Back Pain After Deadlifting? Try These 3 Massage Techniques

A deadlift is one of the most important lifts because it works so many muscles. It's considered one of the "big three," along with the squat and the bench press. It works out everything from your glutes and hamstrings, to rhomboids, lats and even your oblique muscles. However, it can be a stressful lift and give you back pain following a workout.

Once you have made sure your lifting form is correct (by consulting a personal trainer) and can rule out bad form as a cause of pain, it's time to seek out massage. Bodybuilders and powerlifters the world over understand the importance of massage. It keeps the muscles flexible and prevents injury. It can also be used to treat injury in the event that you do pull, strain, or damage muscle fiber or fascia. Here are three types of massage and what they are best for.

Swedish Massage

Swedish massage is incredibly popular because it is relatively gentle and also makes you feel awesome afterwards. The massage therapist will use two different hand techniques, effleurage and petrissage.

Effleurage is the term for a long and sweeping type of movement. The masseuse runs their hands down the muscle in one direction, applying light pressure. They then reverse the direction and continue.

Petrissage is the term for the more invasive movement. Here the masseuse will apply more pressure and begin to kneed and work the muscle. However, the pressure is still pleasant and not too severe.

Swedish massage is a great type of massage to have after your workout. It won't leave you sore the next day, so you can have them multiple times a week. It is best at preventing injury because it keeps muscles loose and limber. However, it only keeps muscles this way if they muscles and fascia are in good shape to begin with. If your muscle are very tight and there are knots, then you need to go deeper.

Deep Tissue Massage

This type of massage is not something that feels pleasant and is relaxing. However, it is the best at fixing troublesome muscle pain. The masseuse will really put deep pressure into your muscles with their knuckles, fingers, and even their elbows. The goal is to hit the sublayer of muscle and break up tight fascia. The fascia is the connective tissue that holds the muscles and keeps them bound together. People who lift weights can develop stiff and rigid fascia. This will restrict muscle movement, leading to tight muscles. The cycle is vicious and you will end up with a back so tight even walking is problematic. The best way to deal with this is to have a deep tissue massage where the fascia is loosened up and knots deep in the muscles are worked out.

This is not a type of massage you will get several times a week. The day after a deep tissue massage you will feel sore. But this is a good soreness. The muscles and fascia have been stretched out and are in much better condition then before.


Reflexology is a bit different than the two types of massage mentioned above. It focuses on the foot and hand, as opposed to directly addressing muscles across the entire body. The concept revolves around the idea that there is energy that is blocked which causes discomfort. There are special points on the feet and hands that correspond to other areas on the body. The reflexologist can manipulate these points using pressure and attempt to free up this blocked energy.

If you've had little success with deep tissue massage, then this is a great alternative massage therapy to consider. There are cases where weightlifters who have had serious back injuries have had immense success with reflexology.

Unlike deep tissue massage, a session with a reflexologist won't leave you sore the next day, so you don't have to schedule it for a time when you won't have to do any strenuous work the next day. For more information, talk to a professional, such as Advanced Alternatives Massage Therapy.