Do I have knots in my Muscles?
This is such a common statement or question I get from my clients, So, I thought I would try and clear up what you are feeling……
When you say “muscle knots,” you are actually talking about myofascial trigger points. There are no actual muscle fibers that have woven around themselves and created a knot.
Although, the true nature of these painful lumps in your muscles is uncertain, however the main theory is that a Trigger Point is a small patch of tightly contracted muscle fibers, forming an isolated spasm within the muscle tissue (but not the whole muscle like a cramp). These usually form in an area of the muscle that is under higher loads, within an inch or two of its insertion point or connection to the bone. When formed it tends to starve itself of oxygen by restricting its own blood supply become very irritated and painful.
“I like to think of a Trigger Point as normal muscle behaving abnormally.”
One of these little critters can be painful enough, but a collection of too many nasty trigger points has been given a definition called: myofascial pain syndrome. (myo=muscle, fascial=connective tissue, pain=ouch, syndrome=kind of mysterious.) This condition you definitely don’t want.
Luckily it’s as easy to prevent, as it is to develop. All you need is a little body awareness and an understanding of what abnormally muscle tissue feels like.
Myofasical Trigger Points at any variation of their pain scale respond very well to direct pressure applied to these fibers, but most importantly with the correct intensity as to not aggravate the tissue. This is where we as therapists come in to the equation. Raw Therapies Physiotherapists and Remedial Massage Therapists are highly trained in the detection of Myofascial Trigger Points and the appropriate treatment to dissolve these nasty little areas of muscle fiber spasm. Furthermore, we can educate you to locate and self treat with the appropriate tool. One of my favourites being the SPIKEY BALL!! (See picture). Trust me, it will be one of the most intense LOVE/HATE relationships you will have. But best of all, you will be feeling more strength, more mobility and less pain in no time.