Why does sports massage hurt?

Sports massage is the applying of soft tissue methods aimed at manipulating, managing and rehabilitating the muscles, ligaments and the tendons. It targets muscles that are tight and works on inactive muscles thereby improving the state of the soft tissue. It is also good for breaking down scar tissues.

Sports massage has a lot of wonderful benefits but it can cause some form of pain and be rather uncomfortable while it is being done. Your muscles will be manipulated in a series of way that they are not used to during the course of the massage. While the massage is going on, the rush of blood to your muscles will increase and toxins will be flushed out of the body. This can result in pain all over your body the following day. This degree of discomfort and pain you feel is dependent on the threshold of pain that you can tolerate. It is also dependent on the tightness of your muscle when the massage is going on and after it has been done.


During sports massage, to treat the muscles a lot of pressure has to be applied to it. This can be rather uncomfortable and the tender your muscles are, the more painful the massage can get. This is because the muscles cannot be easily manipulated or stretched while pressure is being applied to it. When you are going for a massage and you are relaxed, you will not feel too much pain while it is going on. Therefore to loosen up your tight muscles, you should endeavour to go for massages regularly as this will help you to have a better experience the next time you have a session with your massage therapist.

After having a sports massage, you will experience aching muscles the day afterwards and this pain can go on for an extra day, this is because the muscles that were worked on are still tender. You can even have a little inflammation or feel as if you have some bruise in the aching areas, though you should not have any form of bruising.


When you feel pain during your massage and afterwards, then that means that it is working. However, you have to draw the line between normal pain and too much pain. The massage should not be so painful that you have to tense up to deal with the pain. You cannot get much benefit from a massage when your muscles are tense. Ask the therapist to reduce the pressure on your muscle if the pain is more than what you can bear as each individual has got different thresholds of pain.


If you are a sports person, sports massage should be part of what you engage in because of the numerous benefits it has to offer. It has psychological, physiological and physical benefits to those that engage in sporting activities. It also helps to improve your performance as your body will be in a good condition at all times therefore, enabling you to have a long and lasting sporting career.