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.
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.
Symptoms Of Muscle Knots
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.
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.
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.
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.