You’ve probably experienced a muscle knot once before. It’s that feeling of tightness in your muscles that makes you want to get a massage. Can you have a knot in your muscle and not know it? Are there other treatments available for muscle knots than a massage?
What is a Muscle Knot?
A muscle knot can be described as hypersensitivity in a muscle. These are the areas most susceptible to being affected by muscle knots:
Buttocks, including gluteus muscles and piriformis muscles.
These areas can be overworked, making them more susceptible to muscle knots. A muscle knot is caused by restricted connective tissue. This connective tissue helps support the body and gives structure. This could be caused by injury or overuse.
The body protects itself by restricting movement in the area and decreasing the likelihood of further injury. What is the end result? These tight muscle bands are known as trigger points or muscle knots.
There are many reasons why a muscle knot may form:
Exercise in the affected area.
Overuse: This could be a repetitive motion in your job, or in a sport that you play regularly.
Bad posture can lead to poor posture. Poor posture can cause strain to your muscles.
Uncomfortable sleeping position
Anxiety and stress. Stress or anxiety can cause muscle tension, which can lead to knots.
How a chiropractor can help relieve muscle pain
To help you achieve your goals, schedule an appointment with a licensed chiropractor today.
Muscle Knot symptoms
Muscle knots can be characterized by the following symptoms:
Pain in the area surrounding the knot
A pain that is located in another part of the body, but not near the muscle knot. Referred pain is also known as a syndrome called “referred pain”. This could be a muscle knot in your calves, but you feel the pain in your heel.
You can restrain your movement around the muscle knot.
If someone touches the muscle knot, it can cause soreness.
It is possible to have a muscle knot without even knowing it. Although muscle knots do not always need treatment, most of them will not go away by themselves. After trying self-care techniques like stretching, or if the knot is restricting you from moving normally, seek help.
If you don’t feel comfortable speaking with your primary care provider about a knot in your muscle, you can contact them. However, other professionals are trained to treat them.
The Best Treatments for a Muscle Knot
Treatment for muscle knots aims to reduce inflammation, pain, and increase mobility. Here are some things to do if you want to remove a muscle knot.
Take a massage. A massage can provide a relaxing and soothing experience. Massage can be used to release tension from a muscle knot. Ask your massage therapist about trigger point massage. This is a massage that focuses on the sore areas. This massage is not recommended for everyone as it can cause discomfort. It should still provide relief to the target area. Medical massage can be used for pain relief or to relax.
A foam roller is a great tool. Foam rollers can be used to massage tight muscles. A foam roller can be used to treat a wide range of muscle knots including those in your legs, hips, and back.
A massage gun is a great option. Massage guns are very popular with both athletes and regular customers. Even a few minutes of pressure with the massage gun can be enough to help.
Ask your physical therapist for dry needling. Dry needling uses small, thin needles to stimulate blood flow to the trigger point. Although it is not painful, you might feel the needle poke into your muscle. This can relieve pain.
Stretch. Stretches that stretch the area of the muscle where there is a knot can help to release tension and make the muscle more flexible.
You can use heat or ice. You consult a professional to help you deal with a muscle knot. However, ice (like an Ice Pack) is best for acute injuries such as newer muscle knots. It can help to numb the pain. Heat can also treat an injury or a muscle knot you have had for some time that has become more severe. Heat will increase blood circulation to the affected area. You can get heat relief from a heating pad, hot tub, or hot shower.
Try acupuncture. Acupuncture uses thin needles to apply pressure to points on the body to alter the flow of qi (or energy). This can decrease tension and increase pleasure-inducing endorphins (a type of chemical produced in the body). Acupuncture increases blood flow to the area affected and improves communication between the body’s healthy areas and the overused areas.
Each of these treatments may require several sessions to treat your muscle knot effectively. However, you might notice a difference in the soreness after only one treatment.
Exercise with a Muscle Knot
You might be tempted to skip exercise if you feel a muscle knot. Regular exercise is good for your entire body so don’t stop moving. To avoid aggravating the pain further, you might need to change what you are doing. Even if you are seeking treatment for the knots, running, biking and yoga can still be done with modifications. Clients should exercise with a pain scale from 0-10, with 10 being the most severe.
You heat your muscle knots for a few seconds before starting to exercise. This can help reduce pain. To prepare for your workout, warm up for five minutes. While it is okay to move, it is not recommended to exercise in a way that can aggravate or worsen your muscle knots. This is where light exercise, such as:
How to Prevent Muscle Knots
These are other ways to prevent muscle knots:
Pay attention to your posture. A heads-down position can cause sore neck, shoulders, back, and other muscle knots. To keep your body in a comfortable position, aim for a position that keeps your head at eye level.
Set up an ergonomically-friendly workspace. It’s been 2 years since the pandemic began and patients still tell me that sitting on their sofa causes back pain. An ergonomically-friendly workspace will include:
You can keep your feet on the ground or use a footrest.
When typing, keep your wrists straight or in a neutral position.
Your computer monitor should be at eye level.
3. You can find better ways to deal with stress. We are more stressed today than ever, but it is not a secret. The key to coping with stress is to find better ways. Regular exercise, yoga, and meditation are great stress relievers.
4. Hydration is key. Water is good for many reasons. Water can hydrate connective tissue and prevent it from causing restrictions in your body.
5. After sitting, stretch more and get up regularly. Try to do gentle stretching every day. Notice how cats and dogs always stretch after laying down for a while. We should learn from their example. Jones recommends that you get up at least five minutes each hour if you are working in a sedentary position to strengthen your large muscles.
6. Find out what is causing muscle knots to recur. Talk to a professional who is familiar with muscle knots if you feel a muscle knot keeps coming back.