T Nation

Cost of Recovery

Not in some deep philosophical way, but what sort of “for pay” recovery stuff do you call have done, what do you all typically spend and at what frequency? I’m talking like deep tissue massage, graston, dry needling, etc…

I’ve never done any of that sort of thing, mainly because I’m a cheap bastard and was always worried it would just turn into a money pit. Anyway, just curious on everyone’s experience here.


My opinion on it, is pay when there is a problem. I paid to have some deep tissue massage around my shoulder when I was having issues with impingement. Not sure if it helped or not, but I was willing to try anything when I could barely bench 185 after my injury.

I actually find that doing self massage stuff like foam rolling, lacrosse ball stuff, just makes me sore more often. I figure if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. Also saves a lot of time. I see a lot of my fellow lifters come into the gym, and are on the ground doing this stuff for 30 minutes before lifting a weight. Just seems like a waste of time to me.

I don’t think the idea of doing this stuff as preventive pans out IRL. Those guys seem to get injured at similar rates IME.


I think between Epsom salt and chiropractic I pay about $50 per month. Worth it to me. Between those two things, adding real cardio (running), and using Agile 8 before every session I’ve been relatively injury-free for about 2 years now. Compare that to fucking my back up every 1-3 months for the prior 7 years and it looks real good.

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i stopped powerlifting. Best thing in my life


$100 per week for massage.

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my god…

I am a bit like @mnben87 in that I usually only pay out for this stuff when I have an issue. I have used physio, osteo and massage is the past. For the most part a few good hot baths a week and some light self massage with one of those gun things is all I really do.

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Not a power lifter but I’ve had lymphatic drainage massage, which is deep tissue massage with hot towels placed on the muscles between round of massage.

Not sure on the science but I am sure of the skill of the masseur. I had a very successful climbing trip not long after as my mobility had improved massively. It’s weird to hear things move around in your shoulders, and muscles suddenly shift.

Felt beaten up for a day or two, then felt great.

I lean away from all that stuff because, in truth, I’d be worried about becoming reliant on it. Every once in a while I’ll have the Mrs give me a massage if I’m feeling particularly beat up, but otherwise I just try to push through.


Trick is if your place of employment allows you to sign up for a Flex Spending Account, do it. It helps on taxes and your massages and chiro visits are items you can spend that money on. I don’t use it like I should, but my wife swears by the massage therapy (she can use my flex spending money too even though she doesn’t work at the same place). Also you can use the money on co-pays, medicines and I think the one we have has a store that you can buy dumb stuff like sunscreen, band aids, sunglasses yada in. So IMO well worth a look at least.


Pay BEFORE you get to this point. Baring any acute injuries that is.

Whether you’re just paying for a lacrosse ball and a foam roller or you’re paying for massage and chiro you need to be spending time and money on tissue manipulation.

Now you shouldn’t become dependant on it like @T3hPwnisher said, but mobility and tissue work should be a staple. Especially if you’ve been doing this stuff for a while.

I try to do the chiro every 2-3 weeks during my last 12 weeks of a meet prep. Massage is every 4-6 weeks yearly. Just helps me find problem areas before they get too bad.

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So cost for me is like $70 per massage, $40 for chiro.

I don’t seem to get this type of stuff. My issue was like an on / off switch. I think it occurred during sleep. Just came in one day, and my left arm could only push like 25% of what my right could. I think it is fully recovered now. I never had pain with it, which was weird.

I just found that when I was doing all the tissue manipulation, I was sore all the time, when I stopped, I wasn’t sore anymore. Maybe I am a unique case?

Probably means you were over doing it.

It doesn’t have to be daily for an hour.

Movement assessments can help point to these issues. If you’re not having issues then you don’t need them but mobility work is probably always useful which is still recovery you just might not need tissue work

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I will do some tissue manipulation and or mobility work if I am having an issue. I have had elbow issues in the past. I’ll use one of those thera gun things on the forearm, and use an elbow sleeve if that happens. I’ll also usually swap out straight bar squats for buffalo or SSB (which seems to help). I don’t ever get pain squatting, but when I bench the next day it can show up.

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As needed basis.

Had Graston a couple of times and some kind of electrical pads they stuck on me to pulse my muscles. That was only in regards to later finding out my bicep tendon/labrum and rotator were torn.

Always did chiro every 2-4 weeks. Have not been in over 4 years now.

Deep tissue multiple times as well.

To be honest, proper time warming up, foam rolling, lacrosse ball, etc. made a big difference. I also take longer between training sessions as well. Longer recovery times meant better training for me.


I was thinking alot about all this stuff like propper massages etc, but then i dated a professional in this field for a bit. She did some stuff on me and said - “i would need 3 90min sessions a week for 12 weeks to fix you”(costs an arm and a leg). “But if you continue to do what you do, you will just get back to all of this in a few months.”
So basically - dont fix whats not broken so far.
I do have a massage gun but im lazy to use it.

What i am doing is stretching. I have found a lot of good videos on youtube, and i try to stretch at least 20-30mins EOD after my cardio and it DOES seem to help with me feeling less stiff and also seems to improve my knee pain a bit.

I believe that most stuff is worthless and a scam tho. Maybe im paranoid, but it is what it is… If i was a millionare i would just do it all just for the fuck of it, but since i am barelly surviving month to month, i just cant afford to test stuff out for scams.

i also believe this alot… i do weights only EOD and my 4 day training splits are 8-10 days nowdays…
I have also found that some of my clients perform much better when we stop viewing training weeks as a strict 7 day weeks.


I currently train 2x per week. Getting older (45) x years under the bar = only way I find getting stronger now.

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My wife and I typically get a deep tissue massage each weekend from a masseuse who comes to our home. Total cost is $500 for 90 minutes for each of us. The woman is incredible, she has relieved almost all pain and knots I have pop up over the years.

@osu122975 you’ve given me great advice before.

What does your training look like now? Don’t want to thread hijack but I am happy to steal whatever I can.