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Why am I Sore After Treatment?

Picture this: You have just woken up…

…the day after your osteopathy or physiotherapy appointment and you’re wondering; why am I so sore?

You may be asking yourself why it feels like you have run a marathon in your sleep! Didn’t you schedule in your treatment to help with your pain and discomfort? And, hope to get relief straight away?


remedial massage

Why would this feeling be normal?

As strange as it may sound, it is perfectly normal to feel a bit battered and bruised after a session with your osteopath or physiotherapist.

In the treatment session your therapist may address any tight muscles and/or stiff joints within your body. They may use soft tissue (massage) and stretch the really tight muscles and mobilise (move) the really stiff joints.

For your muscles, getting a deep-tissue massage is similar to experiencing a tough workout. The muscles were stretched and manipulated during the session, and the massage increased blood flow to the area. This is very similar to what happens when you exercise!

For your joints, mobilisations may shift the joints around in directions they don’t particularly want to move in at that point in time.

Some interesting things you may not have thought of:

  • During your treatment you might unknowingly tense and tighten your muscles because you are anticipating some pain.
  • If you’re feeling quite dehydrated on the day of your appointment, your muscle tissue may not be as pliable.

These factors can all influence post-treatment soreness!

stay hydrated

What can YOU do to combat this soreness?

  • Increase water intake. Make sure you remain hydrated before and after your appointment. Hydrated muscles are more flexible and pliable, which also helps your joints to move around more smoothly.
  • Take a warm bath or shower to keep your muscles and joints warm and flexible. Similarly, you can apply a heat pack to the area that was worked on. This can be done after your appointment.
  • Keep moving after your session! The worst thing you can do is sit on the couch for the rest of the day. Your body will stiffen up and won’t be adapting to the changes made in the appointment.
  • Follow your osteopaths or physiotherapists advice – It is given to you to help you feel better and get you back to what you love doing!

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