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Muscle Knots

Have you ever had a stubborn muscle knot? Have you ever wondered what it was, why it was there, and how the heck to get rid of it? Join the club! Hopefully this post will shed some light on the situation and give you some tools to help alleviate your knots.

What is a muscle knot

Muscle knots (as they’re commonly referred to) feel like bumps in your muscle tissue. They happen when muscle fibers or connective tissue (called fascia) tense up and tighten. Muscle knots usually show up in areas where you naturally carry a lot of tension. They can range from the size of a pea, to the size of a golf ball, or even larger. The medical terms, these knots are known as myofascial trigger points. Trigger points are frequently painful to the touch, or sometimes even painful without it. They can cause referred pain, headaches, limit range of motion, and really ruin your mood.

Causes

  • Overuse – Injuries relating to repetitive activity or heavy lifting
  • Misuse – Poor posture or exercising improperly
  • Underuse – Prolonged sitting or bedrest
  • Stress and tension

Often times, a combination of these problems lead to muscle knots.

Remedies

  • Apply heat or ice to the painful area
  • Stretch the tight muscle
  • Do some light exercise
  • Get enough sleep
  • Book a massage
  • Try taking anti-inflammatory medications

If these tips don’t work, you should see a doctor. They may prescribe physical therapy, medication, or injections.

How to prevent muscle knots

If your problem is:

  • Overuse – Opt for whole-body workouts like swimming or Pilates so you don’t overuse specific muscle groups.
  • Misuse – Work on your posture. Also, when you exercise, use good body mechanics. Be sure to initiate movements from your core. This helps to disperse the load instead of fatiguing the same muscles.
  • Underuse – Take time throughout your day to do some mild stretching. Make sure you do something active each day weather you go to the gym or simply take a walk.
  • Stress and tension – Work on lowering your stress levels by doing some self care. Take a bath, book a massage, or start meditating.

I hope these tips help!

– Rachael Turner, LMT, Pilates instructor & Founder of Inertia6