The body is not immune to pain and chronic aches. The pains and aches may come as a stiff neck, lower or upper back pain, sore shoulders or leg muscle tightness. An efficient way to get rid of these aches is with deep tissue massage. It is a type of massage therapy that entails using firm pressure accompanied by slow strokes to reach deep layers of body muscle and fascia.
How It Works
Deep tissue massage is not a typical deep pressure massage. The pressure and strokes break up scar tissue and break down bands of painful, tight tissue called muscle knots or adhesions which are known to cause pain, inflammation and limited range of motion. Lighter pressure is applied to prepare the muscles for the primary, case-specific techniques that follow. One method called stripping utilizes deep, gliding pressure along the length of the muscle fibers. Another method called friction applies pressure across the grain of the muscles to release muscle knots and realign tissue fibers.
Does It Hurt?
There may be pain and discomfort especially when the massage therapist works on areas with adhesions or scar tissue. However, let the therapist know of any pain because pain is not necessarily a sign that the massage is working, and it could cause tension in the body making it harder to reach deeper muscles.
What Conditions Does Deep Tissue Massage Help?
- Injury rehabilitation
- Limited mobility
- Upper and lower back pain
- Postural defects
- Repetitive strain injury (e.g., carpal tunnel syndrome)
- Osteoarthritis pain
- Sports concerns (runners, athletes)
- Piriformis syndrome
- Tennis elbow
- Neck pain
Deep tissue massage has been ranked as a more effective treatment for osteoarthritis pain when compared to physical therapy, acupuncture, and even prescription drugs. Many people suffering fibromyalgia have realized an improvement in range of motion after deep tissue massage.
This type of massage may be unsafe for people with blood clots such as thrombophlebitis or deep vein thrombosis; hence it is essential to consult a doctor beforehand. If you have recently undergone a medical procedure or are pregnant, ask your doctor.