Can You Take a Muscle Relaxer Before a Massage?

Massage therapy heavily relies on feedback from how you feel.

So anything that hinders a natural response can affect the massage therapist’s abilities.

Can you take muscle relaxers before a massage? It is advisable not to take muscle relaxers before a massage. This restriction also applies to any medication, including mood stabilizers and pain medications. They strongly interfere with your pain perception, sense of tension, and ability to communicate with your therapist.

What if You Have to Take Muscle Relaxers Before a Massage?

Suppose you’re in chronic pain that warrants taking a muscle relaxer to alleviate. In that case, it is more efficient to talk to a physician before booking a spa day or, better yet, reschedule your appointment. 

But if it’s too late. The best thing to do is inform your massage therapist and let them make an informed decision.

A more in-depth understanding of why not to take a muscle relaxer before a massage requires a sense of what muscle relaxers are and how they function.

Interestingly, muscle relaxers do not have any effect on muscle tissue. Still, instead, their impact is on the central nervous system by preventing pain signals from reaching your brain.

What Will Happen If I take Muscle Relaxers Before a Massage?

For a great massage experience, it is good to consider and understand certain factors involved to ensure effective massage therapy before booking a session. Being well-informed helps ensure safety and prevents specific adverse effects in the future when it comes to health. 

The side effects of muscle relaxers are crucial factors to consider before booking a massage. More than likely, a massage can indirectly increase the influence of a muscle relaxer. A few of the most common side effects caused by taking muscle relaxers include: 

  • Drowsiness or Sedation Effect
  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Fatigue
  • Agitation
  • Dizziness 
  • Irritability
  • Nervousness

Often, deep tissue massages treat musculoskeletal issues, such as strains and sports injuries. It involves applying sustained pressure using slow, deep strokes to target the inner layers of your muscles and connective tissues.

These side effects may make it difficult for your therapist to properly execute their job, which may cause discomfort and injuries. 

This type of massage helps break up scar tissue that forms following an injury and reduces tension in muscles and tissue. It may also promote faster healing by increasing blood flow and reducing inflammation. However, if you take a muscle relaxer, you would probably fall asleep during the massage and feel odd. 

There’s a good chance your therapist would turn you away if they know you took muscle relaxers before the massage.

In effect, massage therapists should equally run their clients through a brief screening to understand their medical history and offer advice when it is necessary to avoid complications.

Below are a few other things to avoid before getting a massage:

  • Avoid eating a full meal right before your massage
    • Certain massage styles will require you to lay face down and involve lots of pressure, which might be uncomfortable. Massages are also a digestive stimulant. Therefore, a light meal before your session is suggested.
  •  Lay off the caffeine
    • Drinking coffee or other caffeinated drinks may be counteractive in causing relaxation during a massage session. 
  • Not staying hydrated
    • Massages tend to boost the effect of substances on our bodies. When you get a massage, your body moves toxins. Therefore any ill effects of alcohol may be amplified. Therefore, opt for taking water and staying hydrated while avoiding alcohol.
  • Don’t Sunbathe 
    • Sunburns are pretty sensitive to the touch. So it might not be a pleasant experience.
  • Shower Warm not Hot
    • Hot showers increase your blood circulation and might cause you to sweat throughout your session. Instead, take a warm shower a few hours before your appointment.
  • If you feel ill before your appointment, it is better to reschedule to an appropriate time than get a massage while you are sick. 

Can You Take a Muscle Relaxer After a Massage?

Lots of massage therapists recommend you try prolonging the feeling of calm after a massage. For example, you can do anything that relaxes you physically and mentally, such as resting, reading a book, or even watching a movie.

However, it is not the best idea to take a muscle relaxer after a massage. It’s best to book a massage for a day when you know you’ll be home for a good 4-6 hours. 

Massage experts warn against activities that strain your circulation, muscles and digestive tract for two hours after your session. As we’ve seen, muscle relaxers can affect these body systems. Post-massage activities should not include; 

  • Using Drugs or Drinking alcohol
    • Certain substances are very counteractive to the detoxifying benefits of a massage. In addition, the blood flow improvement caused by massages can cause the effect of certain drugs to boost, which might result in an overdose. Some substances also cause muscle tension which reverts the work done by getting a massage in the first place.
  • Eating large meals
    • Give your body and digestive system a break — heavy meals can undo stress relief. Try lighter foods instead. Fruit salads, Leafy greens, soups or Nuts, and berries are good recommendations for food.
  • Forgetting to stretch
    • Doing a few minutes of stretches after a massage can help prolong its effects.
  • Stressing out
    • Stress relief is one of the primary reasons for a massage. Putting yourself in stress-related situations or environments will only undo the work of a massage. When you plan out your spa day, make sure the rest of the day includes more relaxation away from stressful situations, people, and environments.
  • Overworking yourself physically
    • A little exercise is generally an excellent practice for a healthy life. But not after a massage session. A good massage puts your muscles in recovery mode and makes them feel good. So a good practice will be to avoid unnecessary physical activity post-massage.
  • Ignoring Soreness
    • Massage-related injuries happen quite often as it involves applying pressure. Your therapist might have been too rough on your body, or maybe you’re not accustomed to the force used in massages. Feeling Soreness is a cue to alert your therapist to lighten the pressure. Ignoring the pain threshold might not be the best thing to do. Instead, address whatever Soreness or pain you feel during a massage session. If it persists after, draw your therapist’s attention to the area of Soreness. You can also mention it to your therapist to avoid any sore spots.

Taking muscle relaxers won’t benefit you before or after a massage. Feedback is necessary for therapy.

Now it’s time to hear from you;

Have you ever taken anything before or after a massage?

Is there a particular aspect of this post you think needs more detail?

Whatever your answers are leave them in the comments below.

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