A muscle knot is a small band of muscle fiber that remains contacted for prolonged periods. It is also known as a trigger point and it usually formed because of muscle overuse. Muscle knots are commonly located in the back, but they can also develop in other parts of the body.
Muscles normally contact, but in the case of muscle knots, there is compression of a muscle that remains in one area of the body and may compress blood vessels and nerves in the area as well. That’s why if you have muscle knots, you usually feel pain in the area where the trigger point is located or in other parts of your body adjacent the muscle knot. Pain associated with muscle knots is due to the formation of lactic acid in the trigger point itself. The constricted blood vessels reduces the amount of blood that is utilized by the muscle leading to anaerobic metabolism and hence, the formation of lactic acid. Other than muscle pain, muscle knots can also limit the ability of the person to move or relax the affected body part contributing to generalize feeling of fatigue.
If you have muscle knots, it is essential to employ measures to relieve the condition and bring back the muscles to normal conditions. Heat, stretching and acupuncture are some of the remedies that may be employed. Nevertheless, the most effective means to relieve a muscle knot is through massage, particularly, deep tissue massage.
Trigger points or muscle knots can be treated, but they are not easily released using stretching and massage is proven to be more effective in doing so. But how does massage release muscle knots? The answer is simple, massage helps muscles directly relax as massage strokes are employed. Specifically, deep tissue massage reaches the deeper potions of the muscles to break the spastic muscle fiber from within.
Massages are very popular remedies for muscle knots; however, the therapy needs a two way process in order to make it more effective. During a massage therapy, the person should be able to verbalize when the pressure or pain is too much. A painful massage usually provides short-term improvements, but may eventually lead to more muscle knots because of the tension you feel during the painful massage. In this line, getting a deep tissue massage with less pain is more preferred.
The right type and intensify of massage is really effective in releasing muscle knots. However, along with massage, the following tips should also be considered to maximize the benefits of massage therapy:
• Make sure to relax before and after the therapy
Relaxation before the massage is important to make your muscles less stiff. In the same line, relaxation after the massage will prevent over stimulation of the muscles, which can make the trigger points return.
• Take a warm shower before massage
Warm shower can help relax your muscles to have a less painful massage experience. After the massage, you may want to postpone taking a shower to prevent muscle spasms.
• Drink plenty of water before and after the massage
During massage, the muscles knots are broken and the free radicals and toxins inside these knots are also released. To help you eliminate them in no time, drink liberal amounts of water to stimulate excretion through the urine.
Muscle knots are simple body ailments; however, if you forgo treatments for it, you may be feeling fatigue more often so visit a massage therapist to help you get rid of those unhelpful muscle contractions.