It’s a free day here at Tuesdays on the Run with Patty from My No-Guilt Life and Erika from MCM Mama Runs. While any running topic is always welcome, this is one of those weeks where we’re letting all our fellow bloggers just pick their own topic!
Because I’m super injury prone, I do lots of things to reduce my injury risk, including getting deep tissue massage every other week. I’ve already posted about other injury reduction techniques like acupuncture and my love/hate relationships with my foam roller and The Stick. Deep tissue massage is one more tool in my “keep on running” kit and like most of my other techniques I love it because it’s very effective, but I hate it because it hurts!
I’ve gotten massage on and off over the years because I have lots of upper back and neck tension and pain from being a generally uptight person and from working at a desk like a T-Rex with my arms all scrunched up and my shoulders pulled up under my ears. I don’t know why I do that but I always wind up all knotted up.
For my terribly knotted up back, those relaxing fancy spa massages are useless. They feel nice and relaxing at the time and I leave feeling great but by the next morning my muscles are all tight and painful again. Luckily, I’ve found a couple of massage therapists over the years who have Arnold Schwartzennager like strength in their hands and know how to dig in and release the knots and tight spots. Those deep tissue massages hurt at times but really do give me a lot of relief in the long run.
Since I got back into running a few years ago, I’ve added my legs to the areas I
subject to treat to deep tissue massage. Almost all of my running injuries in the last couple of years stem from tight calves, hamstrings and glutes. So, my massage therapist now spends a lot of time digging in and finding the knots and tight spots and helping them release. I think that is a big part of why I’ve been able to recover so quickly from my injuries.Massage is a big time commitment and isn’t cheap (even when insurance covers it, like mine does) but it makes a big difference in keeping me on the road. I supplement it with yoga, foam rolling and stretching, but I feel like the massage therapy is an integral component in my running toolkit. So, while I’ll indulge in a spa massage once a year, I make sure to get to the deep tissue, sports massage therapist at least once a month.