With chronic muscle tension or injury, there may be adhesions (bands of painful, rigid tissue) in muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Adhesions can disrupt circulation and cause pain, limited movement, and inflammation. Deep tissue massage works by physically breaking down these adhesions to relieve pain and restore normal movement. To do this, the massage therapist uses massage oil and often uses direct deep pressure. Muscles must be relaxed in order for the therapist to reach the deeper musculature.