You've probably experienced a muscle knot at some point in your life. Everyone is susceptible to these annoying knots, regardless of the cause, whether you got them from working out or from spending a lot of time sitting in front of a computer.
This guide will cover whatever you need to understand about muscle knots and how to manage them yourself.
What Are Muscle Knots?
Credit: Envato Element/ twenty20photos
A muscle knot also referred to as a myofascial trigger point, is a region of contraction in a particular muscle fiber. Myofascial trigger points can form anywhere, although they are most often located in the back, shoulders, neck, and even the gluteal muscles. They may feel large or stiff to the touch. They can also cause soreness in your muscles and joints and be sensitive or unpleasant to the touch.
Myofascial trigger points shouldn't be mistaken with myofascial pain syndrome. Although almost everyone has experienced muscle knots, myofascial pain syndrome causes discomfort that either last longer or gets worse. This syndrome causes serious chronic pain. When someone has this condition, applying pressure to trigger points in your muscle fibers might result in discomfort in the affected muscle and occasionally in seemingly unrelated areas of your body.
Causes of Muscle Knots
Credit: Envato Element/ friend_stock
Muscle knots are caused due to:
1) Poor posture
3) An Idle Lifestyle
While injury, poor posture, and overuse may contribute to some muscle knot problems, a sedentary lifestyle is the main culprit. Knots can readily develop in your body as a result of extended sitting and repetitive activities.
The actual knot develops as a result of your body trying to protect a damaged, stressed, or weak area. The muscles in the immediate area will contract to halt further harm. Because they are so stubborn, most knots won't go away unless the muscles contract and the knotted area is broken up. There will be tightness, pain, and a limited range of motion until the muscles are released and blood flow is restored to the constricting area.
How to Treat Muscle Knots
Credit: Envato Element/ varyapigu
Muscle knots can be treated at home. Here are some quick tips for relieving your pain:
Consider doing some gentle stretching to help loosen a muscle that has been tightened by occupying an uncomfortable position for a long time. Stretching aids in preventing knots as well. If you notice that certain areas of your body seem to tighten up regularly, speak with your physical therapist about stretches to relax those muscles and prevent muscle knots from forming.
2) Apply Pressure to Trigger Points
Simply apply pressure to the knot or trigger point for 5 to 10 seconds, then let go. The idea is that applying pressure to the knot restricts blood flow; releasing the pressure allows more blood to enter. The muscle can relax thanks to the increased blood flow.
3) Cold and Heat Therapy
Muscle knot-related discomfort and inflammation can be reduced by using a combination of hot and cold therapy.
Cold therapy helps contract blood vessels which reduces swelling. To do this, use an ice pack on the sensitive area for 5 minutes, and then take it off for at least 10 minutes. You can keep doing this until you start to feel some relief.
Heat therapy also relaxes and loosens tense muscles. Heat may boost blood flow, which aids in the healing process. To do this, use a heating pad on the trigger point or take a warm bath.
Use the method that is most effective for you or alternate between cold and hot treatments.
4) Trigger Point Balls
Trigger point balls are good at-home remedies to relieve tension from stiff muscles. You can pick up your own trigger point ball set from Acupoint.
5) Professional Treatments
Professional treatments include:
- Physical therapy
- Massage therapy
How To Massage a Knot Out of Your Back Using a Trigger Point Ball
Credit: Envato Element/ twenty20photos
The back is more prone to muscle knots than any other part of the body. To relieve pain caused by muscle knots on the back, follow the steps below:
1) Place a trigger point ball between the wall and your upper back while standing with your back to the wall.
2) Find a tender place by moving around in all directions.
3) Cross your hands across your chest and lean back against the wall.
4) Continue to softly ascend and descend while massaging any knots or sensitive spots you may come across.
5) Repeat on the other side.
Untreated muscle knots are not life-threatening but can affect your functioning. To avoid future muscle knots and tense muscle fibers, it is best to concentrate on overall posture, flexibility, and strength while maintaining a trigger point ball massage routine. If you're a sprinter or sportsman, or you frequently get muscle knots, you should seriously consider buying the Acupoint Massage Ball Set.