How to Treat Muscle Knots
Jun 22, 2021
Muscle knots are typically found in your back, shoulders, and neck. They are stiff bands of muscle that have a hard knob in the centre, which is known as a trigger point. The pain can either pop up spontaneously (active) or when the trigger point is pressed (latent).
A knot, or trigger point, may feel like a small hard lump. These may be felt with just a soft touch, some may reside in your deeper layers of soft tissue. A trigger point can form anywhere in the body where there is skeletal muscle and fascia.
It is a pooling of blood outside of the blood vessels deeper in the skin than a bruise occurs. Trauma is the most common cause of a hematoma. Depending on the cause, it can take anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks for a hematoma to go away.
Knots are persistent and most will remain until the knotted area is broken up and the muscles contract. Limited range of motion, pain and tightness will persist until the muscles are loosened and circulation returns to the constricted area.
Massage therapy helps treat knots by increasing circulation and improving blood flow, which loosens stiff muscles and relieves tension. Choose from several types of massages and get a thorough consultation with your massage therapist to address specific pain points.
How are massage therapists trained to eliminate knots? Massage therapists are trained to feel where knots occur by looking for tension in the back, neck and shoulders. They find this tension and release it by applying deep compression with their thumb, fingers or elbow, and holding for 20-30 seconds.
Rubbing the muscles and using pressure facilitates circulation by breaking up congested areas and then allowing a flush of blood with the release of pressure. This increase in blood flow to muscle tissue feeds your cells both oxygen and nutrients. This nourishment speeds up the time it takes for your muscles to heal.
Muscles knots can cause aching sensations and pain in your muscles and joints. When you touch a muscle knot, it may feel swollen, tense, or bumpy. It could also feel tight and contracted, even when you're trying to relax, and they're often sensitive to the touch. The affected area may even become inflamed or swollen.
This popping or crunching feeling is breaking down what has built up, the body is then more able to flush out these toxins. Some clients may wince at this feeling others describe it as a 'good pain' and it instantly feels better once this has been done.
Trigger points often cause what doctors call referred pain. When a person presses on the trigger point, the pain spreads from the trigger point to nearby muscles. Sometimes, the muscle may twitch or move when the knot is pressed.
Muscle adhesions feel like a snap, crackle, pop when your therapist works on them. But it is the fascia or lining around your muscles that balls up from repeative movements. The heat from friction and pressure your massage therapist applies allows the fascia to contract back into place.
First off, massages are dehydrating. Kneading and working muscle gets fluid pumping out of the soft tissue and into your circulatory system, where it heads toward your kidneys. That's why many people have to pee right after a massage. You have to replenish all that lost water – by drinking more.
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Stretching these capsules allows the synovial fluid inside them to have more space to move around, releasing pressure on your back joints and muscles and moving your facet joints. When the pressure is released, synovial fluid becomes gaseous and makes the cracking, popping, or snapping sound.
“When we lay face-down on a massage table, the simple fact of gravity makes the mucous from the sinuses drain into the nose,” Durante explained.
How often should you massage muscle knots? For the best results, you should massage each muscle group for up to 6 minutes a day. This is entirely dependent on each individual and how bad the muscle knot is. You can massage muscle knots every day, but don't over-do it as this could actually cause more irritation.
Hot stone massage is best for people who have muscle pain and tension or who simply want to relax. This type of therapeutic massage is similar to a Swedish massage, only the massage therapist uses heated stones in lieu of or in addition to their hands. Hot stone massage may help: ease muscle tension.
Here are the conditions that fall into these category;
The first five years of practice are the most difficult because you're not used to the physical demands, and many massage therapists quit due to burnout. Acclimating to the emotional demands are difficult as well. Clients come to you with frustrations and complaints, often times breaking down and crying in the room.