Deep tissue massage side effects

Deep tissue massage

People usually consider massage as a “safe and sound” therapy, which of course it mostly is. But just like any other activity or service, things can go wrong. While serious side effects in massage therapy are extremely rare, the cases that are diagnosed and reported in medical journals are probably outnumbered by less dramatic examples. And minor side effects are downright common. In the following section the list of possible but uncommon cons of deep tissue massage is named and explained:

Fatigue and Malaise

Intense massage therapy can reduce your energy the following day. your neurological system might get over-stimulated, causing stress-induced fatigue. You can alleviate this result by hydrating and some relaxations. the physical manipulation leaves your central nervous system overloaded and in need of adjustments. In the next few days, you may tend to avoid intense workout or stressful meetings or other important sessions.

Nerve Damage

In some forms of massage, such as deep tissue massage, manipulation of muscles and connective tissues is necessary. To achieve that, the applied pressure is so intense to past the skin layer. An untrained therapist, or even a trained therapist who does not consider feedbacks from the patients, might apply too much pressure on muscles and tissues. This extra pressure will result in temporary nerve damage to the client.

Triggering an Old Injury

Deep tissue massage is threatening for clients who have weak bones, diseases such as osteoporosis, or brittle-bone. This type of massage might have their bones further compromised by deep pressures. Although massage is generally helpful to cancer patients, direct contact with the tumor site should be avoided, as this could cause complications. In rare cases, deep tissue massage makes pregnant women experience injury or induced labor. Some side effects might be noticed on clients with blood thinners or low blood platelet counts, specifically bruises and pain. To minimize possibilities of any of these complications, inform your therapist about all medical conditions and allergies you have, if this is applicable to you,  before beginning the therapy session.

Prolonged Pain

The initial pain should diminish after deep tissue massage, however, sometimes; the muscles require more than one or two sessions so some pain after the massage might be experienced. If you feel pain during deep tissue massage, you should let your therapist know.

Some pain is “good” pain, it indicates that the inflammations are calming down or muscles are loosening. If you do experience severe pain, the massage must be stopped as it could be worsening the problem.

If you do have pain after your therapy session and it doesn’t subside after a couple of days, contact your therapist for advice.

Sore/aching muscles:

Massage might bring to clients’ mental images of soothing or gentle touch. However, deep-tissue is much more intense.  Feeling soreness on the treated muscles is a common side effect of deep tissue massage. The reason is that the muscles which are worked with during the therapy session may not have received touch or manipulation in a long time, if ever. Soreness may feel like a good workout. It may feel mild or moderate and should subside in a couple of days.


nausea is another side-effect of deep tissue massage. This usually occurs as the lymphatic system tries to get rid of toxins in the body. Nausea is not serious or common issue and will diminish in a couple of days. Feeling sick shouldn’t be present after the massage. If you feel so, drinking water might help to flush out any excess toxins.

Infectious Skin Conditions

Serious infectious conditions of the skin can be rise on the client’s body if the massage therapist is not aware of the outbreak. These include herpes, ringworm, and cold sores. Also, as in the case of warts, the masseuse might spread the contagion in the client’s body from one area to another.


Some people experience headache symptoms after deep tissue massage but this is uncommon as massage usually alleviates head pain and migraines. It could be due to the awkward head position you had during the treatment. Or your therapist unconsciously may have triggered a response from one of your pressure points, especially if you were getting a massage on the upper back or neck area. If this occurred, try to get rest or take a break from demanding activities. call your therapist if it lasts more than a few days. Headache symptoms are not that serious to worry about unless they don’t disappear even with painkillers. In this case, take advice from your doctor.


Inflammation is a common reaction to this type of massage. Your therapist might have triggered inflammation in an aggravated part of your body or possibly applied extra pressure to a muscle or connective tissue where there was an old injury. Notify your massage therapist if you felt any signs of inflammation during the treatment and if the side-effects did not subside after a couple of days, consider taking pain killers, ice, or heat. 


After the massage therapy, you may feel tired or fatigued. This is the result of muscles being relaxed or release of stress. Also, this massage type helps you to release tension which can make your body feel exhausted as it has worked so hard to relieve itself of pain! This effect will not stay present longer than the day of treatment.

Not an Exact Science: 

Deep tissue massage doesn’t work for every individual and a massage therapist not only needs to have practical skills but also an undeniable intuition of a human’s body and how the massage business works. There is not an exact science involved in this, so there is no guarantee that this kind of therapy will help you.


Any possible side effects that you might experience after deep tissue massage should not last long, especially if you choose an experienced and professional therapist.

Always do your research and consultations before undergoing therapy session and take time to speak to your massage therapist about your possible previous injuries and what you need or expect post-treatment, try to highlight areas of focus and the areas you would like them to avoid.