Knots – The In’s and Out’s
What exactly are the “knots”?
The medical term for “muscle knots” is myofascial trigger points.
Some theories suggest this to be the result of accumulations of lactic acid or other toxins, creating soreness in the muscle fibres.
The muscle does not usually literally turn into a ‘knot’ just from tension, but rather involves the muscle fibre’s actually breaking loose and becoming entangled around each other and “knotting up”.
Common knots, around the shoulder can make be painful or difficult and eventually decrease blood flow to the area and also contribute to headache’s etc.,
Sometimes the pain signals trigger points send out resurface in other parts of your body that are not even near the knot – causing referred pain.
Why Do You Get Them?
Muscles develop knots when they are overworked, especially if they start out sore or tired. Bad posture, repetitive or improper exercise movements or lack of adequate warming up before your workout or warming down can contribute to shoulder knots.
Other causes of muscle knots include vitamin, nutritional or sleep deficiencies, allergies, environmental toxins, anxiety and stress.
How Can I Make Them Go Away?
If you have only a few knots, the very best way to encourage them to go away is to massage them.
Massaging these knots can be a little painful, and one should be exerting targeted pressure directly onto the knots to ‘break’ them down. This sort of massage helps the inflammation to go down and “trains” your muscles to relax.
If you have numerous or very painful muscle knots, the best thing you can do is see a professional massage therapist.
How prevent muscle knots?
- Become more mindful of your body posture – avoid hunching over
- Take frequent breaks to walk around
- Keep hydrated at work or whilst exercising
- Increase intake of essential vitamins and minerals such as Potassium & calcium into your diet – (Bananas are high in potassium and milk & yogurt are high in calcium)
- Stretch both before and after you exercise
- Book in for regular therapeutic massage as part of your regime to maintaining your health and well