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Why Do Deep Tissue Sports Massages Hurt So Much?

Have you ever had a deep tissue sports massage? After having a fairly busy week treating various injuries or aches and pains, something got me thinking. How many of you are exercising on a regular basis? Or how many of you are sitting in the same positions all day every day throughout the week?


It seems to me that maybe you are training 20-25 hours a month, or working 160-200 hours a month, based on the majority of people that I see in practice. Now, assuming this is about right, answer me this; how many hours each month do you spend looking after your body (foam rolling, stretching, Epsom salt baths, deep tissue massages)?

The answer is probably no where near the amount of time that you spend training or working!!

This is also the reason why you find sports massages/ deep tissue massages painful!

Your muscles are designed to be in constant motion; being stretched and contracted throughout the day. The problem is that you spend all your time contracting them (at the gym) or shortening them (spending hours in the same seated position at work without stretching). Over time this shortening is causing the muscles to become tight, which is reducing the blood flow through them, which is causing further tightening.

Then when you do get a treatment for your muscles, those that are short and tight will be painful because they cannot squish, stretch or move under your therapists pressure, which then causes you pain. Deep tissue or sports massages shouldn’t be painful if your muscles are completely supple and relaxed. The more pain you are in, the more you need to spend time on them!

So here are my tips for you;

  • Aim to spend 3-4 days a week doing some form of prehab/rehab. You don’t have to do it for long, perhaps 5 minutes to start with, and gradually build that up as it becomes more of a habit.



  • Book in a sports/deep tissue massage once a month (the more you are training, the more you should be having sports massages).

Answer this…

Which body part do you find the most painful when having a Deep Tissue/Sports Massage?

Post your answer in the comments section below…