Unlike most traditional massage that promotes whole-body relaxation, deep tissue massage is often used to target specific trouble spots after an accident or injury has left the client stiff and sore, as in instances of whiplash or falls. Repetitive- strain injuries, like carpal tunnel syndrome, benefit from deep tissue massage therapy, as well as those suffering from conditions like fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis that can cause achiness, inflammation and limited ease of movement. Chronic pain, muscle spasms and tenderness during recovery after an accident can all be effectively treated with therapeutic deep tissue massage.
Before a deep tissue massage, a trained and certified massage therapist will discuss the client’s accident, injury or complaints of generalized stiffness, gaining an understanding of how the pain or injury is impacting the client’s daily life and what he or she is hoping to gain from the massage therapy. The massage itself will be customized to the specific needs of the client, focusing on the stiff, sore and achy areas that are of the most concern.
Deep tissue massage works by breaking down muscle adhesions that often build up after an accident or are the result of a chronic illness. By applying intense, controlled pressure and friction to an afflicted area across the grain of the muscle, deep tissue massage relaxes rigid tissue and relieves the pain associated with stiff muscles, ligaments and tendons. Deep tissue massage may cause some discomfort and therapists encourage their clients to keep them informed about their comfort level and pain tolerance during deep tissue therapy. Therapists may encourage their clients to apply ice to tender spots following a deep tissue massage. Some soreness the day after a deep tissue massage can be expected, though the discomfort should pass in a day.