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CAN A MUSCLE REALLY BECOME A KNOT?

Have you ever heard someone say “I feel all knotted up?” What does it mean when someone uses this term? Is it possible that a muscle can really be tangled up into a knot? Read below to find out more information regarding muscle knots.

Our body is composed of a large sum of muscles. Not only are muscles layered on top of each other but the fibers that make up the muscle tissue run in different directions. The makeup of our muscles is what gives us the ability to be able to do such activities such as twist, bend and move in all different directions. The muscles of the body are meant to be not only strong and pliable, but challenged as well. There are a few factors that can lead to a muscle knot. For example, chronic dehydration, maintaining certain positions for extended hours on a regular basis and injuring ourselves.  These factors can cause the muscles to lose flexibility and mobility. Adherence of muscle fibers is what causes the large lump you may feel, also known as a muscle knot.

Although muscle knots are quite common it doesn't make them harmless. Persistent stress causes small tears or “micro-tears” in the tissue of the muscle. These micro-tears lead to scar tissue, and if it goes untreated it can cause the muscle to lose its natural elasticity. It may also cause a large amount of stress on one's posture which can be difficult to correct. No need to be alarmed, read below to understand further how to prevent muscle knots.

Prevention

Diet - Drinking a sufficient amount of water and maintaining a healthy and well balanced diet can help you avoid muscle knots. Unhealthy foods and drinks such as processed foods and alcohol contribute to dehydrating the body.

Breaks - Long hours at work in the same position can harm the body in the long run. Try to move at least once an hour by walking, uncrossing your legs, straightening you back and or twisting your neck.

Exercise - Our bodies are built to perform and our muscles to be challenged. Being active, stretching and lifting play an important role in keeping our muscles healthy.

Massage - Can assist in keeping the muscles of the body pliable, oxygenated and healthy.

Lifestyle - Lack of sleep and an excessive amount of stress can increase the potential of injury. Taking the time to focus on relaxing, even for 15 minutes can positively affect you.

Treatment

Rest - When your body is in pain that is a sign to take a break. Whether it is from being on a computer at a desk all day or from a sport, the body needs a break.

Massage - Getting a massage is not only beneficial for prevention but it can also help relieve muscle pain. A massage can help break up the “knot” that is causing the pain.

Physical Therapy - Seeking physical therapy can help in a few ways. Treatments can consist of manual therapy such as massages and stretching. A physical therapist can also assist in identifying the cause of the problem and coming up with a specific exercise program tailored to your diagnosis. Other modalities such as dry needling may be used as well.

Stretching - Going through your full range of motion with gentle movements can be helpful. Full body movements are usually a good idea as long as it is done pain free. Consult with a physical therapist or a massage therapist regarding how far to push a stretch. Over stretching is a possibility, just because a muscle is in pain does not mean that stretching it more will bring about a solution. Sometimes the opposite is helpful.



If you are suffering from a knot please contact Emery Physical Therapy at (847) 786-2014. Let us help you get to living a better life, for more information you can also visit our website at Emeryphysicaltherapy.com