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, Muscle Knots: Everything You Need to Know

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Sep. 27 2019 Published by: Dr. Craig Singer

Muscle Knots: Everything You Need to Know

Category: Muscle Knots

Muscle Knots: Everything You Need to Know

Chances are, you’ve experienced muscle knots at one point or another in your life — up to 85% of us will at some time, in fact.

If you’re familiar, you already know muscle knots can cause debilitating pain, impair your mobility, and reduce your quality of life, especially when they’re persistent.

So below, we’ve put together a guide covering everything you need to know about muscle knots, including what causes them, and how to treat, and how to prevent them.

Muscle Knots Explained

Muscle knots are most common on your back, shoulders, and neck. Occasionally, you can also develop muscle knots on your lower legs, but muscle spasms are more common in this region.

A muscle knot is a stiffened band of muscle that has a hard “knob” in the center, known as the trigger point. The pain from muscle knots can occur spontaneously, or when the trigger point is touched.

In all cases, muscle knots will eventually cause pain to radiate into your surrounding muscles. If you’re unsure whether what you’re feeling is a muscle knot, assess whether you experience the symptoms described next.

Muscle Knot Symptoms

If you have muscle knots in your neck or shoulder specifically, the pain may radiate to the base of your skull, causing a tension headache.

While pain is the most common symptom of muscle knots, it isn’t the only one. You may also notice swelling, tension, or physical lumps in a knotty area. Or it may not seem like anything more than an aching sensation.

Muscle Knot Causes and Risk Factors

Muscle knots sometimes develop spontaneously, especially if you have poor posture or spend a large portion of your day working at a desk. They can also occur due to overuse or heavy lifting that you’re not accustomed to.

Other causes of muscle knots include:

  • Emotional stress
  • Fatigue
  • Dehydration
  • Unhealthy eating habits and vitamin deficiencies
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Joint problems
  • Poor posture or ergonomics

Although most of us will experience a muscle knot at some point in life, there are actually people who are at greater risk than others and develop muscle knots more frequently.

Common risk factors that increase the likelihood and frequency of muscle knots are:

  • Aging and old injuries
  • Metabolic diseases, such as diabetes and obesity
  • Autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia
  • Stress and anxiety
  • A sedentary lifestyle

So what can you do at home to treat (and prevent) muscle knots?

Home Care for Muscle Knots

Home remedies are often the first line of treatment for muscle knots, which often work! In those cases, knots go away within a few days.

Common home remedies for muscle knots include:

  • Hot and cold therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Stress relief techniques like exercise and yoga
  • Self massage
  • Hot tubs

If you’re experiencing severe pain or muscle knots that either won’t resolve or recur, though, it may be time to get checked out by a professional.

Professional Treatment for Muscle Knots

Professional Treatment for Muscle Knots

If your muscle knots don’t go away with home care, a chiropractor is a good next step. Chiropractic treatment is low-risk and noninvasive, and frequently provides instant, drug-free relief from painful symptoms.

Your chiropractor will perform an exam to evaluate what might be causing your muscle knots, and develop a treatment plan. Below are some of the chiropractic treatments commonly used to treat muscle knots.

Adjustments and Stretching

Muscle knots often result from joint dysfunction and a restricted range of motion in the body. To address this, chiropractors will adjust your joints and restore your range of motion using hands-on chiropractic manipulation techniques.

Gentle stretching also reduces muscle tension, allowing muscle knots to relax. Stretching may also help to relieve pain. Your chiropractor will show you how to stretch properly.

Chiropractic Massage

Massage is often viewed as a luxury or self-care practice. However, massage is also a therapeutic technique. Chiropractic massage helps to manually loosen muscle knots, allowing the muscles in the affected area to relax.

Hot and Cold Therapy

Heat therapy increases blood flow to the area and releases muscle tension, so can help relieve muscle knots. A cold compress can provide pain relief by reducing inflammation.

Your chiropractic treatment plan may include a combination of these in-office solutions, a home care component, and further education on preventing muscle knots in the future.

Preventing Muscle Knots

You can reduce your future chances of experiencing muscle knots primarily by avoiding overwork or misuse of your muscles, and through maintaining good overall physical health.

These tips and tricks will help you prevent muscle knots before they start:

  • Drink plenty of water, and avoid becoming dehydrated.
  • Eat a healthy diet rich in potassium and calcium.
  • When lifting heavy objects, don’t overdo it. Get help if you need it.
  • Improve your posture. Avoid hunching and slouching.
  • For those who work seated, take regular stretch breaks.
  • Manage your stress levels.

Muscle Knot Therapy South Florida

Muscle knots are an all-too-common affliction. However, you can do a lot to prevent and treat them on your own. For those stubborn cases, your South Florida chiropractor can help you develop a custom treatment plan to quickly relieve pain and get rid of your muscle knots for good.

 

About the Author:

Dr. Singer has been a practicing chiropractor for more than 20 years, and USA Health & Therapy has been around since 2004. Over the course of his career, Singer has helped tens of thousands of people with all kinds of issues by using a wide variety of treatment strategies. He has extensive knowledge of chiropractic modalities, including Gonstead, Diversified, Thompson Drop Table, and Activator, and in 1997 he earned a special adjunctive Chiropractic Certification in Spinal Trauma (CCST) to better provide care for car crash victims. Dr. Singer is licensed to practice chiropractic medicine in both Florida and New York.

, Muscle Knots: Everything You Need to Know

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USA Health & Therapy

3434 Northeast 12th Avenue
Oakland Park, FL 33334-4523
, Muscle Knots: Everything You Need to Know
, Muscle Knots: Everything You Need to Know
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