why do massages hurt

Step Podiatry

We are Cardiff podiatrists providing high quality foot care.​

Why Do Massages Hurt? – The Anatomy of a Good Massage

When you hear the word massage, you probably think of a relaxing experience. Well, not for everyone. Some get sore from massages, especially from regular ones. Why does that happen and what can be done to prevent muscle pain? Read on to find out more. The act of receiving a massage has its benefits. It can help relieve tension and stress in the body, as well as improve blood flow and circulation. A bad massage can do the opposite, however. That’s why it’s important to know why massages hurt so that you can avoid doing it again and again or seeking out one that won’t have the same result on you next time.

The Anatomy Of A Bad Massage 

woman getting massage

If you’re looking to become a professional masseuse, then you’ll need to learn the anatomy of a bad massage. Once you know that, you’ll be better equipped to tell if a massage is right for you, especially if you’ve never received one before. Good masseuses know that all types of bodies are different. Different parts of the body react to a certain pressure in different ways. If you or your masseuse doesn’t understand this, then you’re likely to have a painful massage.

One of the first things that can hurt during a massage is your skin. It doesn’t react well to being pinched, kneaded, or brushed. Many masseuses are unaware of this, so they’ll try to touch, pinch, or brush the skin without gloves or other protective tools. This can cause painful rashes, bruises, and wounds. Next, the muscles in your back, neck, and other areas of your body can respond poorly to massage. They’re very delicate, and even the slightest pressure can cause pain.

Is It Normal For A Massage To Be Painful?

The first step to preventing a painful massage is to learn why it happens. Once you know that, you’ll be better equipped to identify potential issues and prevent them in the future. The most common reason for pain during massage is the wrong pressure. While your masseuse might think they’re applying the right amount of pressure, you may feel too much. This is very typical when having a deep tissue massage because it is a type of massage that requires intense pressure to massage the tissue.

A common example of this is where your masseuse uses too much elbow or shoulder pressure. Another big reason why massages hurt is that the person receiving them isn’t relaxed. You might be tense from an earlier experience or from something else in your life that’s getting in the way of a good massage. If this is the case, then you might be able to ease your feelings by relaxing in the massage room.

When Should You Book a Massage?

people getting a massage

A good massage is a great way to relax and de-stress, but only if you’re able to receive it without pain. You can choose many different types of massages to have such as; Swedish massages, a sports massage If you’ve had a bad experience with massage before and are now wary, then book a treatment before you go too far with your investigation. Most masseuses are more than happy to offer a free massage as a way of apologizing for poor treatment in the past. Most masseuses will also be understanding if you explain that you’re new to the world of massage and don’t know how it works yet. You might have to do this a few times before you get a good masseuse, but it’s well worth it.

Getting a good massage should be a pleasurable experience and not a source of pain. Having regular massages reduces high blood pressure and speeds up the healing process of injuries. Massage treatment also helps reduce the pain of sore muscles. Alternatively, massages trigger a relaxation response and have multiple health benefits, whether that be physical or emotional distress.

Why Do Massages Hurt The Next Day?

The aftermath of how your body feels after having a massage is very similar to when you have an intense workout. When a licensed massage therapist is applying firm pressure to tight muscles and muscles that are not used daily, you will be left with an aching feeling the next day. You may also notice inflammation in parts of the body that need healing. However, a good massage wouldn’t cause you to have unbearable chronic pain, it’s meant to be a source of pain relief if you are experiencing unbearable pain, then this is probably due to poor technique. This is why the application of intense pressure should be combined with lighter pressure and gentle pressure. One way to lessen the pain if you do experience any is to stay hydrated and take a hot shower to relieve any muscular tension. You can also practice a few gentle stretches to relieve muscular tension.

Why Do Foot Massages Hurt?

foot massage on white background

Similar to a full body massage, a strong massage for the feet will hurt for the same reason. The massage therapist will use firm pressure to get rid of any toxic muscle knots in the feet which will be sore for a couple of days depending on the types of massage used on the foot.


Hopefully this blog has provided you with some insight on why a massage hurts, it’s not always a bad thing, however, if you are experiencing unbearable pain to the point where you can’t do normal daily activities, then this is not a good massage and you may want to seek medical help from a doctor or podiatrist.

Share this post