Muscle therapy is a type of massage therapy. It is a deep tissue massage that involves applying firm pressure and the use of slow strokes to reach the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue around the muscles, called fascia. These techniques are used to break up scar tissues and physically break down what is called muscle knots. These rigid tissues can disrupt circulation, are painful, limit your range of motion, and cause inflammation. Trigger point therapy is also used along with deep tissue massage. Trigger point therapy is a technique that targets very specific muscle tissue. Pressure is applied to these areas to help alleviate pain and dysfunction in other parts of the body.
Benefits of Muscle Therapy
Muscle therapy is a great way for someone to manage pain. There are many that suffer from daily or chronic pain issues due to muscle problems. With the use of muscle therapy, these muscles can be targeted and treated to help you live your life with less pain. Some people manage their pain with medication, but many wish to stay away from the world of pharmaceuticals and would prefer to target and treat the root of the problem. With the use of muscle therapy, it is a more long-lasting solution to help you live more comfortably. With the use of muscle therapy, it can help with the following areas according to Very Well Health:
- Chronic Muscle Pain
- Injury Rehabilitation (such as whiplash or falls)
- Low/Upper Back and Neck Pain
- Limited Mobility
- Repetitive Strain Injury (such as carpal tunnel syndrome)
- Postural Problems
- Muscle Tension (hamstrings, glutes, IT band, legs, quadriceps, and rhomboids)
- Osteoarthritis Pain
- Piriformis Syndrome
- Tennis Elbow
As you can see, muscle therapy can help with many different areas.
What to Expect with Muscle Therapy
Many believe that muscle therapy, or deep tissues massages, are painful. At times during the massage, you may feel some discomfort as your massage therapist is targeting your pain areas. If you feel pain, let your massage therapist know and they can adjust the pressure or technique they are using. When your body feels pain, it tenses up and can make it difficult for the massage therapist to reach those targeted areas.
At the beginning of the massage, your massage therapist will use light pressure to help warm up the muscles. As the massage progresses, so will the pressure. There are a few different techniques used but the two most common are called stripping and friction. Stripping is when deep gliding pressure is applied using the elbow, forearm, knuckles, and thumbs along the length of the muscle fibers. Friction is when pressure is applied across the grain of a muscle to help rid adhesions and to realign tissues fibers. After your massage, you may experience some soreness but should abide within a day or two. Be sure to drink plenty of water to help with your recovery! Be sure to communicate with your massage therapist about any concerns you may have including any pain issues you are experiencing.