No pain, no gain, as the saying goes. Extensive workouts or just everyday life can leave us feeling sorer than we bargained for. Using anti-inflammatory drugs can lead to an increase in inflammation the next time we get hit by more physical activity. There is a more traditional method touted as a cure for those sore muscles though, and that’s a good massage. Some people believe this is due to a placebo effect, but when we look at the science how true is the claim that massages are good for sore muscles?
Reduces Lactic Acid Buildup
When we exert our muscles by working out or having a physically active day, our body produces lactic acid. When our body is exerting itself without having time to replenish oxygen reserves (such as during weightlifting) it generates lactic acid. This toxin can cause inflammation of the muscle tissue and leave us feeling sore the next day. By massaging this tissue with a good deep massage, you’re effectively increasing blood flow to the area and cleansing out the build-up of lactic acid. This will drastically decrease the amount of soreness you feel the next day.
It Actually Heals the Muscle
Believe it or not, a massage can cause a quicker recovery period for your muscles. When you’re lifting weights or working out you cause micro-tears in the fibers of your muscles, your muscles respond by healing and filling in those tears. Fortunately, this leads to growth of the muscles and an increase in your athletic ability. Unfortunately, those micro-tears also lead to feelings of discomfort the next day. Massaging stimulates the mitochondria (parts of your cells that generate energy) in your muscles, and causes them to heal more quickly. The studies done on this typically involve deep massages, if you’re looking for a tool to assist you with this, the experts at https://www.totalfitnessfocus.com have information regarding massage guns. Massage guns can provide deeper muscle massages and lead to greater recovery periods.
It Works Better Than Exercise Alone
New research is showing that massages may actually increase how many mitochondria are available in your muscle tissue. While the exercise itself can increase the amount of mitochondria available to us – massaging also increases this ability. Runners who train heavily for less than 6 months can more than double the amount of mitochondria available to them but massaging assists this. Massaging while training can effectively increase your capability for healing in the long term. So if you end up taking a few days off the gym for the holidays and are worried about the rebound effect in the gym, massage might just be your best friend.
Leaving with muscle aches and pains from heavy exercise or just day to day life doesn’t always have to be solved with anti-inflammatory medications. Massages can actually help reduce inflammation, promote healing, and they feel good. They’re going to leave your fitness level better off in the long run without them, and a benefit to getting massages is that they also won’t increase an episode of inflammation for the next workout. Massage away!