Happy Monday everybody! I’ve received a few questions on what a muscle knot actually is and ways to relieve and treat knots outside of the usual massage therapy.
Muscle knots, or myofascial trigger points, are a common occurrence especially in areas where you experience muscle overuse from playing an instrument, etc. These knots can consist of muscle contractions within the fibers, and can result in a slight blockage of blood flow to the muscle tissue which can lead to tightness, pain and sensitivity in that area. Because muscle knots do not typically appear in medical scans, some professionals believe that the soreness experienced from these trigger points is likely caused by irritated nerve endings rather than the tight muscle area itself.
While massage therapy is an excellent way to relieve tightness in muscles, if you do not have access to a massage therapist you can try self-massage by rubbing firmly directly into and around the trigger point, or by placing a lacrosse ball between the wall and your upper back/shoulder area and gently rolling it back and forth and up and down around the affected area. Another alternative to pressing the lacrosse ball against the wall is to place it on the floor and lie on your back directly on it, placing the ball between the floor and your trigger point area. Lighten up your pressure and do not use the lacrosse ball if this is notably painful, and any moderate to severe pain should be examined by a medical professional immediately. Placing heating or cooling packs directly on the affected area is another method that can relieve tightness or soreness temporarily, but if the problem is consistent it is best to seek consultation from a professional. If you are planning to use a cold pack on the affected area, place it on the area for 10 minutes and then take it off for 15 minutes. Repeat until you feel relief in the muscles. A heating pack can be placed on the area for 10-15 minutes at a time as well to loosen muscles and relieve pain.
Medical professionals may recommend acupuncture, trigger point injections to relax the muscle, or physical and massage therapy depending on your medical history and the severity of your pain and discomfort. Below are some further articles with more information on muscle knots ✨ #playingwithoutpain