What are Muscle Knots?
Think only serious athletes have to deal with muscle knots, then think again.
Muscle knots, also termed myofascial trigger points feel almost like hard lumps or a ball of muscle. These ‘knots’ are a state of pre-injury because they are tender to the touch. They can restrict movement, block blood circulation, and sometimes impinge nerves. Inflammation and chronic pain can even result if left untreated.
It’s best to remove myofascial trigger points as soon as they develop. This helps muscles to stay healthy and provide optimum performance.
What Causes Muscle Knots
Everyday living causes myofascial trigger points, but in general, they are caused by misuse, repetitive motions, and overuse of muscles. Let’s not forget about the emotional contributors of anxiety and stress which also has to be addressed using various lifestyle changes.
Repetitive actions of using a mouse for 8 hours a day will also lead to myofascial trigger points. Forearm pain and carpal tunnel syndrome can develop because of repetitive mouse and keyboard use.
Looking at a computer screen in one direction can affect the neck muscles like the scalenes, sternocleidomastoid, and levitator scapulae to form myofascial trigger points and lead to tension headaches.
And what about just sitting in a chair can cause your posterior chain to stiffen up for 8 hours a day repeatedly can cause muscle pain and imbalances. A long commute to and from work can add to the stiffening of muscles.
And of course, athletes who practice workouts using the same motions repeated motions are vulnerable. Tennis and golf are a few sports where practice makes perfect, but it also can create muscle imbalances and myofascial trigger points, so learn how to treat them.
How to Prevent Muscle Knots
Treating myofascial trigger points will require repeated efforts on your end. This means taking the time to spend on self-massage and self-care using muscle recovery products. Utilize various professionals to supplement your self-care is a good strategy until you develop more confidence in self-treatment. We’ll focus on prevention using self-treatment of myofascial trigger points with muscle recovery products.
It helps to use a massage stick to massage the myofascial trigger points in order to start loosening up muscle knots/fibers. Here are a few other ways to treat and prevent muscle knots:
- Use a Heating or Ice Pack
Using an ice pack or a heating pad can relieve the symptoms or partially remove the muscle knot. It is known that heat reduces size of knots and cold provides temporary pain relief. You can also go to the steamroom, sauna, or jacuzzi instead.
- Using your Hands
Don’t have access to professionals, or products then you can always use your own hands. Your hand are the best sensors to find out where the muscle knots are located within the muscle and massage it out. The bio-feedback you get is vital to understanding the state of your muscles.
- Work It Out
Fitness workouts and yoga are an effective way to combat trigger points. Elongating movements or moving your body around successfully engages the muscles in your neck and shoulders. Resistance exercises helps stretch (contract and release) the muscles and increase the blood supply. This pumps in good nutrients and pushes out toxins.
- Cure the Root Cause
It is crucial that you identify what exactly is causing stress on the muscle. This makes it easier to correct the muscle knot when it reappears. It can be due to an uncomfortable workplace setting, poor posture or sitting in one position for too long. Repetitive strain causes the fibers to seize up. Stress at work, home, or school can affect muscle health.
- Invest in a Quality Muscle Recovery Product
Perhaps the most effective way to alleviate a muscle knot is investing in a quality muscle recovery product. We highly recommend purchasing the TP BuddieRx for its effectiveness and ergonomical form factor.
Once you have identified the area where the knot is, you can work on loosening the knot by massaging the area using the TP BuddieRx. This not only allows you to treat the problem in the comfort of your home, but you also save the cost and hassle of heading to a professional massage therapist, though that’s your call.