Experiencing Pain with a Deep Tissue Massage

deep tissue massage pain

Is it normal to feel pain following a massage treatment?

One of the things we get asked about often here at Araya Beauty during or immediately after some of our more intense massage treatments is ‘it it supposed to hurt?!’ and the answer, quite frankly, is ‘yes’! If done correctly, a deep tissue massage should invoke some feelings of initial pain, often follwed by a couple of days’ oreness or even mild bruising; it’s not for the feint-hearted but as the saying goes; “no pain, no gain”!

Of course, the pain should never be excruciating (please tell us if it is!). We pride ourselves on being attentive, respectful communicative before, during and after all of our massage treatments from start to finish and we do offer softer, more relaxing options such as Thai oil massages for those who don’t like it ‘rough’, so to speak!

Most of our massage clients know by now that deep tissue massages can be some of the most relieving and beneficial types of massages to receive. However, some can often become apprehensive to receive a deep tissue massage when they hear that there might be some pain or soreness involved in the process.

Generally speaking, soreness is simply a positive side effect that the massage was successful in doing it’s job in relieving all of your pesky knots and muscle tension.

Our clients’ wellbeing and piece of mind is, of course, paramount to everything to we strive for at Araya Beauty, so let’s run trhough some of the more common questions we get asked in relation to deep tissue massage therapy to help eudcate, inform and perhaps put your mind at ease if you’ve never expereinced this truly transformational therapy just yet, or even if you have, and you’re feeling if it’s ‘normal’ to feel some aches and pains!

Why might I experience some pain during my deep tissue massage?

Because the deep tissue massage is used for stiffness, knots, chronic pain, contracted areas, and muscle tightness, your massage therapist will apply pressure and use deep strokes in order to get everything feeling back to normal again. Deep pressure is used to break apart your painful, stubborn knots. Knots can be described as a group of rigid tissue.

Your therapist will also use a friction technique by going against the grain of your muscles to assist in the realignment of tissue fibers. Another technique often used in the deep tissue massage is the stripping method. During this method, your masseuse will use deep pressure along your muscle fibres.

Our therapists often use their elbows, knuckles, hands, forearms and even feet during the massage. While the entire process isn’t painful by itself, there are moments of discomfort and pain. These moments will most likely occur when your therapist is working on scar tissue, knots, or adhesions.

stress relieving massage

What should I do if I experience pain or discomfort during my massage?

First, you should know that feeling some levels of pain is good sign. This means that your therapist is breaking up those knots and realigning stiff muscles. However, if the pain becomes too intense or excruciating, you should always notify your massage therapist. Our therapists are trained to deal will all levels of pain sensitivity and will work to approach your particular situation using another technique or work to further prep your muscles.

Another thing to do during your massage during moments of discomfort is to do your very best to relax through it. Sometimes pain can cause us to tense our muscles up. By tensing your muscles, therapist will need to apply even more pressure in order to get everything working properly, thus causing a more uncomfortable experience.

This is why it is highly suggested to keep your muscles calm and relaxed throughout the entirety of the deep tissue massage. You may do so by frequently taking deep breaths and keeping your body loose.

Why might I feel pain after my deep tissue massage?

The kind of pain you may feel after a deep tissue massage is very similar to the pain an athlete might feel after an intense workout. Often times, soreness can be a positive sign that things are healing or correcting and it has been scientifically-proven to reduce chronic stress levels in regular recipients.

Your muscles have essentially been manipulated, stretched, and worked on for the best part of an hour with us. So naturally, because your muscles were working so hard, they may feel a little bit tender within the next couple of days. However, this is a good sign. This means that you are on the road to much more relaxed, functioning muscles. Within as little as 48 hours, you should be feeling brand new.

How can I alleviate the soreness that comes after a deep tissue massage?

There are many things you may do in order to relieve some of the soreness felt in result of a deep tissue massage. One of the most highly suggested things to do is to remain hydrated. Massage therapists suggest consuming plenty of water during the day of your massage, and after your appointment too! After all, hydrated muscles are healthier muscles.

Another suggested remedy is to apply some heat to the sore areas. For example, many often suggest a warm epsom salt bath or relaxing in bed with a heating pad or a good ol’ fashioned hot water bottle!

We’re also huge fans of Tiger Balm here at Araya Beauty, an ancient oriental muscle-soothing formula that many active sportspeople in Ireland will be more than familiar with. A carefully-administered layering of this potent balm can releive even the deepest of muscular tension.

tiger balm for muscle pain

Why is pain and soreness associated with a deep tissue massage a good thing?

Feeling some pain or discomfort with a deep tissue massage is perfectly normal, and it’s the best kind of pain and soreness you can feel! While you may feel some discomfort, you will also feel an overflow of relief as your muscles slowly relax and those knots break away.

You can rest safe in the knowledge that all the while once you’ve relaxed on our massage beds, your therapist is working hard to eliminate all of your muscle tension and knots. After 48 hours, you will feel increased flexibility and an overall lack of tension. Your muscles will feel more relaxed, leaving your feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

What are the benefits of a deep tissue massage?

We highlight in more detail what the preparation, process and benefits of our deep tissue massage treatments are over on our main treatment page at https://arayabeauty.com/treatments/massage-spa/deep-tissue/ but five additional, long-lasting and scientifically factual benefits to embracing this tried and tested wellbeing initiative include the following:

1. Helps to treat chronic back pain

2. Assists in lowering higher blood pressure

3. Breaks up scar tissue and knots

4. A proven stress and muscle tension reliever

5. Effective, natural (and perfectly legal!) performance-enhancing treatment for athletes

As you can see, the benefits of a deep tissue massage are extraordinary, and can suit a wide variety of people. Whether you have just a few knots, or a lot, a deep tissue massage will offer you plenty and positive, long-lasting side effects.

book a deep tissue massage

In conclusion, receiving a deep tissue massage is one of the best things you can do for your muscles. No one should be forced to live with chronic muscle pain and stiffness, especially when there is a solution close by. While there is some pain and discomfort involved in a deep tissue massage, you should never fear receiving one. The pain should never be excruciating or unbearable.

It is perfectly normal to feel small level of pain during and after the massage, and the pain is necessary in the healing and regrouping of your muscles. If feeling apprehensive or nervous, speak with your massage therapist prior to the massage. You may also keep up the communication during the deep tissue massage, communicating with your therapist if the pain is too much for you.

Our team of fully qualified massage therapists here at Araya Beauty are here to help you, and will work with you to create the most positive experience available. You will feel relieved to know that the small amount of pain you are feeling is the therapist at work in relieving all of your deep tension.

With only a little discomfort and soreness, your muscles will soon be feeling brand new. Your new, relaxed and rejuvenated body will soon be ready to conquer to the world!

Book a Deep Tissue Massage Treatment Today


  • Susan Wilson

    Thank you! Great information. Now I know why it hurt so bad .Have a great day!

    • Araya

      Glad to be of assistance Susan, as we say, ‘no pain, no gain’! We really hope the benefits outlast any pain experienced with your massage.

  • Daisy

    I had a deep tissue last night, my foot that was broken twice in the last two years has pretty intense lain when I step on it this morning. It does not feel broken but does hurt in one specific spot what could this be?

    • Araya

      Hi Daisy, sorry to hear you’ve experienced pain after a massage, did you get it here with us or elsewhere? It sounds like it could just be a case of some old nerve damage being brought to the surface or it could e something else, we’d be more than happy to investigate if you want to pop into us?

  • Rita Cooper

    I had a Swedish massage at the weekend and it has taken 3 days for my lower back pain to subside. Assume that it could be a referred pain from an old shoulder injury but its interesting to read you’r information. Thanks.

    • Araya

      You’re very welcome Rita, glad you found the information useful and please don’t hesitate to let us know if ever you need a hand with anything massage-related at all, we’d be happy to assist!

    • David

      Like Rita, after my deep tissue massage and two days later, I was bending down and my kidneys started to hurt. I have been drinking lots of water since. I am also 65 years of age but I do work out. Resting now except for work but I want to get back to the gym in a few more days.

      • Araya

        Thank you for your input David, yes, this is quite a common after-effect of a deep-tissue massage for sure. We hope you’re on the mend and back in the gym soon!

  • Jazmine Henry

    Recently got a deep massage and its been about a week and I am still feeling a burning sensation in my body. Is this normal? I went to the hospital but they only prescribe me some Naproxen and did a x-ray where they didn’t find nothing. I’m still worried because this is very uncomfortable and I shouldn’t be feeling this much inflammation.

    • Araya

      Hi Jazmine, thanks for letting us know and sorry to hear that. We’ve been on lockdown with Covod-19 so haven’t given a good massage in a long while now but it’s interesting to learn somewhere’s still in action, where are you based? No, it’s not normal the pain would last beyond a couple of days really. I’d recommend you see a GP if the problem persists. Wishing you a speedy recovery x


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