How do you get rid of muscle knots? What are muscle knots? Why do you get muscle knots? 10 simple things you can do right now at home to eliminate your muscle knots. Learn all about this common condition in your neck, shoulders, and back from the doctor of physical therapy at Tone-and-Tighten.com.
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WHAT ARE MUSCLE KNOTS?
Muscle knots are hard, sensitive areas in our muscles where the muscle is in a shortened, contracted state even when the muscle is supposed to be at rest.
These muscle knots are commonly found in our neck, shoulders, upper back, and hips and are a common condition that affect millions of people everyday.
These tight areas of contracted muscle are also referred to as "trigger points" as oftentimes touching these areas can "trigger" pain in different location in your body.
Muscle knots can cause a painful, aching sensation in the muscle that can refer to nearby joints as well. When you touch it it feels tight and contracted despite your efforts to relax that area.
Muscle knots can also feel swollen and inflamed and can contribute to other associated problems including headaches, stress, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping.
Muscle knots are a common condition that I see in patients in my physical therapy clinic all the time. Fortunately there's a lot that you can do about them to treat them safely and effectively right at home!
Today I wanted to share some of my favorite tips, tricks, and exercises to help you get rid of muscle knots in your neck, shoulders, and upper back. I've also included video demonstration of each of these methods to ensure you do them correctly and maximize your outcomes.
HOW TO TREAT MUSCLE KNOTS
Keep in mind that treating your muscle knots can take some time. You didn't develop them overnight; chances are they're not going to go away overnight, also.
To treat your muscle knots you'll need to break up the knotted tissue and calm down the inflamed nerves.
Below you'll find a list of the most effective methods to alleviate your muscle knots at home.
1. Heat: applying heat to an area causes capillaries to dilate, thereby promoting more blood flow into that area. Increasing blood flow to a muscle can be an effective means of getting knots to release.
2. Stretching: muscle knots are areas of the muscle that fail to fully relax/elongate. Stretching the muscles in which these knots lie is an effective way to stretch out the knot,
3. Muscle Activation: by working the muscle in which your knot lies you can increase blood flow into that spot and promote relaxation. Contracting these muscles is also a good way to fatigue this area and get the muscle knot to release.
4. Postural Correction: poor posture is one of the primary contributing factors predisposing one to muscle knots. Taking actions to correct poor posture and promote improved alignment can significantly improve muscle tension and pain.
5. Postural Strengthening and Muscle Activation: Stretching the tight structures through the front of the chest and shoulders while strengthening the weak muscles of your upper back in between your shoulder blades is key in improving posture and decreasing propensity for muscle knots.
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6. Massage: massaging muscle tissue is a great way to decrease tension and "break up" those chronic muscle contractions. We decrease tension and promote blood flow into an area when we massage it, so massage is great at alleviating muscle knots and associated pain.
7. Trigger Point Release: Trigger point release is applying a deep pressure directly on a muscle knot and maintaining that pressure 15-60 seconds. The theory here is that we actually compress capillaries and "starve" the knot of blood and oxygen. After the muscle fibers "release" we then release our pressure and blood/oxygen comes rushing back into the spot, thereby maintaining the relaxed state.