recover from exercise by helping break down the lactic acid that is produced by the muscle tissue. Lactic acid is what causes soreness or muscular pain after working out. Massage helps the body break lactic acid down faster so that it can be metabolized and utilized again as fuel by the muscles. My competitive athlete clients come for a sports massage before their races to get their muscles warm, ready and flexible for the race, as well as after the race, so that I can help their muscles recover faster. In many instances, and depending on how well they take care of themselves at home via hydration, nutrition and stretching, these athletes have experienced improvement in their performances, claiming that massage has help their muscular system become healthier and more efficient.
Michael Genovese (Mesa, AZ) on Oct 10, 2014
Even a brief 10-minute massage helps reduce inflammation in muscle. It triggers biochemical sensors that can send inflammation-reducing signals to muscle cells. In addition, massage signals muscle to build more mitochondria, the power centres of cells that play an important role in healing.
Chandra Stead (Cincinnati, OH) on Oct 10, 2014
Massage is great for sore muscles. Here are two types that are good choices. Deep Tissue Massage Deep tissue massage is a form of bodywork that aims to relieve tension in the deeper layers of tissue in the body. Deep yissue massage is a highly effective method for releasing chronic stress areas due to misalignment, repetitive motions, and past lingering injuries. Due to the nature of the deep tissue work, open communication during the session is crucial to make sure you don't get too uncomfortable. Keep in mind that soreness is pretty common after the treatment, and that plenty of water should be ingested to aid with the flushing and removal of toxins that will have been released from the deep tissue during the session. Sports Massage Sports massage is designed to help athletes perform at their peak. The techniques used during a sports massage are much like those used during a Swedish massage, but sports massage works much deeper into the muscles with stretching to promote flexibility. Sports massage boasts the ability to reduce muscle soreness, tension and swelling. The reduction of muscle tension during sports massage can help reduce an athlete's chances of sustaining injury.
Donna Opuszynski (Harrisburg, PA) on Oct 10, 2014
I find that gentle stretching and light massage will remove soreness. I perform this on myself the next day after an extremely hard weight lifting session, and this decreases the muscle soreness.
Lloyd McElheny (Aurora, CO) on Oct 10, 2014
Contrary to popular thinking, muscle soreness is NOT caused by an excess of uric acid, but rather micro-tears in the muscles themselves. While your self treatment may provide some relief, a Swedish massage or, (especially), Russian Sports Massage will probably provide much more relief.
Deborah Gilmore (Golden, CO) on Oct 10, 2014
Does it help to get massage? Basically you are giving yourself a compression massage. This is the preferred technique for sports massage as well. It helps flush things out, like when you squeeze out a sponge, so that new extracellular fluid can come into the tissues. That is why people typically have to urinate after getting a massage. However, if you are only working on one area, you may simply be moving the fluid with the nociceptors around, rather than out. Try getting a regular massage.
S. Nycole Laff (Las Vegas, NV) on Oct 10, 2014
Yes. Massaging the muscle helps increase the blood flow to the tissues. This helps your body to clean out the waste that has accumulated in the muscle, which will help you recover faster.
Glen Taylor (Austin, TX) on Oct 10, 2014
It sure will! When you compress the sore muscle tissue, you are actually helping to get blood flow to the tissue and helping to oxygenate the muscle. When doing compressions, press on the sore muscle for about 5 seconds. This cuts off the blood flow. Then release, allowing the blood to rush in to the muscle. This will help break up any adhesions or spasms that might have formed.
Richard Jones (Nampa, ID) on Oct 10, 2014
Short answer: Yes. Fatigue from the lactic acid that is release via exercise, along with the general waste products produced by cells, gets pushed into the blood system faster with slow deep compressive strokes.
Fathia Fathie (Tarzana, CA) on Oct 10, 2014
Pressing on the muscles is not right. Stretching works for sore muscles.
Fathia Fathie (Tarzana, CA) on Oct 10, 2014
Pressing on the muscles is not right. Stretching works for sore muscles.
Barry Cooper (St. Petersburg, FL) on Oct 10, 2014
Massaging sore muscles will help recovery. After creating micro tears in the muscle during a workout or a sports event. massage has been known to assist the system in its recovery. Instead of a vigorous massage, a restorative relaxation massage is suggested.
Dominic Quin-Harkin (San Rafael, CA) on Oct 10, 2014
Well, the first thing I would suggest for recovery are lots of water and ice in the first 24 hours, then alternating heat and ice (heat before exercise, and ice after). Try an Epsom salt bath, and take mineral supplements to replace the salts sweated out. There are two issues you are addressing: pressing, which provides trigger point pain relief, and the soreness issue. By pressing on the muscle, you are instinctively trying to move the lactic acid through your lymph system by pressing, stretching, squeezing and pumping. The lymphatic system does not have a pump like your bloodstream has a heart. The muscles need to move to get lymph to circulate. So if it's your forearm or bicep that's sore, for example, I would suggest squeezing and pumping your arm towards your heart/lymph nodes. Drink tons of water, at least four liters a day, which will help flush the lactic acid out, speeding up your recovery.
Jennifer Rauh (Hobart, IN) on Oct 10, 2014
Yes, because massaging muscles helps them to relax and cleans the toxins out of your tissues, which also helps you heal faster.
Paul Jones (Amherst, NY) on Oct 10, 2014
Massage therapy, including self-administered massage, will reduce soreness. This has been repeatedly tested and proven. See the info at the "Touch Institute" of the University of Miami. In addition, in the state I practice in, the worker's comp board recently established medical guidelines that now include massage for workplace injuries. The key to self massage is to read up on it so you are massaging in the correct way. For example, always massage towards the heart.
Steve De Melo (Artesia, CA) on Oct 10, 2014
Muscle soreness is normal after a good intense workout. You can feel the onset of the soreness within 48 hours of your workout. Depending on the extent of your soreness, massaging your muscles after your workout is not a bad idea. Here's why. When you work out you are actually creating microscopic tears in your muscle fibers and connective tissue. sounds painful right? Not to worry, you'll be back to normal within a couple days. During this time you should allow those muscles time to rest. While resting, your muscles are actually working hard at repairing the damaged tissue created during your workout while building strength and stamina. Several recent studies suggest that massage therapy can actually help your muscles recover faster (decrease muscle soreness), prevent cramping, and decrease inflammation. So should you touch your sore muscles? Why not! Here are some suggestions that could also help minimize your soreness after a good workout: applying alternating ice and heat for 20 minutes, gentle stretching, bathing in Epsom salts, and self massage (if a professional massage therapist isn't an option.) Wait at least a day or two before working the same muscle groups to allow your muscles time to recover and strengthen.
James Jordan Harrell (Pensacola, FL) on Oct 10, 2014
It certainly never hurts to try and take care of yourself. I would say, from personal experience, that if you have a sore muscle (or "knots" as most people call them), it is a symptom of something else. Try applying ice on sore muscles after working out . Ice will help take the inflammation and soreness down. One mistake people make is applying heat to already hypertonic, or "hot" muscles. After icing the muscle down, apply some heat and go back and forth between the two. Just remember: cold, hot, cold, hot. I hope this is a useful tool for you! Be in good health!!
Elise Procell (Springfield, MO) on Oct 10, 2014
A sports massage is great for athletes or anyone who works out. Sports massage emphasizes the prevention and healing of injuries to the muscles and tendons. Sports massage is a type of Swedish massage that stimulates circulation of blood and lymph fluids. Some sports massage movements use trigger point therapy to break down adhesions (knots in the muscles) and increase range of motion.
Pauline Haughton (Fort Lauderdale, FL) on Oct 10, 2014
Massaging muscles pre- and post-exercise will help to improve muscles. A recent study in the Wall Street Journal showed an increase in mitochondria in legs massaged after a workout.
Nina Edley (Laurel, MD) on Oct 10, 2014
A massage will assist with removing excess lactic acid, which contributes to pain and muscle soreness.
Brenda Breedlove (San Francisco, CA) on Oct 10, 2014
Yes! The reason your muscles are sore is because of a buildup of lactic acid. The best way to help flush this acid out of your muscles is to contract them. That said, pressing on a muscle is a sort of "false contraction." It helps to "squeeze" the acid out and draw in nutrients and hydration via increased blood flow. This is the reason that sports massage is becoming so popular amongst professional athletes. Sports Massage involves a lot of compression on large muscles such as the quadriceps, and, as many pro athletes will testify, this helps them to train at an optimal level with less soreness and injury because the muscles are kept supple by massage.
Kennette Klees (Houston, TX) on Oct 10, 2014
Yes, you can place pressure to sore muscles with Trigger Point Massage - do not go Deep. Self Massage is perfect to assist in releasing your sore muscles. Also, creams and lotions that are for pain relief are wonderful. Always use Epsom Salts/Lavender or your favorite essential oil...Pepperment will rejuventate you quickly. I use both Lavender/Peppermint and bath in Epsom Salts daily AM/PM - Ahhhh - Pain relief and Relaxation Enjoy and Stay Healthy
William McCammon (Oxford, MS) on Oct 10, 2014
In my professional opinion, I would say that it can have one of two effects. Depending on the person and the speed at which they recover from naturally sore muscles, massage can either help the muscles or make them sorer.
Nadia Loury (Glenolden, PA) on Oct 10, 2014
Yes, having a massage session will help to soothe your muscles.
Jonathan Liem (Monrovia, CA) on Oct 10, 2014
For me, I find it helps. Using a foam roller has helped me - last week I was running on the machines and thought I'd end my hour-long session by sprinting, which ended up with my quad almost cramping. I limped over to a quiet area and rolled out my quad - and it really helped. Especially since the muscles were already warmed up. So, in a short answer, yes. I would look into some youtube videos that show how to use a foam roller.
Christian Green (Seatac, WA) on Oct 10, 2014
The pain experienced after exercise is a response to tiny tears in muscle tissue. Now imagine tiny but visible tears in your flesh. Would it seem logical to you that pushing on those tears would make them feel more comfortable? Chances are no, because pushing on them may make the tears bigger. It is my personal opinion that, this may be the reason why every time I have received Swedish deep tissue massage two days after rigorous exercise, it has intensified the pain of soreness greatly. And believe me, I will not make that mistake again. That being said, it may be a question of timing.
Andy Ly (Sterling Heights, MI) on Oct 10, 2014
Put Epsom salts in a hot towel and warm up your tissue before compression. This will help with pain relief.
Prisila Jacobs (New York, NY) on Oct 10, 2014
The answer to your question is yes. There was a study done that showed massage helps to reduce the onset of delayed muscle soreness. I specialize in a technique call myofascial release. Basically, sustained pressure is applied, forcing the fascia to relax. This technique is similar to Chinese acupuncture, but I use my hands instead of needles to achieve the same result.
MaryAnn Sumaraga (Modesto, CA) on Oct 10, 2014
Yes. I believe that a Swedish massage reduces the recovery time after working out. It reduces discomfort associated with tight muscles and lactic acid buildup. After your massage I highly recommend a hot bath soak in Epsom Salts with a lavender essential oil or lavender buds after exercise and you will notice a quicker recovery. Epsom Salts are a salt form of magnesium. Magnesium is your body's natural muscle relaxant. It helps to relieve inflammation and increase blood flow to the muscles. Try it , you will absolutely love it!
Monica Ramirez (El Centro, CA) on Oct 10, 2014
As much as we want the soreness to go away quickly, it is better to be gentle and soothe the soreness away slowly. Try light strokes on the sore muscle, while saying a positive affirmation like "My muscle is returning to optimum strength." This is my personal suggestion.
Daniel Cook (Woodinville, WA) on Oct 10, 2014
A properly performed sports massage can speed recovery by increasing the flow of blood into and (most importantly) out of the area. This allows the reduction of the lactic acid build-up that leads to muscle soreness and brings fresh blood into the muscles, permitting faster healing.
Warren Silverman (Teaneck, NY) on Oct 10, 2014
Absolutely! Exercise produces waste products that must be cleared from the tissues in order for fresh blood, glucose, and other chemicals to enter the muscles and aid muscle recovery. Some of the byproducts of muscle contraction include lactic and pyruvic acid, as well as other toxins. Massage is extremely helpful. Controlled pressure aids in flushing out the tissues so these nutrients can enter the muscles to replace them. This aids circulation, and therefore muscle recovery. Your muscles feel better when pressing the sore spots or "trigger points", because it speeds this process. Massage also soothes the fibers that are temporarily broken down by hard exercise. Finally the muscle effort produced by a workout causes inflammation, which needs soothing. It is interesting to note that when muscles work, the fibers must contract so as to produce the force needed to complete the exercise. The strength of a muscle contraction is not dependent on the how hard the muscle fibers fire, since each muscle fiber works only on an all or nothing principle. Rather, it is the number of fibers firing that determines the force of the contraction. This contraction is caused by an electrochemical reaction. Contraction and release are facilitated by different but similar reactions, all of which produce waste products. An article in the Wall Street Journal on March 13, 2012 cites recent research and controlled studies, which scientifically show exactly what happens to the tissues with massage: "In a small study, published in the journal Transitional Medicine last month, a 10 minute massage promoted muscle recovery after exercise. In the study, 11 young men exercised to exhaustion and then received a massage on one leg. Muscle biopsies were taken in both quad muscles before exercise, after the massage and 2.5 hours later. The short massage boosted the production of mitochondria, the energy factor of the cell, among other effects." "We've shown this is something that has a biological effect," said Mark Tarnopolsky, co-author of the study and a professor of medicine at McMaster University Medical Center in Ontario, Canada. These studies show exactly how massage boosts the immune system and increases the production of cortisol, which helps reduce inflammation.
Andrea Santoro (Forest Hills, NY) on Oct 10, 2014
Yes, it absolutely will. Some think that soreness is due to a build up of lactic acid within the muscles. This substance is released in the muscles during exercise. The philosophy is if the muscles are not flushed of the toxins after an exercise session (via stretching, proper cool down and adequate water intake), this soreness can occur. This pain is also called D.O.M.S., Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. But the sensation is more likely due to microscopic tears in the muscle fibers. The larger muscle groups (like the back and legs) are more susceptible to this condition. Massage can flush out muscles, bring nutrient-rich blood into the area and help regenerate the broken-down muscle fibers.
Audrey Filardi (Sweetwater, NJ) on Oct 10, 2014
Massage after a workout is an excellent way to speed recovery and enhance your performance and training. Massage helps to rid the body of lactic acid build up that contributes to muscle soreness and fatigue. It assists with increasing range of motion in the joints and loosens tight muscles, helping to prevent injury. Remember to stretch after your workouts too. Stretching also assists your body in recovery.
Ryan Duncan (Centerville, UT) on Oct 10, 2014
Massage helps remove lactic acid in the muscle and bring in fresh blood flow.
Sharyn Cerio-Bernstein (Pueblo, CO) on Oct 10, 2014
What you are doing is called "compression". As you press down, the blood flows away from the muscle and as you release, it flows back in. This allows fresh blood and oxygen to flood the muscle. There are other massage manipulations that are beneficial to your muscles for post (and pre) workout. You might look into sports massage therapy from a licensed, experienced professional in your area, as it will include stripping, flushing, stretching, cross-fiber friction and other helpful modalities that are tough to do on your own.
Darlene Ensign (Las Vegas, NV) on Oct 10, 2014
A massage and movement of the muscles and joints used will help get fresh blood and oxygen to those areas, thus decreasing the buildup of lactic acid and waste products related to your exercise.
Jack O Neal (Deer Park, TX) on Oct 10, 2014
Research shows that it cannot hurt you, but there is no major gain in getting a massage. Your best bet is to get a sports massage before working out. Sport massage warms up the body.
Ofer Orr (Jamaica - Estate, NY) on Oct 10, 2014
Massaging sore muscles is called post-event massage. It can help eliminate lactic acid that accumulates in the muscle tissue. The massage should be relatively light so as not to add "insult to injury."
Dianna Kendrick (Martinez, GA) on Oct 10, 2014
If you are working out, you should stretch before and after exercise. Massage is an excellent method for relaxing muscles and increasing blood flow, which will speed healing.
Kevin Howley (Plymouth, MI) on Oct 10, 2014
Yes and no. Massage therapy can help greatly after a good workout. Massage helps the body to recover by moving blood and oxygen and pushing toxins ,such as lactic acid, out of the tissue to relieve the soreness. Getting a good sports massage therapist or a neuromuscular therapist to teach you some safe self-care techniques will make fitness training a positive experience and prevent injuries.
Christina Walker (Doylestown, PA) on Oct 10, 2014
Absolutely. Pressing on the sore muscles increases circulation to release the metabolic toxins created in the muscle tissue during your work out. It also provides topical tension relief to the muscle itself.
Mark Carlson (Costa Mesa, CA) on Oct 10, 2014
Yes deep muscle therapy done correctly will get the lactic acid out of your muscles. Lactic acid is what causes pain in muscles. You can also take Beta-Alanine, which will minimize the lactic acid burn.
Eddie Gibson (Wilkinson, WV) on Oct 10, 2014
To help the soreness go away, stretch before and after every workout. If you are just starting to work out, your muscles will be sore for a few days because they are moving in ways that they have not before. Working out every other day and stretching in between exercise days will also help with muscle soreness.
Hanh Pham (Holliston, MA) on Oct 10, 2014
Yes, but do not press too hard. If you want the soreness to go away faster, you need to gently massage muscles. A massage can help flush out the toxins in your muscles and calm down overactive areas. Soft tissue massage also increases blood flow to the areas massaged, which will speed up the recovery process.
Graeme Buenaflor (Falls Church, VA) on Oct 10, 2014
Massage will help remove any knots and adhesions that may have developed through exercise. Doing longer/flowing massage strokes may be more effective in promoting increased blow flow through the muscles. Increased blood flow brings oxygen-rich blood to the tissue, promoting faster repair and flushing out lactic acid and other toxins in the muscles.
Willow Roberts (Bailey, CO) on Oct 10, 2014
Being an athlete and a massage therapist, I agree that a massage after working out is a good idea. I recommend waiting one to two days after a workout, then getting a Swedish massage to warm up your muscles. Try deeper tissue massage if your body can handle it asking to work on meridian energy points, or trigger points, explaining you are a athlete. I love taking a Epsom salt bath after a workout and a massage to gain the benefits from the magnesium in the epsom salt. A massage can increase flexibility and release tight muscles, bringing a overall feeling of slight euphoria. I would recommend combining assisted stretching with massage. Possibly a tahi massage, which is yoga stretches that you are assisted with while laying on a mat and working with your breath. Yoga works too. I hope this helps.
Christine Gross (Grand Rapids, MI) on Oct 10, 2014
Working the sore muscles will help provide blood flow and oxygen to the area. Icing and heating muscles helps too, along with stretching before and after exercise.
Henry Dixon (Greensboro, NC) on Oct 10, 2014
Yes, massage does indeed help with post-exercise muscle soreness. Massage also can promote better muscle recovery and increase muscle endurance. There is actual science behind the beneficial effects massage can produce, not only for elite athletes, but for weekend warriors as well. In a university study published February 1, 2012, in the journal "Science Translational Medicine," post-exercise massage was shown to reduce pain from inflammation and promote factors involved in muscle recovery. In the study, researchers exercised 11 young men on stationary bicycles for 70 minutes. Massage was then performed on the thigh muscles of one leg of each of the study participants. Muscle biopsies were taken from the quadriceps muscles of both the massaged and unmassaged legs of each subject before exercising, after receiving the massage, and again after a two hour period of rest. The university researchers discovered that massage produced changes in the study subject's muscles on a cellular level. They found two major changes: reduced signs of inflammation, and an increase in production of mitochondria. The biopsies of the massaged muscles showed decreased production of inflammatory molecules, leading the study authors to write, "(Massage) may reduce pain by the same mechanism as conventional anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen. Massage also boosted the production of mitochondria. The study researchers say that an increase in the number of mitochondria can promote better muscle recovery after a tough exercise session." That finding also means that massage after exercise could help enhance endurance, says Mark Tarnopolsky, an author of the study and a professor of pediatrics and medicine at McMaster University Medical Center in Hamilton, Ontario. References: http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/4/119/119ra13 http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2012/02/01/what-massage-really-does-to-your-muscles/?KEYWORDS=massage http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304537904577277303049173934.html?KEYWORDS=massage
Anne Hartley (Gahanna, OH) on Oct 10, 2014
Massage is one of the best ways to speed recovery after working out. Putting some pressure on tight spots in the muscle for a few seconds can help to eliminate the tenderness and tightness that often occurs after exercise.
Megan Dempsey (Denver, CO) on Oct 10, 2014
Yes. Massage reduces the recovery time after working out. It reduces discomfort associated with tight muscles and lactic acid build up. Combine massage with a soak in Epsom Salts after exercise and you will enjoy a speedy recovery. Epsom Salts are a salt form of magnesium. Magnesium is your body's natural muscle relaxant. It helps to relieve inflammation and increase blood flow to the muscles.
Edan Harari (New York, NY) on Oct 10, 2014
From my own personal experience and from the experience of my clients, who I've been working with for over 6 years, soreness does seem to go away much more quickly when soft tissues are massaged after workouts. Manual massage seems to reduce most musculoskeletal pain when done correctly, so when there is soreness I believe that massage helps in the same way. Keep in mind, that I'm just speaking from experience, as I don't agree in making false claims such as most therapists do in order to make massage therapy look better than it actually is. We all know it feels good and reduces pain, and that should be enough to get as much of it as possible, no? I am not certain whether or not there are any studies that actually prove that massage helps muscles recover faster post-workout. I recommend that instead of trying to use your mind to answer your question, you just trust your intuition. So if you find yourself constantly pressing on your sore muscles, then your intuition that guided you to do that. And I believe that it is good to listen to our intuition about things like this. Think about it, what's the first thing you do when you knock your elbow on something and it hurts? I don't know about you, but I rub it to make it feel better after yelling: "Owww". I think that this is enough proof that massage is one of the most natural types of medicine available and can surely help with simple soreness from exercise.
James Tallon (Manhasset, NY) on Oct 10, 2014
When it come to dealing with post-workout muscular soreness, pressing on the sore muscle will only make matters worse, in my own experience. I have found that Swedish massage is best suited for reliving post-workout muscular soreness. Its combination of gliding and kneading techniques will flush the lactic acid out of the muscles and help to speed recovery between workouts.
Deborah Hill (Oakland, CA) on Oct 10, 2014
Full massage strokes will probably offer better support in moving the lactic acid built up in the muscles after a workout. Pressing on the areas with movement towards the heart will be most effective.
Steve Leary (Chicago, IL) on Oct 10, 2014
There are many different reasons why muscles may be sore. Lactic acid can build up in the muscle tissue when performing anaerobic activities, creating a soreness or stiffness in the muscles. At the far end of the spectrum, if you tear your muscles or tendons, you'll also be sore. So we really need to know what's causing the soreness (and what kind of activities you are doing that are making you sore.) You seem to indicate that you are sore on a regular basis after working out. Let's start there. Pressing on a muscle can cause what's known as an ischemic compression. This means that you're inhibiting the flow of blood to the specific region of the muscle. Once you've released the compression, blood can flow more freely through the muscle. This can aid in the recovery process after working out. But massage is not the only factor needed for recovery. Proper nutrition and rest are also required for muscle tissue to repair, grow and strengthen. If the same muscles or muscles in the same area are involved with the soreness, you may be experiencing a repetitive use injury or condition. Some of the more common repetitive use injuries are tennis elbow, golfers elbow and shin splints. These are conditions where the connective tissue and muscles may be irritated, swollen or sore from overuse or by muscles pulling away from the bone where they are attached. Pressing on these areas will give you a sense of relief from the soreness or pain that you may be experiencing. With these conditions, rest and time off from the activity that is causing the symptoms is often directed. The good news is that proper orthopedic massage techniques can speed recovery of overuse injuries, breakdown adhesive tissue that forms when muscle fibers are torn, and help metabolize lactic acid more quickly in the body. With a better understanding of what is causing the soreness in your muscles, a proper strategy to deal with your symptoms can be developed by a competent healthcare provider.
Kevin Ries (Fort Collins, CO) on Oct 10, 2014
Massage is an excellent tool for treating post-workout soreness. Pressure is not the focus, however, as much as flushing and encouraging nutrient flow. Swedish techniques are perfect and speed up recovery time dramatically! For me personally, I feel that I recover up to three times as quickly if I stretch and massage after exercise.
Tony George (Akron, OH) on Oct 10, 2014
It does help a little. When we hurt the natural thing to do is take care of ourselves by touching the sore spot. The touch that is most effective is a therapeutic touch by someone trained in muscle physiology. A massage therapist actually treats the muscle with skilled and specific touching techniques that induce healing and relieve tightness.
Russell Fox (Tampa, FL) on Oct 10, 2014
Simply pressing on your muscles will not help much with the soreness, and depending on the amount of pressure, could cause damage. One of the best things to do prior, during and after a workout is to stay hydrated.
Robert Conroy (San Diego, CA) on Oct 10, 2014
It depends. If your muscle is sore because of exercise, it's because muscle fibers have been torn. Any type of pressure or massage will increase circulation and lymphatic flow. Your body instinctively knows this. A technique called Shiatsu uses deep compression for pain relief. This pressure increases levels of opium-like substances in your body called endorphins, and elevates them at the point of contact. Too much pressure can overstimulate nerves and actually damage the lymphatic system, as well as cause bruising. A friend of mine told me the famous massage therapist Ida Rolph lived near him and he got massages (Rolfing) from her. She always told him "Massage should never hurt. If it does, they're not doing it right."
Jagdish Jindal (Houston, TX) on Oct 10, 2014
Use ice therapy to reduce swelling. Massage around the affected area can reduce muscle soreness. Start with short massages.
Carol Moore (Chicago, IL) on Oct 10, 2014
Massage is great for assist the body to rid itself of toxins, like, lactic acid, which is built up during strenuous activities. Kneading, tapotement, effleurage, petrissage, friction, vibration and stretching are all techniques used by trained therapists during a session. So yes, the benefits of massage are endless.
Carol Hayes (West Dundee, IL) on Oct 10, 2014
Applying massage techniques to tense areas stimulates blood flow and loosens up those muscles Massage can help improve muscle recovery, which leads to efficient training. Massage can improve the circulation of bodily fluids. With increased circulation, tissues are better able to receive nutrients and other substances that are vital for optimal body functioning. Massage also helps decrease the swelling of muscles and relaxes and stretches sore muscles.
Kim Pham (Cincinnati, OH) on Oct 10, 2014
Getting a massage will help the soreness go away more quickly. Find a massage therapist that does sport massage.
Friska Streeter (Mokena, IL) on Oct 10, 2014
Yes, this is actually called "counter pressure", which is the whole idea of trigger point therapy. Sore muscles are caused by the buildup of lactic acid. The lactic acid lodges in the muscle fibers and causes trigger points or tender points (pain or soreness). The idea of trigger point therapy is to push on these particular spots, using firm pressure, until the muscle releases the lactic acid into the blood stream. This is also why constant hydration during and after a workout is recommended. It also matters how rigorous and recent your workout was. If it was very strenuous, massage within 48 hours may not always help.
Angel Orozco (Miami, FL) on Oct 10, 2014
Yes. By pressing on your sore muscles, you increase the blood flow to the area which brings oxygen and nutrients, speeding the healing process. If you haven't exercised in a while, you may experience a lot of pain in your muscles, which makes it uncomfortable to press on them. This pain is because of lactic acid accumulation. If this is the case, get lymphatic drainage with soft pressure, drink a lot of water, eat pineapple and avoid dairy and artificial sweeteners. Good luck.
Michael Wolfes (Palm Desert, CA) on Oct 10, 2014
No, the body will do the work on its own.
Jay Farmer (Jacksonville, FL) on Oct 10, 2014
Massaging does help speed recovery, particularly soreness (which is mostly caused by a buildup of waste products in muscle cells) and you instinctively know this, so massaging yourself does help. Getting a massage from a professional is much more effective, primarily because you can't relax properly during self-massage. Athletes who compete for weeks or months at a time usually finish the day with a lymphatic drainage massage aimed at flushing out waste materials and creating optimum self-healing conditions.
Tony Ruggiero (Greenville, SC) on Oct 10, 2014
A gentle flowing massage will promote faster healing. The danger is that deep pressure on muscles that are injured may cause further damage to those muscles. I am not in the school of therapists that believe that deep pressure is always a good thing. Gentle but constant pressure applied to the muscle will encourage increased blood flow to that muscle. This would encourage healing nutrients to travel to the affected muscle and also allow for the byproducts of muscle waste (lactic acid) to be flushed out of the damaged muscle. The muscle needs 48-72 hours to rebuild and strengthen and allow for natural growth and repair. So-called "good pain" is something to be avoided, in my opinion.
Paula Irwin (Del Mar, CA) on Oct 10, 2014
Yes, compression of overused muscle does assist in the healing of the muscle tissue. There are several things that occur when working a muscle. Muscles receive micro-tears in the tissue during use. The muscle knits itself back together with collagen. Collagen is a strong fibrous tissue that creates a sort of band aid over the tear. Collagen is also less flexible and more irregular than the long, straight cylinder-shaped muscle fibers. It is essential to have regular sports body work when working out because it breaks down the tissue, stretching it straight. Massage also breaks down lactic acid. Get a good sports massage at least once a month.
Christopher MacMannis (Santa Monica, CA) on Oct 10, 2014
The pain may lessen from massaging the sore area, but you should also rub the surrounding muscles.
Jennifer Maher (North Chili, NY) on Oct 10, 2014
That soreness that you feel from working out is the microscopic tearing of the muscle from contractions. This is a good thing; it's how you build muscle. Massage is like any modality, it itself will not speed up recovery per se, but it puts the body in the optimal state for healing. Massage is a great tool to keep the body in homeostasis, which will help with recovery after a hard work out.
Bharat Kalra (Wheaton, IL) on Oct 10, 2014
Massaging is also a kind of pressing. So yes, pressing can be helpful.
Rosilee Alvarez (Seattle, WA) on Oct 10, 2014
When muscles are sore, it is because of a buildup of toxins, mostly lactic acid. The blood cannot get to the damaged tissue to deliver oxygen and carry out the stagnant waste. The best thing you can do is rub the muscles, lightly. Use long, slow strokes from your feet to your hip and back down. Go a little deeper with each pass. Make sure to stay within your comfort zone. Your muscles are already hurting so do not push yourself too hard. You can squeeze lightly too, a technique called "compressions." Just wrap your hands around your feet, calves and thighs and squeeze gently. And drink lots of water afterward.
Tamara Scarlett-Lyon (Seattle, WA) on Oct 10, 2014
Massaging muscles after working out can increase circulation and assist in flushing out the waste products that tend to make muscles sore. So yes, massaging yourself can be beneficial (and feels good). Just don't be too rough.
Roger Bailey (Gatlinburg, TN) on Oct 10, 2014
A massage after a workout increases your circulation, which helps flush out the lactic acid that causes muscle soreness.
James Delgadillo (Memphis, TN) on Oct 10, 2014
Yes. Massage will increase circulation and improve blood flow to sore muscles, reducing soreness.
Deborah Lundin (Canoga Park, CA) on Oct 10, 2014
I remember we talked about this in one of my massage classes years ago. When a person has pain they naturally tend to massage the area themselves to reduce pain. It is good for the muscle if you apply steady pressure on the muscle for several seconds, then release it. This causes the body to send more blood flow to the area. This additional blood flow will bring more oxygen to the area, helping it to heal faster and flushing out lactic acid.
Carrie Forman (Acton, MA) on Oct 10, 2014
Yes, massage will help, as will the all-important stretching.