Feel like your muscles are in knots?
They can be painful enough to interfere with your daily life and activities.
It’s quite common for people to end up with small, bump-like areas of muscle that can be painful to touch. They develop when muscle fibers or bands of tissue become tense and tighten. Knots can cause pain and affect mobility. Always aim to treat them as early as possible.
What are the symptoms?
The knots typically feel like small, hard lumps. You may have to palpate deep into the connective tissue to locate them. Sometimes, muscles may twitch when touched - an indication that there is a knot. However, pressing trigger points can spread pain to nearby tissues.
Where do they form?
Muscle knots usually affect the calf and shin muscles, but they can develop anywhere in the body. Another frequent area is the triangle formed at the base of the neck and between the shoulders, possibly extending to the middle of the back. Tension and knots in this area are often caused by stress and poor posture. If not treated at the right time, this issue can lead to additional symptoms, including pain in the jaw, lower back, tension headaches, and ringing in the ears.
Common places where muscle knots occur are:
- calf muscles
- lower back
What causes them?
- Several factors are the root of muscle knots. Simply spending a significant amount of time sitting at work or staying in the same position for prolonged periods could develop them. Or if you work with your hands and are engaged in repetitive activities, continuously performing the same motion can create tension and knots over time.
- stress and tension
- injury due to lifting or repetitive motion
- bad posture
- prolonged bed rest or sitting without stretching
Sometimes, your lifestyle puts you at higher risk. If you have any of the following, you may experience muscle knots more often.
- a diet that's lacking a variety of minerals and vitamins
- trouble sleeping
- A history of joint problems and injuries
- poor posture
- stressful lifestyle
- athlete or play sports often
What is the treatment?
There are various remedies to reduce the symptoms of muscle knots, including those which you can do at home or avail professional treatments aimed at smoothing out the muscle knots and reducing pain. Often, the first line of therapy is relaxation and massage.
The effect of massage on muscle knots
A massage can alleviate pain, and keep those postural deviations in check. A therapist may be able to push and rub the knot of muscles by applying steady pressure. As the blood flow increases to the tender spot, you will instantly feel the knot soften to the touch, and the pain will reduce. The massage will help reduce muscle tightness and keep the joints mobile and flexible. Regular massage, whether it’s deep tissue, hot stone or lighter Swedish massage is generally helpful.
Ideally, you need to correct the underlying cause, such as improve your posture, reduce tension, and stretching to prevent muscle knots from developing in the future.