How Massage Helps Tendons

Want to know How Massage Helps Tendons?

Great. I'm happy to tell you.

Massage is INCREDIBLY beneficial for the health of tendons, other connective tissue structures, muscle fibers and muscle groups, the immune system, and the entire body as a whole

But lets focus on the benefits of massage on tendons.

For the record, Tendonitis is an issue not just with tendons, but also with the muscle and connective tissue structures as a whole.

How Massage Helps Tendons
Start With The Muscle

Even though we're going to focus on the benefits of massage for tendons, it's a BAD idea to isolate tendon from the rest of the physical structure.

ALL tendon problems are due to problems with the muscle. If the muscle is unhealthy or not working optimally, it's the tendon that's going to take the damage.

So while it's important to keep tendons happy, it's as important or even more important to keep the muscle and interwoven connective tissue structures happy.

Aside from big rips or tears, tendons pretty much take care of themselves if the muscle is pushed towards optimal.

So. Start with the muscle. Everything beneficial a massage does for muscle, that benefit is also delivered to the tendon.

We'll go through specific benefits of massage to tendons below.

How Massage Helps Tendons
Less Chronic Tension, Less Load

Tight muscles pull on tendon. Chronically tight muscles pulls on tendon constantly.

Tendon is really just rope. It doesn't contract or relax like muscle does. So if you pull on a tendon, it gets taught and essentially compresses itself, just like pulling on a rope would.

Loosing the pull on the rope, which is the same as relaxing muscle loosening the tension on a tendon, and the tendon is allowed to go to a more neutral, soft state.

The tighter a muscle is, and the longer it's been tight, the more tension is chronically on the tendon, and the more irritated it gets.


Grab your pointer finger with your other hand. Pull on it VERY gently. For 6 months. I PROMISE you that it's going to hurt really bad after 6 months of constant tension.

Why? Because it's not designed for that. And it doesn't like it.

That constant tension and resulting pain and irritation is EXACTLY what happens to a tendon when muscles are too tight for too long.

Again, that's why if you want to benefit a tendon with massage, you have to start with the muscle.

Massage helps tendon by relaxing tight muscle, thus taking chronic irritating tension off the tendon.

Also, the more chronic tension is on a tendon, the less healthy it gets, and the more prone it is to actual rip/tear injury, and the more prone it is to Tendonosis.

All that tension pulling the tendon taut -reduces- blood flow and nutrition getting to and into the tendon. Kind of like a half squeeze sponge. The looser (more neutral) a tendon can get, the better for it's health and longevity.

How Massage Helps Tendons
Mobility and Flexibility

So we started with massage on the muscles that connect to the tendons.

The muscles and connective tissue loosened up, and took tension off the tendon.

Muscle/tendon structures are -supposed- to be loose and relaxed. An athlete with loose and relaxed muscles is quicker, faster, stronger, and more resistant to injury than someone with tight muscles and taut tendons.

The tighter a muscle is, the less strength potential it has.

The tighter a muscle is, the less able it is to absorb force.

And all that force has to go somewhere....which is usually where tendon rips and tears, whether they're big tears or microscopic rips.

How Massage helps Tendons - Tendon Mobility and Flexibility

A loose tendon in a neutral state (not getting pulled tight by it's muscle) allows for more mobility and flexibility.

The tendon is full of nerve endings that tell the brain whether it's safe or not. If you're stretching and the muscles are healthy and mobile, they lengthen, and will eventually tell the brain that that's as far as they can go.

But if your muscles are chronically tight and making the tendon too taut and tense, then the tendon will start telling the brain VERY early that it's gone as far as it thinks safe.

Ever been really sore and tried to startch? And you could go about three inches before you felt pain and tightness? That's because the tendon is saying "HELL NO!" because it's afraid it's going to get torn in half.

One way how massage helps tendons is that it keeps them loose, it literally helps them feel safe, and keeps them healthier on a variety of levels.

How Massage Helps Tendons
Circulation and Tissue Health

Massage helps tendons by creating circulation.

Circulation is VITAL to all parts of the body, for all the same reasons.

The benefits of circulation to a tendon:

* New oxygen to the tendon tissue

* New nutrients to the tendon tissue

* Old fluid and waste product out of and away from the tendon tissue

* Pain enhancing chemical from the Pain Causing Dynamic out of and away from the tendon tissue.

Muscles have a direct blood supply. Tendons don't. So the more circulation you can make FOR a tendon, the better.

When a tendon gets less than optimal circulation (because it's pulled too tight, for instance), then it develops Tendonosis, which means that the cells are literally starving to death.

New nutrition is as necessary to a tendon as breakfast is to you.

Eat breakfast.

The more circulation (and thus oxygen, nutrition, etc) a tendon gets, the healthier the tendon tissue will be.

How Massage Helps Tendons
Circulation and Structural Integrity

The less circulation and nutrition a tendon gets (which is correlated to how tense, tight, and taut the tendon is due to muscle tightness, the weaker a tendon becomes.

Tendons are all about structural integrity. Like pillars and cables holding a bridge up. You don't want those pillars or cables to fray or crumble.

Tendonosis directly lessens the structural integrity of a tendon. If 25% of it literally rots away, for instance, then you can imagine that running a marathon, or jumping for volleyball or basketball could put enough load on it that it gives way and ruptures.

Tendon rupture is no fun at all. See: Achilles Tendon Rupture

One way how massage helps tendons is that massage helps tendon avoid injury by helping it be healthy and structurally sound.

How Massage Helps Tendons

So massage helps tendons in a variety of ways.

It helps the muscle that controls the tendon to loosen up and relax, thus not pulling on the tendon so much.

Massage helps tendons be loose, pliable, and mobile.

Massage helps tendon tissue be healthy.

Massage helps healthy tendon tissue be structurally strong, so it can do it's job better and resist both injury and wear and tear.

Return to the top of this How Massage Helps Tendons page. Go to the main Tendonitis page.

Go to the homepage.

Subscribe to The Tendonitis Expert Newsletter Today!

For TIPS, TRICKS, and up-to-date Tendonitis information you need!




Don't worry -- your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you The Tendonitis Expert Newsletter.

Tendonitis Treatment That Works DVD's


Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.