When a muscle knot forms, it can lead to pain, tenderness, and soreness of varying intensity. This condition generally stems from lifestyle habits like incorrect form when doing certain activities, poor posture, or repetitive motions. In some cases, muscle knots can be a sign of a chronic condition called myofascial pain syndrome, potentially related to overuse that results in referred pain in other parts of the body. Read on to learn more about what may have caused your muscle knots and the best treatment paths.
What Are Muscle Knots?
Muscle knots form in response to a spasm by increasing tension in the muscle fibres or the fascia, with these trigger points being related to either routine body pain or are “hidden”. If it is the latter, the muscle knot only becomes noticeable upon rubbing or pressing down on the trigger point and feeling pain.
Causes of Muscle Knots
Muscle spasms generally tend to occur due to at least one of the following factors:
Overexertion of a single muscle group due to repeated training
Not moving for long periods of time
Overusing the muscles by repeatedly lifting heavy objects or doing repetitive motions
A sedentary lifestyle
Stress that contributes to muscle tension
A bone injury, muscle strain, or tear
Although there is still insufficient information on how muscle knots affect the body, researchers believe they can affect adjacent nerves or restrict blood flow, which may intensify the pain.
Common Locations of Muscle Knots
Although trigger points for muscle knots can manifest anywhere in the body that has muscle or fascia, observation from previous cases has determined they are more likely to take place in the following areas:
Depending on where an active muscle knot is located, it may contribute to the following:
Neck and back pain
Rotator cuff pain
Carpal tunnel syndrome
How to Treat Muscle Knots
With time and patience, home remedies can suffice to manage a muscle knot. The following are some examples of such remedies that can get your muscles to relax and alleviate the pain:
1. Do stretching exercises
Simple stretches can help prevent muscle knots and alleviate the pain. As such, try stretching exercises to relieve a muscle knot from being in an uncomfortable position for too long. If you notice certain muscles knotting up frequently, ask your healthcare provider for recommendations on which stretches can help loosen the affected areas and reduce the chances of more knots developing.
2. Apply a hot or cold compress
Most types of muscle pain respond well to hot and cold compresses, especially when applied alternatingly. Essentially, you briefly apply an ice pack on the affected area and then switch to a warm compress. If you think that one seems to help more than the other, it is recommended to just stick with what feels best.
3. Try trigger point massage
Applying firm pressure, whether with just your hands or a foam roller, can often encourage the affected muscle to release. Press on the knot as hard as you can tolerate, and do this a few times daily until you feel relief. Alternatively, you could also step up to a professional massage and have an expert work on the affected muscle as well as any surrounding areas that may be contributing to the pain.
What If Muscle Knots Persist?
Although time and home care are usually enough to loosen up a muscle knot, some people may notice that their condition does not disappear. This is likely due to myofascial pain syndrome, whose symptoms include having a tendency for muscle knots. The tell-tale signs of myofascial pain syndrome include:
Pain that worsens or lingers
Pain that keeps you awake
Deep muscle pain
A chronic sore spot in a specific muscle
If you notice any of the symptoms above or constantly deal with muscle knots, talk to your doctor to get started on the best treatment approach for your case.
Muscle knots are a common condition that generally causes pain in the back, neck, and lower limbs. Although they don’t usually pose any serious harm, the pain can be uncomfortable and reduce one’s quality of life. If you need help managing the pain from these muscle knots, consider visiting a neck and lower back pain specialist in Singapore as soon as possible.
At Affinity Pain Clinic, our team of pain specialists are always ready to help you alleviate and manage your symptoms. Using assessment and intervention methods based on industry-leading practices, we can guarantee that our extensive treatments help you find the relief you need to return to your normal way of life. No matter if you are looking for lower back pain or golfers elbow treatment in Singapore, our dedicated specialists are here to help you.
To learn more about our cost-effective and evidence-based therapy, feel free to contact us by filling out the contact form here.