Deep Tissue Massage
Deep-tissue/deep-muscle massage are administered to affect the sub-layer of musculature and fascia. The superficial muscles must be relaxed in order to effectively perform deep-tissue massage. Otherwise tight surface muscles prevent your massage therapist from reaching deeper musculature. This technique helps with chronic muscular pain and injury rehabilitation, and reduces inflammation-related pain caused by arthritis and tendinitis among other discomforts. It is generally integrated with other massage techniques and targeted to specific areas.
Conditions Helped with Deep Tissue Massage
A type of massage therapy, deep tissue massage involves applying firm pressure and slow strokes to reach deeper layers of muscle and fascia (the connective tissue surrounding muscles). It’s used for chronic aches and pains and contracted areas such as a stiff neck and upper back, low back pain, leg muscle tightness, and sore shoulders. Deep tissue massage usually focuses on a specific problem, such as chronic muscle pain, injury rehabilitation, and the following conditions:
- Low back pain
- Limited mobility
- Recovery from injuries (e.g. whiplash, falls)
- Repetitive strain injury, such as carpal tunnel syndrome
- Postural problems
- Muscle tension in the hamstrings, glutes, IT band, legs, quadriceps, rhomboids, upper back
- Osteoarthritis pain
- Piriformis syndrome
- Tennis elbow
- Upper back or neck pain
Not all of these benefits have been scientifically proven, but osteoarthritis studies have shown people ranked deep tissue massage as more effective in relieving pain symptoms than physical therapy, exercise, prescription medications, chiropractic, acupuncture, diet, glucosamine, and over-the-counter drugs. Deep tissue massage also received a top ranking for fibromyalgia pain. People often notice an improved range of motion immediately after a deep tissue massage.
Contact Brielle Integrated Healthcare to book a deep tissue massage to relieve your chronic pains!
What to Expect with Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage techniques are used to break up scar tissue and physically break down muscle “knots” or adhesions (bands of painful, rigid tissue) that can disrupt circulation and cause pain, limited range of motion, and inflammation. While some of the strokes may feel the same as those used in Swedish massage therapy, deep tissue massage technique is much different. At the beginning of a deep tissue massage, lighter pressure is generally applied to warm up and prepare the muscles. Specific techniques are then applied. Common techniques include:
- Stripping: Deep, gliding pressure along the length of the muscle fibers using the elbow, forearm, knuckles, and thumbs.
- Friction: Pressure applied across the grain of a muscle to release adhesions and realign tissue fibers.
Our massage therapists may use fingertips, knuckles, hands, elbows, and forearms during a deep tissue massage. You may be asked to breathe deeply as the massage therapist works on tense areas.
After the massage, you may feel some stiffness or soreness, but it should subside within a day or so. Be sure to contact your massage therapist if you have concerns or if you feel pain after having a massage.
Drinking water after the massage may help to flush the metabolic waste from the tissues.
Do Deep Tissue Massages Hurt?
At certain times during the massage, you may feel some discomfort or even some pain as the massage therapist works on areas where there are adhesions or scar tissue. Pain isn’t necessarily good, and it’s not a sign that the massage will be effective. In fact, your body may tense up in response to pain, making it harder for the therapist to reach deeper muscles.
You should always tell your massage therapist if you feel pain during the massage. The therapists at Brielle Integrated Healthcare can adjust the technique or further prep the tissues if the superficial muscles are tense.
When Shouldn’t I Get A Deep Tissue Massage?
Deep tissue massage may not be safe for people with blood clots (e.g. thrombophlebitis or deep vein thrombosis), due to the risk that they may become dislodged. If you have blood clots or are at risk of forming blood clots, it’s essential that you consult your doctor first.
If you have blood clots or are at risk of forming blood clots, it’s essential that you consult your doctor before getting a deep tissue massage.
If you’ve had recent surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or have another medical condition, it’s wise to check with your doctor before starting massage therapy. Some people with osteoporosis should avoid the deeper pressure of this type of massage.
Massage should not be done directly over bruises, inflamed or infected skin, skin rashes, unhealed or open wounds, tumors, abdominal hernia, fragile bones, or areas of recent fractures. Massage may cause bruising and rarely, hematoma (a localized collection of blood outside of blood cells), venous thromboembolism, and a condition known as spinal accessory neuropathy.
Deep tissue massage may also result in bruising. Case reports have reported venous thromboembolism, spinal accessory neuropathy, hepatic hematoma, and posterior interosseous syndrome after deep tissue massage.
If you have any condition, it’s important to consult your primary care provider first to find out what type they recommend. For example, people with certain conditions, such as ankylosing spondylitis, may not be able to tolerate the pain of a deep tissue massage.
If you are pregnant, you should check with your doctor if you are considering getting a message. Deep tissue massage (or any strong pressure) should be avoided during pregnancy, but your doctor may suggest a massage therapist trained in pregnancy massage instead.
Deep Tissue Massage In Brielle, NJ
Deep tissue massage is more than just a massage with deep pressure. This massage therapy technique helps with many conditions. Although it’s known for firm pressure, remember that massage doesn’t always have to hurt or make your body sore to be effective. To get the most out of your massage, communicate with your massage therapist. Call Brielle Integrated Healthcare to get started!