What Are Muscle Knots?
A lot of clients that book in for back, neck and shoulder, deep tissue, injury and sports remedial therapy experience because they feel knots in their muscles, typically around their neck, shoulders and lower back. Knots can arise for various reasons including poor posture, muscle overuse or imbalances, emotional or physical stress and traumatic injury.
So what are knots?
Those crunchy bumps in your muscles aren’t actually knots you’re feeling but contracted muscle fibres that often feel hypersensitive especially when pressure is applied to them but they can also be painful even when sitting down.
Trigger points that give you pain or discomfort are known as active trigger points and they are the reason why you would typically book in for therapy if you are experiencing pain. They are very annoying because they can cause muscle weakness, restrict range of motion and can make it difficult to have a peaceful night’s sleep.
During your session you may find there are areas of pain that you didn’t realise were painful until that area is being massaged – they are known as latent trigger points.
The common theory behind what is going on when you’re experiencing this type of pain is that the contracted muscle is overstimulating the nerves in that area causing irritation which is then leading to pain in that area or even areas along the nerve pathway which is why sometimes you feel pain in a seemingly unrelated area when the knot is pressed for example when you feel a headache sensation when pressing on your trapezius. Others say crunchy knot is an accumulation of metabolic waste and blood vessel restriction in that area.
Trigger points will always arise in some capacity but to reduce down the severity it is important to identify and address the underlying causes and counteracting them with a good strength, mobility and recovery programs along with addressing any sleep issues and have a balanced nutritious diet, for example magnesium in your diet as this mineral is great for helping to relax muscles which will reduce muscles stiffness and subsequently reduce trigger point irritability.
What treatments will be beneficial for helping release trigger points?