3 things you need to know about muscle knots

Most of us have experienced the tenderness and aches of a muscle knot that has disrupted our daily life. They impair our movement, cause us pain and greatly impact the quality of our day. Research suggests that muscle knots have affected almost 85 per cent of the population, but many people have little understanding of what a muscle knot is and its main causes and risk factors. Here are 3 things that you need to know about muscle knots:

1. A muscle knot may be caused by several things

A muscle knot, also known as a ‘myofascial trigger point’, is usually found in your back, neck or shoulders. They are stiff bands of muscles that have a hard knot, known as a ‘trigger point’ in the centre. The trigger point is often tender, and pain can result either spontaneously (active) or when the trigger point is touched (latent). Muscle knots cause pain beyond the trigger point and into the muscles that surround it.

Muscle knots are caused by a variety of things, but often the most common cause is the result of overuse through repetitive activities or heavy lifting. Other causes may include psychological stresses, poor ergonomics, bad posture, tiredness, dehydration, poor eating habits, joint problems and regular sleep disturbance.

2. There are four main risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing a muscle knot

Despite muscle knots being a common problem, there are certain risk factors that may increase the likelihood of developing them.

These include:

• Ageing
• Disease
• Stress
• People with fibromyalgia

3. Muscle knots may be preventable

Improving your posture, regular exercise, light stretching and rest periods may all help to prevent the formation of muscle knots. Drinking plenty of water and maintaining a healthy diet rich in calcium, potassium and magnesium may also improve muscle health, minimising the impact of a trigger point. Also, remember to ask for help when lifting heavy objects.

If you are suffering from the debilitating pain of a muscle knot and it is impacting your mobility and your quality of life, book an appointment online with our experienced chiropractor.

Photo: exercise by Stiller Beobachter licensed under Creative commons 4