The 7 Ways to Get Rid of Painful, Tight Muscle Knots

back massage at the spa and wellness centerYou may be intimately familiar with muscle knots in your body.

Practitioners sometimes refer to these knots as “trigger points”.

It’s the painful feeling of a tight muscle that just won’t release. It’s often felt when you aren’t doing a thing…it just keeps grabbing at you and sticks around when you wish it would go away.

Muscle knots occur when surrounding muscle tissue contracts around a hyper-irritable or stressed spot within the muscle.  It causes hard nodules or bands to form along with tenderness, stiffness, and pain.

These muscle knots/trigger points may be the source of what’s called referred pain. This is the pain felt in one part of the body that is actually being caused by a trigger point elsewhere.  Often, because of this, the trigger point and the pain do not appear related.

While the exact cause is not yet known, the following are leading reasons that muscle knots occur:

  • Stress – either physical or psychological
  • Chronic or sudden muscle strain, injuries, or accidents
  • Infections
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Smoking

Usually our muscle knots involve a small area of muscle tissue that continually contracts. They can be deceiving because while the area is small, the pain can radiate to larger areas or even areas that contain no muscle tissue such as your joints.

As your tight, contracting muscle pulls on tendons and ligaments around a joint, it may feel like the pain is actually coming from within the joint itself when it is not.  This can lead to a lot of unnecessary treatment that won’t solve the real issue.

Muscle knots often appear after a muscle spasm. Those knots then create additional muscle spasms elsewhere, leading to more knots in a sort of endless loop. A tightened muscle reduces the blood supply to the area creating an even greater problem since muscles deprived of oxygen-rich blood create lactic acid, which irritates the nerves and adds to the increased feeling of soreness in the muscle.

You will probably find that your particular trigger points are frequently located in the same places, such as a point in your shoulder that always seems to be knotted when you are under stress. However, this can change if efforts are made to get your body properly balanced.

The reason you should take these muscle knots seriously is because they can be a key cause of your headaches, neck, and back pain.

To help avoid the formation of knotted muscles, here are 7 ways to get rid of them:

  • Relaxation is important.  Learn to identify when you are holding muscles in a tightened position and then allow them to release.
  • Use meditation, breathing techniques and exercise to handle stress.
  • Be mindful of how you’re holding your body so you are not sitting awkwardly, lifting poorly, or holding your head turned during a presentation or movie for too long.  Holding your shoulders high can also lead to strain.
  • Be sure to drink enough water as it will flush out the toxins that tend to accumulate in the muscles that cause the vicious loop of muscle spasms.
  • Get the proper nutrition — including sufficient amounts of potassium and calcium in your diet is essential for the health of your muscles.  Bananas provide a good supply of potassium and green leafy vegetables are good sources of calcium.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Release painfully knotted muscles by breaking the cycle of spasms and knots.  With a variety of proven techniques we can help prevent the same pain from returning again and again.

Life’s stresses will continue on as they do.  You can however be released from the cycling grasp of painful muscle spasms. We even have experience helping those athletes who stress their bodies the hardest, finally get relief from pain.  Put your whole body at rest and allow yourself to proceed through the day with ease. Contact us for an easy, no obligation consultation.