How To Get Rid Of Muscle Knots

November 20, 2023

Muscle Knots

Muscle knots are small, bump-like areas of muscle that tighten and contract even when the muscle is at rest. They are also known as myofascial trigger points and can be quite painful to touch. We show you how to treat and prevent them.

Muscle knots can occur anywhere in your body.

To get rid of muscle knots you have to break up knotted tissue and calm down inflamed nerves. 

Massage therapy a great way to treat your muscle knots, it improves blood flow and circulation.

Symptoms Of Muscle Knots

It is very common to have muscle knots and a lot of people suffer from them on a regular basis. Especially a sedentary lifestyle and poor posture due to working in an office can cause the trigger points. But also overusing or injuring your muscles can lead to the painful bumps. Other causes can be a poor diet, dehydration, anxiety and stress. 

The painful bumps can occur anywhere in your body, however they are usually found in your neck, shoulders, lower back, calf muscles and shins. When you touch a muscle knot it may feel swollen and tense. Touching them can be quite painful, especially if the affected area is inflamed and swollen.

The trigger points can cause symptoms in other areas than the muscles as well, including headaches, ringing in the ears and jaw pain. Patients often suffer from stress, anxiety, depression and have difficulty sleeping. 

Treatment To Get Rid Of Muscle Knots

To get rid of muscle knots you have to break up knotted tissue and calm down inflamed nerves. It can take some time until you find relief, but there are a lot of treatment options available. Most importantly, you should allow your body to rest and take a break from any activities that are causing the knots or increase your pain. 


Stretching can help to elongate your muscles and help you release any tension. A great way to stretch out your whole body is Yoga. However, make sure that you listen to your body and be gentle with yourself. Some Yoga poses can be quite challenging, so stick to the basics if you are a beginner. Hold stretches or poses for at least 30 seconds and release the stretch slowly to make sure that you don’t injure yourself.

Arm Movement

If your muscle tightness is in the area of your shoulders and neck, some exercises that include arm movements can help to release them. Swimming is good, but also some aerobic exercise, like jumping jacks, might do the trick: They help to stretch the muscle and increase their blood supply, which helps to filter out toxins.

Hot and Cold Therapy

Another great treatment is hot and cold therapy, to relieve pain and inflammation. Use a cold compress for ten minutes to reduce swelling. A warm bath or heating pad on the other hand, helps to relax and loosen stiff muscles, and relieves pain. You can alternate between hot and cold treatment or choose whatever works for you. For the best result, you should use hot and cold therapy in conjunction with other therapies.

Muscle Rubs

There are also muscle rubs that you can apply to your muscle knots. Formulas containing menthol, capsaicin or camphor work best, just make sure that you are not allergic. Massage them onto the affected area twice a day and you will get a cooling relief.

If all that doesn’t help, you might want to consider professional physical therapy. It can help you identify the cause of your muscle knots and give you the appropriate treatment. Sometimes therapists might recommend getting a massage.

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The Right Massage Therapy To Treat Muscle Knots

Massage therapy is a great way to treat your muscle knots, because it improves blood flow and increases circulation. This can help to get rid of any tightness and tension, relieve pain and decrease stiffness. However, one session is usually not enough to get rid of muscle knots. So ask your therapist what they would recommend and schedule multiple sessions for the best result.

There are several types of massage that can help you, depending on your own personal preference and the nature of your muscle knots.

  • Self-massage: If it is not too severe, you can try self-massage: Use your fingers to locate the muscle knot and gently massage it in small circles.
  • Foam roller: You can also use a ball or foam roller, that you place between your back and the floor or a wall.
  • Swedish massage: Swedish massage is good to get rid of muscle tightness, because it is super gentle and uses long strokes, kneading and deep circular movements. Deep tissue massage is more forceful, but can help to release chronic muscle tension. It targets the deeper layers of muscle and is often used for rehabilitation of muscle damage from injuries.
  • Sports massage: If you are an athlete you probably know muscle knots just too well. Sports massage is geared especially towards you and your needs and can not only be used to treat muscle tightness, but also help to prevent injuries.

How To Prevent Muscle Knots

Once you got rid of them, you don’t want to risk getting them back. To prevent muscle knots there are different things you can do. Practising good posture and regular exercise can help. 

If you seem to get them because of your workout, you might want to change your routine to stop overusing the same muscles over and over again. A physical therapist or personal trainer can help you find the right workout routine for your needs.

Try to avoid sitting for long periods of time by taking breaks at least once every hour to move. Simple stretches throughout the day can prevent muscle tightness, so even if you sit at your desk or watch TV, use them to give your muscles a little relief.

Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet and drinking plenty of water are also important. Try to eat fresh, whole foods and include calcium, potassium and magnesium in your diet. Certain supplements might also be helpful, however we recommend to always ask your doctor or physical therapist before self-medicating.

Stress can also be a cause of muscle knots, so if you have a busy life you might want to consider practising Yoga and getting regular massage to relax and gain flexibility. They can help you to keep your muscle healthy and to prevent tension and tightness.