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Can massage be bad for you?

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Post  Stephanie Thu Jul 14, 2011 12:38 am

So my mid-back has been bothering me for months (work, not running related) and yesterday I decided enough was enough - it's time for a massage. I went to the girl I've been to many times; she worked on me a fair amount when I was trying to sort out my shin injury last summer when I first got hurt. Today I felt good afterwards, but 7hrs later, WOW is my back angry!!! I also asked her to work on my calves and just a little bit on my shins (gently)... I figured it was a good preventative measure. She really worked my calves, definitely deep tissue, but she went easy on my shins as requested. I am now feeling my shins more than I would like to and am thinking my easy run tomorrow will not happen.

I'd say this injury is almost a thing of the past but I have to watch it and am increasing my mileage back to where it used to be very cautiously & gradually and it has been going very well!! I am surprised and quite taken aback by what I am feeling in the injured area and also with how sore my back is - it's as though everything is worse - maybe I should have left well enough alone. Could massage be a detriment when muscles are sore? Should I be receiving less deep tissue work? What do you do when your body is tight and screaming at you? Do you go for massages?

As you can see I am still performing the post-mortem on why I ended up so badly injured last year, and I thought the analysis was well behind me, but after today's massage I am wondering if all that sports massage last year on my shins made the injury worse. I'd love your take on and experience with sports massage.
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Post  Stephanie Thu Jul 14, 2011 7:32 am

Ok.... so after a (short) night's sleep it seems as though my shins are back to being happy (YAY!), my calves feel like they had a bit of a workout, and my back feels like I did a super hard workout yesterday so it's a different pain than what I went in with for the massage. I may have over-reacted. LOL!

But I am still surprised with how my body felt last night and am wondering about the merits of massage. Discuss. Smile
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Post  Nick Morris Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:53 am

Stephanie O wrote:Ok.... so after a (short) night's sleep it seems as though my shins are back to being happy (YAY!), my calves feel like they had a bit of a workout, and my back feels like I did a super hard workout yesterday so it's a different pain than what I went in with for the massage. I may have over-reacted. LOL!

But I am still surprised with how my body felt last night and am wondering about the merits of massage. Discuss. Smile

More than likely...The pain that you are felling is your body recovering from the massage. You should start feeling better in a day or two.
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Post  Michele "1L" Keane Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:21 am

I think a massage can be "bad" if you get the wrong type close to a race, but for the most part, massage is and should be a positive experience. I've had many a massage when I hurt after or was sore, but things generally sort themselves out after a day or so, and I'm so glad to have done it.
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Post  Tom H Thu Jul 14, 2011 12:57 pm

Michele "1L" Keane wrote:I think a massage can be "bad" if you get the wrong type close to a race, but for the most part, massage is and should be a positive experience. I've had many a massage when I hurt after or was sore, but things generally sort themselves out after a day or so, and I'm so glad to have done it.

I'm in agreement with Michele here. A deep tissue massage for me can, like a hard workout, manifest itself in discomfort (sometime significant) at some point within the 48 hours following the massage. But then that discomfort disappears and the affected area responds to the massage positively. But I get it and have had the same questions in my own head many times earlier.

Can it be bad, I think yes if you have an injury such as a small tear that a deep massage could aggrevate or worsen. This is where you the patient have to be very careful to tell the therapist what you are feeling and be ready to say "hold on" if the massage seems to be aggrevating that particular spot.
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Post  Stephanie Thu Jul 14, 2011 7:43 pm

Glad to hear you guys are pro-massage!

With the chance of feeling beat up or taking a few days to feel the benefits of a massage how do you incorporate them into your training? Do you ever scale back or skip a run because you had a sports massage?
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Post  ounce Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:29 pm

I usually don't get a deep-tissue massage before a race, which is typically when I get a massage. If I'm doing many marathons in a short time period, then I'll get a couple when I'm doing the 18-23 mile long runs in addition to the pre-race massages.

It's just good for me to get the trash out of the muscles.
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Post  Stephanie Thu Jul 14, 2011 9:08 pm

ounce wrote:I usually don't get a deep-tissue massage before a race, which is typically when I get a massage. If I'm doing many marathons in a short time period, then I'll get a couple when I'm doing the 18-23 mile long runs in addition to the pre-race massages.

It's just good for me to get the trash out of the muscles.
Ounce, do you ask the therapist for a lighter massage when you're doing your 18-23mi?
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