We have all heard the expression “I have knots in my back”, but what are these knots anyway? Does it mean that my back muscles and tendons are literally tangled up in a knot? Well not exactly. Let’s find out exactly what these “knots” are and why they cause us so much pain!
The medical term for muscle knots is “myofascial trigger points”. In layman’s terms, our muscles are layered and oriented in many different directions under a sheet of tissue. As you can imagine, these layers of muscle cross each other at various angles, and are often layered with multiple layers of muscles directly on top of each other.
Many times, the point at which the layered and positioned muscles meet feels hard, lumpy and painful. This is because your muscles are no longer gliding smoothly past each other like the way they are supposed to. Instead, they become adhered to their surrounding structures, directly causing this tense back pain. When muscles stay in this state, conditions worsen and they will oftentimes remain permanently “stuck” in a tense state. This occurs when your muscle remains flexed and refuses to relax to a normal state. Muscles can react this way for a number of reasons. Whether it is due to injury, overuse, or a sedentary lifestyle, knots can be very painful and even debilitating at times.
“So how can I get rid of these?” The very best way to encourage your trigger points to go away is to massage them several times a day for several days. While massaging these knots, you should be exerting targeted force directly on the knots, which can be a bit uncomfortable. However, this sort of massage over a period of days both helps the inflammation to go down and “trains” your muscles to relax. The best thing you can do is see a licensed massage therapist like the experienced, professional therapists that can be found at Happy Head Massage. They will customize your private session to focus on the areas that seem to be bringing you discomfort.
Here are some more helpful tips to take into consideration:
- • Avoid hunching over at all times. This trains your muscles to stay in the wrong positions.
- • Take frequent breaks to walk around, regardless of the activity. Proper circulation and oxygen throughout the body are very important when it comes to avoiding muscle spasms.
- • Stretch both before and after you exercise, and do not do exercises that are intensely painful. Pain during exercise is an indication that your muscle is too weak to perform the movement, not that you should “push through” the pain!
- • Get massage by professional massage therapists. A great massage to help with muscle spasms and knots are deep tissue massages.
That should do it. So the next time you have a muscle spasm or knot, massage it out.