Massages are a common tactic for relieving tight, sore muscles. What causes these problems in the first place? There are many answers to this question, the most common of which are overuse, neglect, injury, and stress. Soreness and tightness are different problems, however, and they often depend on the client!
What Causes Tight Muscles?
The cause of many forms of muscle tightness is keeping them in reduced positions for lengthy periods; this is called shortening. It’s an issue that affects many seniors who have reduced mobility; no movement creates tighter muscles that, in a kind of loop, make further movement more difficult.
This is not only a problem faced by seniors; muscles tighten up whenever movement is restricted. As more people are tethered to desks and computers, more people find their muscles feeling tight. On top of shortening muscles, the position most people take in front of a computer can stretch muscles in unnatural directions. This creates muscle imbalances, and as time passes, the imbalances create chronic posture problems and weak muscles.
Why Do Muscles Feel Sore?
Many issues can cause sore muscles, including medical conditions. For instance, the main symptom of fibromyalgia is muscle pain, which many patients describe as a dull ache deep in the tissue. The soreness can affect muscles throughout the body, and it’s a pain that worsens with exercise.
Another cause of muscle soreness is intense exercise or work for the first time in a while. Working out creates little tears in muscle fibres, and the body will start repairing these with an immune reaction called “inflammation.” Sore muscles caused by inflammation can indicate that the tissues are fixing themselves and getting stronger. There’s evidence to show that massages may help speed up this repairing!
How Does A Massage Help Tight, Sore Muscles?
Sore muscles after exercise are signals that the body is repairing itself. In these situations, a relaxation massage may be a healthy way of improving how your body deals with this inflammation. Evidence shows that massages can suppress some of the inflammation pathways in your body and increase a process called “mitochondrial biogenesis.” This mouthful means that the mitochondria, your cell’s tiny powerhouses that convert glucose into energy, can work harder to do the repair work.
A study out of McMaster University shows that massages work differently from anti-inflammatory drugs. Drugs can work quickly to relieve inflammation, but the side effect can be to slow down healing. Using an over-the-counter pain reliever whenever you feel sore can suppress inflammation in a way that harms your body’s ability to heal. Massage does not come with this downside!
Tightness and soreness are not always healthy signs, however. For many people who require London Mobile Massage services, a massage can be a source of pain relief; they often need consistent appointments. The client must tell the masseuse when their muscles feel stiff, sore, or tight. These terms are imprecise and subjective, and while they point to pain, they are symptomatic of other minor issues. Make sure to tell us everything when booking an appointment!