In this blog post, you will discover What is a knot? What causes muscle knots to form? How to identify a knot (also known as a trigger point), ways to remove stress from your muscles, some possible reasons these knots in your muscles keep coming back and how to reduce them. Be sure to read all the way to the end to discover some ways to reduce the knots yourself!
Why is it called a knot?
When feeling through a muscle we expect a supple smooth feeling throughout. sometimes we reach a point that feels a bit ropey or almost as if a knot was tied and left there!
So, What is a knot?
Well a knot, also known as a trigger point, is a tight band of muscle fibres that can’t relax and often refer pain to other parts of the body. The most common trigger points in the upper back are in the trapezius muscle. This muscle stretches from the base of your skull down the middle of your back and behind your shoulder. When there are active trigger points in the trapezius muscle it is common to have referred back pain, neck pain or headaches.
It is common for there to be multiple trigger points in one muscle and the muscle will often feel denser and tighter at the trigger point. When pushing on a trigger point pain will usually spread throughout the muscle area.
What Causes knots or trigger points to form?
In an ideal situation, a muscle will feel supple and smooth throughout, making for an efficient spread of force when in use. Common issues like poor posture, for example, slouching in your seat while driving or always hunching over to use your computer, overuse, previous injuries, scar tissue, surgery and trauma can result in inefficient use of the muscles and as a result the muscle can become ropey in one area which can lead to the formation of a trigger point or a previous inactive trigger point becoming active.
How do I identify a knot or an active trigger point in my own body?
The easiest way to identify trigger point is by touch. Find an area that is sore and feel to see if there is a more dense part of the muscle. When you find this dense point press into it and hold the pressure. If you can feel referred pain – that is, pain travelling away from the spot you are pressing against then it is likely you have just discovered a trigger point within one of your muscles. But don’t let go just yet!
Because one of the best ways to address current active trigger points is through a treatment known as Trigger point therapy! This is done by holding pressure against the trigger point until you can no longer feel the referred pain!
In addition to trigger point therapy, there are several other treatments that your chiropractor can do to that may help. Things like massage, dry needling, use of a massage ball or foam roller, joint manipulations and exercise prescriptions can all help to reduce tension and stress on your muscles. Getting appropriate postural advice and sometimes even nutritional advice can help too.
Keep in mind that prevention is always preferred and has better outcomes than treatments once the injury has occurred. If you are concerned about a trigger point problem you have or other musculoskeletal injuries then it is important to get yourself checked out by a qualified practitioner sooner, while the problem is small and easy to deal with rather than later when more damage has been done.
Here at Kew Chiropractic Centre, we look after people from Kew, Kew East, Balwyn, Balwyn North, Deepdene, Hawthorn and other surrounding suburbs. If you need Chiro care or some advice on where to go then give us a call on (03)98531100 or book online at www.kewchiro.com.au