Is it normal to experinece pain after deep tissue massage to tight calf muscles?

Q. Why do we have pain after deep tissue massage to tight calf muscle?

Answered by
Sreenivasa Rao
and medically reviewed by Dr.Nithila A
This is a premium question & answer published on Jun 20, 2019 and last reviewed on: Jun 29, 2023

Hello doctor,

I was suffering from minor Achilles tendinopathy and visited a physiotherapist today to get it checked. During the session, he performed some deep tissue massage on the calf (which was very tight) to relax it, which was very painful. After the massage, I experienced sharp pains while walking (which were not there beforehand), and when I brought this up with the physio, he said it was normal because it was the first time I had gotten deep tissue massage on that area.

I have been icing the calf and resting, and while it has gotten a little better, it still hurts to walk. I have my exams tomorrow which I have to get to and other events on the weekend where I have to be (and will involve walking). I am worried about how I can see as I cannot walk at all. Is it normal to experience such pain after deep tissue massage to tight calf muscles, or did I sustain some injury (say a muscle strain or something similar) and need to get it checked out?



Welcome to

I read your concern. Sometimes, usually, they try to break the trigger points, and it would have caused discomfort. The technique itself is pro-inflammatory techniques and will induce some more inflammation so that healing happens.

So do not worry. Now, I request you to ice your calf frequently like once in two hours for 15 minutes as of now and stretch it properly things should settle down fast. Tomorrow morning you might feel a lot of stiffness in the calf, do not worry as you have to stretch your calf gently and roll your calf over a foam roller or if have somebody ask them to massage it for few seconds. Things will be fine. You can walk without pain. I hope this is helpful to you. Kindly revert in case you need any further information in this regard.

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