I have knots…not knots in my shoelaces or garlic knots (though I wouldn’t mind some garlic knots), I have painful muscle knots in my back. I get them right under each shoulder blade and I feel them pretty much every time I move.
Muscle knots are known for being one of the main causes for daily aches and pains. Everyone at one point in their life has experienced the dreaded knot. But what exactly is a knot? It’s a term that gets thrown around so often that the actual description is sometimes lost. Here is an easy-to-understand description and a few tips to help you treat knots.
First of all, muscles knots are not actually knots. Muscle knots, also known as Myofascial Trigger Points are painful spots in your muscles. There is some disagreement between scientist, but knots are generally considered to be the result of muscle fibers that have become damaged in some way causing them to become tense and to stick to each other. Your muscles are meant to be pliable, they’re what allows you to bend, twist, and complete your day to day activities.
So what causes muscle knots?
One of the main causes of muscle knots is injury caused by overuse, heavy lifting, or moving improperly. When you’re injured, your body cannot always move in the proper way and this strains muscles. Poor posture and a lack of exercise can also directly be a cause of knots. Another culprit that I know I am personally guilty of is prolonged sitting. I have a bad habit of getting distracted and sitting for long periods of time when I am reading or working on the computer.
How do you get rid of muscle knots?
1) Massage Therapy
Pressing on the irritated muscle and the surrounding area can help loosen up the muscle fibers and break up knots. If you have the time and the money, seek out a professional massage therapist. For those of us with busy schedules, I recommend purchasing a high-quality shiatsu massager that is designed to mimic the feeling of real hands.
Regular stretching is a great deterrent for muscle knots and can also help make them go away. Stretching helps maintain overall muscle health and flexibility. Make stretching a regular part of your daily routine.
3) Apply Heat
Temperature has a direct impact on your muscles. Heat has been proven to help sore and tense muscles relax. Heat therapy is also effective in alleviating chronic muscle pain. Invest in a heating pad or advanced massager that comes with built-in soothing heat so you can relax when you need it.
4) Adjust Your Lifestyle
If you’re like me and you find yourself sitting for extended periods of time, try setting an alarm on your phone to remind you to get up and stand for a few minutes or take a walk. This has been especially useful for me when I am streaming one of my favorite TV shows. The alarm reminds me to pause the show and stand up and stretch so I don’t spend 3 hours straight sitting on a couch.
There is no immediate solution to muscle knots. Always listen to your own body and although I hope these tips are helpful to you, you should do what is best for you and your body. Have any additional tips? Leave us a comment!
Marc | Copywriter