Does massage help against sore muscles?

Massage sore muscles
Massage sore muscles

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Half-wisdoms, myths and scientific findings entwine around the sore muscles. Everyone knows him - and so everyone seems to have their own personal theory and science of how to deal with sore muscles. That is not always correct. We explain whether a massage helps against sore muscles.

What is sore muscles

Muscle soreness occurs when a muscle has been overused. This can happen in sport after too long breaks in training, through incorrect or unfamiliar stress and movement in everyday life or through too intensive training units. The muscle reacts to the excessive load with the finest tears in the muscle fibers, it can no longer withstand the great load. The strain does not have to have been really great, it is also possible for too long and unfamiliar muscle activity to cause the muscle to tear. One could imagine the “lame arm” on the day after spring cleaning, when the muscles react to the long, unfamiliar movement of the arm when cleaning windows. So it doesn't always have to be “tough” sport that causes sore muscles. And muscle soreness does not mean that you are generally untrained. It just means that that specific muscle has been used beyond normal levels.

What to do when the muscles are sore?

Massage sore muscles

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The sore muscles typically only appear the next day, and are particularly noticeable 24 to 48 hours after the exercise. And then the search for relief from the annoying muscle pain begins. Many people then intuitively massage the painful area, which is fundamentally wrong. The finest torn muscle fibers need rest to heal. A deep massage with tapping or walking movements prevents the smallest injuries in the muscle from healing again. A massage is counterproductive for sore muscles! It makes sense to increase the blood flow to the muscle with light movement and to do everything possible to support the healing process. This can be:

  • walks
  • Moderate movement
  • Heat applications e.g. full bath
  • Sports ointments and oils

When can I massage?

Sore muscles massage

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On television you can see that professional athletes are massaged after sport - and massages after sport are also recommended for recreational athletes. Can such a massage prevent sore muscles? The answer is not clear. Sore muscles mean that tissue damage has occurred in muscles. These cannot be cemented and healed by a massage immediately after exposure. However, if the muscles are loosened by massage directly after training, this can minimize the pain and duration of the sore muscles. The sore muscles themselves are already there - you just don't feel them yet! By massaging directly after exercise, the overloaded muscles can heal their micro injuries better, because the massage leads to the release of a protein that is responsible for the tissue structure of the muscle fibers. In addition, massage increases the number of mitochondria in the muscle cells after exercise, which supplies them with more energy and allows the regeneration and healing process to run faster. A 10-minute massage after exercise does not prevent muscle soreness, but it does allow for faster healing. Massage the next day is counterproductive and only delays healing. If massage, then shortly after exercise. Even if you don't even know whether you will get sore muscles at all. If the sore muscles don't come the next day, it wasn't because of the massage, but simply because you trained properly and didn't overwhelm your muscles.

Mobile massage and sore muscles

The mobile masseur is a welcome service provider at Sporting eventsto do good to the stressed muscles of athletes. In the mobile massage Athletes should make sure to have themselves massaged immediately after exertion so that the massage works effectively for faster healing of sore muscles. If the massage is only to loosen the tense and hardened muscles, because there is no need to worry about sore muscles, the massage period can also take place hours after exercise. But only if no sore muscles that are still dormant can be slowed down in their healing by massage.

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