Untie Your Muscle Knots!
By Sara Butler
Almost every person who has had a sore muscle would use the word “knot” to describe what they experienced. Of course, your muscle hasn’t literally been tied in a knot, though it’s a pretty apt description for how the pain from this issue may feel. To understand why muscle pain such as this occurs, then you have to first understand how your muscle tissue works, and then understand how regular chiropractic care can help.
How Muscles Work
Every muscle in your body has fibers that run in multiple directions. They are layered like a lasagna right on top of one another. These fibers allow you a full range of motion such as dance, bend, and twist. When you injure the muscle tissue, you are dehydrated, or you are inactive for several hours at a time, then the muscle fibers can lose their mobility and flexibility. They will stick to one another as a result, feeling lumpy and hard when you touch the spot where this has happened. It feels just like a knot!
This is a common problem, but just because it’s common doesn’t mean you should ignore it. Untreated muscle pain can cause chronic problems and permanent injury.
Common Muscle Knot Locations
You can get a muscle knot anywhere you have a muscle, but they are more common in certain areas of the body such as:
- The butt – Your gluteus minimus, medius, and maximus can knot up, causing a limp.
- Lower back – Your erector spinae on each side of your spine and latissimus dorsi on your sides can easily knot up.
- Neck – A knot in the muscles at the base of your skull, called the semispinalis capiti, can result in headaches and fatigue.
- Shoulder blades/upper back – Your trapezius muscle is big, covering your neck and shoulder blades. It often gets knotted and causes back pain.
Treatment for Muscle Knots
A great first step at home for muscle knots is to apply heat. This will help to improve circulation to the area and allow the muscles to relax a bit. A hot shower is also a good action to take. You can also:
- Stretch the impacted muscle several times a day
- Alternate cold and heat every 10 minutes
- Get a professional massage
- See a chiropractor for help
Taking steps to prevent it is always going to be better than trying to find a cure, so make sure you’re staying hydrated and eating right. Also, exercise daily and take frequent breaks at work if you have a desk job. If you’re prone to muscle knots, make sure you get enough rest, too.
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.