Chances are, at some stage in your life, you’ve felt the soft, achy sensation of a muscle knot. Studies have shown that muscle knots can affect the population by up to 85 %. Muscle knots restrict mobility, cause discomfort, and can
lower the quality of life for an individual.
Why are Knots of the Muscle?
Usually, muscle knots are located within your back, shoulders, and neck. These are rigid muscle bands that have in the middle a hard knob which is known as a trigger point. The pain may either pop up spontaneously (active) or by pressing (latent) the trigger point.
But in all cases, muscle knots cause pain to radiate through the surrounding muscles past the trigger point.
What triggers knots in the muscles?
Muscle knots, also known as myofascial trigger points, are complex and likely have different triggers. There is still further work to be carried out on the matter, although the current data available indicates that muscle knots are the result of overuse such as heavy lifting or physical exercise.
Other potential triggers may include:
- Psychological stress
- Poor ergonomics
- Bad posture
- Unhealthy eating habits
- Sleep disturbances
- Joint problems
Muscle fibers are designed to shift – contract and expand – extend and shorten, “But, with so little movement in between, as we sit at the computer all day, these muscle fibers tend to bind to each other, forming a knot. Bad posture also puts stress on our muscles and with ample time, this stress will cause scar tissue to form.
How are the muscle-knot symptoms?
Pain is the primary symptom of knots in the muscle. Because everybody experiences a different kind of pain, your symptoms can vary from everyone else’s. Many people, however, believe that knots in the muscle feel bloated, tight, or bumpy, and cause a feeling of aching.
This can cause apparently unrelated pain in other places depending on where the muscle knot is located in the body. A muscle knot in the neck, for example, can send pain to the base of the skull, leading to stress headache.
What is most vulnerable to muscle knots?
Very few people travel through life without ever feeling a knot of muscle. 97 % percent of those with back pain have trigger points, and 100 percent of those with neck pain have them. Though, there are certain risk factors that raise the probability of muscle knots forming.
- People with fibromyalgia
How can you treat muscle knots?
Diagnosing a muscle knot requires that an skilled practitioner such as a chiropractor perform a physical test. The doctor will assess the area of
concern for three things: a taut muscle band, a tender nodule, and a patient’s response to physical strain.
How to handle muscle knots?
When diagnosed, the question becomes “How do I handle the knot of the muscle in my back/neck/shoulders, etc.?”
There are a variety of choices but the most popular are:
- Massage therapy
- Ultrasound therapy
Whatever option you choose, the main objective is to release the trigger point by breaking up the knotted tissue and soothing the inflamed nerves to
alleviate pain and improve mobility.
Firstly, how do you avoid muscle knots?
Since muscle knots are the product of overuse, tension, poor posture, exhaustion, etc., resting and
focusing on posture and overall lifestyle habits will lower the risk of having a muscle knot.
Here are a few hints:
- Improve your posture by sitting in a comfortable position, with back and down of your shoulders. Try not to slouch your absolute best.
Take the time to relax all day and add exercise to your routine.
Don’t overdo it when large items are removed. Ask for assistance, take it slowly, or push items in batches.
When your work needs you to sit for most of the day, take daily stretch breaks to prevent contracting your muscles too.
To keep your body hydrated, make sure your diet contains a good balance of calcium, potassium, and magnesium, and drink plenty of water.
Can you handle knots in your muscle at home?
Although we suggest seeking advice from an expert on the spine, muscle, and nervous system, there are certain occasions where you can rub your own sore muscles. Seek to adopt the basic strategy of:
- Locate the knot in your muscle, and gently work it out with your fingertips.
Work on loosening the tight muscle by firmly pressing down and making small circles.
If you find it hard to hit the muscle knot in your back, neck, or shoulders, you should try adding pressure to the knot using a tennis ball or foam roller. Moving slowly and softly back and forth to ease the tension.
Muscle knots are uncomfortable and irritating at every part of the body. Knowing that you know what they are, what triggers them and how to treat
them, we hope that you can find comfort and enjoy your everyday activities again.
If you have a recurring muscle knot that interferes with your quality of life, schedule an appointment today with Reco Spinal Centre @ 0117 925 2886