Muscle knots are points within a muscle where contracted fibers are unable to relax.
The dictionary is: “highly irritable localized spots of exquisite tenderness in a nodule in palpable taunt bands of muscle tissue.”
The medical term for muscle knots is myofascial trigger points.
Knots are thought to be caused by the building up of protein after the release of lactic acid.
Knots cause pain in two ways:
An active trigger point or knot is one that actively refers pain either locally or via nerve pathways to another location in the body. Active trigger points are the one that clients are aware of and cause them to book to see a masseur.
A latent trigger point is one that isn’t painful until pressure is applied to it. This is when clients come to me and they find that during the massage they feel pain that they hadn’t felt before the treatment.
How can I prevent knots?
Occasional knots are inevitable, but if you get a lot of them it is worth considering the following
Your potassium and calcium levels as both help to prevent knots
Being dehydrated doesn’t help
Stretching may help release knots
How can I release knots?
If you didn’t manage to prevent knots you then need to consider how to release them.
To self-treat a muscular knot put a tennis ball in a sock (it makes it easier to hold on to the ball), simply place the tennis ball in the sock against either a wall or the floor and then press the part of your body with the knot on to it and move your body up and down.
As an alternative, you could apply a deep, stroking massage directly to the muscle knot.