why you might feel worse the day after your appointment

At State 11 Soft Tissue Therapy, Spalding, we use a variety of techniques to bring mobility back to sore and stiff muscles and joints.

When you suddenly find you can turn your neck after not being able to for months, you’ll feel awesome!

The next day - you might find you’re really feeling it, even though the mobility is still there.

The stiffness, soreness or even slightly flu-like symptoms some people experience after a massage treatment is known as Post Massage Soreness And Malaise (PMSM). The symptoms are likely to be worse if you only have infrequent massage (or have never had one before) or if you are run down, or if you have a medical condition that means the body’s connective tissues are more fragile (such as Ehlers Danlos Syndome).

So what causes post-massage soreness?

When you have a massage, your muscles and joints are manipulated more than they might normally be, and this can release a chemical called myoglobin from the muscles and into the bloodstream. This can affect hoe you feel and leave you feeling a little under the weather and sore.

Interestingly, the effect often happens to people who go on a “bootcamp” fitness session once a week, or people who go for a long run on a Sunday. It’s a similar effect - although not the same - as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) that most people recognise as aches in muscles after lifting lots of weights at the gym.

what you can do about post-massage soreness?

If you’re feeling a little uncomfortable, and f you can normally take painkillers for muscular aches and pains, you can take painkillers as you normally would.

Drinking lots of water won’t really make lots of difference to the soreness, but most people are slightly dehydrated and so could do with drinking some more water anyway.

Applying gentle heat to the area (like a heatpad, electric blanket or hot water bottle) may also help but obviously be careful not to burn yourself! We’d advise staying away from alcohol or excessive caffeine.

How long does post-massage soreness last?

This will depend on a variety of factors - whether you have any ongoing health conditions, whether you have had massage before, or what your fitness level is like. If you do suffer from post-massage soreness (and it’s estimated that up to 70% of people will to some extent, with around 20% of people really getting a full dose of PMSM), it should start to decrease after a couple of days.

If you are worried, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on 07788 287098 or call 111 to speak to the NHS non-emergency helpline staff.