Sore muscles can commonly occur due to strenuous activity that is performed or due to an injury. For many people, it can be challenging to perform daily activities or exercises when muscles are strained and sore.
If you want to alleviate the discomfort or pain, there are a few ways that massage can help to ease sore muscles of your body.
Six Ways Massage Helps Heal Sore Muscles
#1. Alleviate Inflammation
According to well.blog.nytimes.com, massage can reduce the number of compounds called cytokines, which plays a critical role in inflammation.
It can cause a suppression in pathways in inflammation and increases in mitochondrial biogenesis, which allows the muscles to have the ability to adapt to more exercise.
Massage not only alleviates the discomfort but can also enhance cell recovery to ensure that inflammation is treated naturally for faster pain relief.
#2. Help Muscles Recover
Although many people rely on taking a pain reliever if they experience discomfort, the medicine doesn’t assist the muscle with healing.
With massage, it can help sore muscles recover and can help muscles to become fitter faster. After analyzing the tissue, studies show that massaging muscles turns on genes that reduce inflammation and activate genes that promote mitochondria. Muscles that are more fit tend to have more mitochondria.
Massage works similarly to pain medication but doesn’t come with the side effects and is considered to be a safer and more effective alternative.
#3. Boost Muscle Fitness
Exercise that is combined with massages that are performed frequently enhances the pathways. Although many people have resorted to using ice baths, they have shown to have a downside because they can prevent muscle growth and repair from occurring.
Rubbed muscle tissue can develop more strength compared to muscle that isn’t massaged and can also lead to less swelling.
#4. Increasing Blood Flow
Repeatedly massaging sore muscles can increase blood flow and will also reduce lactate levels, which can delay muscle recovery. Too much blood lactate can sit in the muscles and accumulate when the muscles aren’t massaged, which can prolong soreness that the individual experiences and can cause it to take longer to heal and experience physical relief.
Massages are also known to support lymph function, which can allow newly oxygenated blood to be delivered to tender areas on the body. The oxygenated blood can even flush out toxic waste that is contributing to soreness for quicker relief.
#5. Reduce Delayed Muscle Soreness
Massage is also considered to be effective in reducing delayed muscle soreness when it’s administered two to six hours after intense exercise is performed. Athletes can have better flexibility and mobility by undergoing a massage on specific areas of the body that are prone to becoming strained, depending on the type of exercises or movements that they performed.
Most people experience immediate relief with their sore after undergoing a massage, but it’s also common to feel tender in certain areas where there are aches and pains. Some areas that are considered to be trigger-points will need to be repeatedly reworked over time to experience relief, but each massage that is performed can contribute to improved well-being.
In many cases, deep tissue massage can also be more effective than physical therapy, acupuncture, diet, chiropractic, and taking glucosamine by obtaining an improved range of motion. Undergoing a deep tissue massage shouldn’t hurt when it’s performed by a professional, but it may be uncomfortable initially in the areas where your body is sore.
#6. Improve Flexibility
Sore muscles can make it easy to feel stiff and have a lack of mobility, but with a massage, it’s possible to improve flexibility by loosening the muscles and allowing them to relax.
Massages stretch the muscle fibers to promote and maintain flexibility when frequent motions are performed.
Muscle tension is released within seconds, especially in areas where there are disturbances of collagen scar tissue and the development of various adhesions are present.
The Bottom Line
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Massaging sore muscles is proven to be extremely useful in rebuilding the tissue and alleviating the discomforts that one experiences. With routine massage, athletes and individuals who are physically active can obtain relief and boost their performance without forming dependencies on pain medication.
If you live a very active lifestyle you really can’t go wrong with a regular massage from a licensed massage therapist. That said, a massage chair is a great investment and compliment to regular sessions with a professional. This way you can maintain your body regularly in the comfort of your own home without breaking the bank.