“I think I have a knot” “What exactly is a knot?” “How did I get this knot?” “How do I prevent knots?”
These are the most popular reactions and questions I receive as a Registered Massage Therapist. More than likely, you have experienced a tender, achy knot causing limited range of motion and pain. The most affected areas to experience this are in your shoulders, neck, lower back, and calf muscles.
A muscle knot, also known as a myofascial trigger point, occurs when muscle fibers tense and tighten, causing a hard, bump-like area. This is what you feel to be a “knot”. Trigger points can either pop up spontaneously (active) or when directly pressed on (latent).
There are two different types of trigger points (knots).
1. An active trigger point is extremely tender and causes local to regional referred pain.
2. A latent trigger point generally does not cause pain unless pressed on, but has potential to become active if it is aggravated enough.
The most common place for knots to form is in the trapezius muscle. This
muscle makes a triangular shape from the neck to the shoulder, and down the middle of the back. Tension and knots in this area are often caused by poor posture and stress.
Muscle knots can be caused by many different daily factors, such as:
· Poor ergonomics
· Bad posture
· Unhealthy eating habits
· Sleep disturbances
· Prolonged sitting or laying
· Repetitive movements
Now you may be wondering “how do I prevent knots from forming”. Here are some ways to help prevent them:
· Improve your posture. Remind yourself to sit relaxed with your shoulders down and back, with your head held high.
· Hydrate!! Drink lots of water.
· Start a stretching routine during your work day. If you’re not one to remember, set
an alarm on your phone .
· When needing to lift heavy objects ask for help or make multiple trips.
· Move your body!! Engage in regular physical activity
• Maintenance massages. Book your next appointment before leaving, this helps you to remember to take care of yourself before actually doing it.
Do you think you have a knot? Are you experiencing any of the above or have limited range of motion? Give us a call at (506) 325-1565 (Woodstock) or (506) 473-7064 (Grandfalls).