One word often used in the massage world is the good old “KNOT”. So what really are these knots in our muscles and why do we have them? Keep reading to find out!…
A knot can also be described as a trigger point. Think of blockages in the muscle fibres, adhesions in the muscles or scar tissue.
What actually feels like a knot or lump are in fact muscle fibres sticking together!
During my training to become a Remedial Massage Therapist, one of my teachers did not want to hear the term a “knot”, as it is not really a knot and would not show up on a scan.
Personally, I do not mind hearing it because I see a lot of clients, here at FNQ Health Co. who have been using this word to describe what THEY can actually feel. I do feel it is ok to use this term, as people can relate to this feeling and sometimes I even use this term with my clients.
So why do we feel these “knots” in our muscles throughout the body and what causes them?!
- The muscle fibres become disorganised and instead of these fibres nicely aligned and parallel they look a bit matted up
- We then get a build up of toxins, waste product and chemicals that bind the knot into this state
- And with this, no fresh or new oxygenated blood supply can enter into the muscle
- This then commonly forms pain!
- We can also have knots that are not painful, but its most likely as this process continues to build, pain is mostly likely to occur
They can get better by themselves, but only if you change what caused them to form in the first place. So why do we get knots in the first place?!
There are several reasons why this can happen, including;
- Stress and increased tension
- Micro-tearing of the muscle fibres
- Overuse or repetitive strain
- Poor or static posture
- Dysfunction in a joint
- Outside influences like a fall, surgery or an accident
Amazingly our body has the ability to heal itself to a certain extent, so the damaged soft tissue has the capacity to repair itself if you look after it.
Obviously my recommendation would be to completely avoid injuries all together, but we all know that it is not possible and everybody will experience some trauma to their muscular systems at some stage of their life.
So the best advice I can give is to really look after your muscular system! Muscles are the body’s power structure, which connect to our skeletal system. They move us, warm us and give us energy. So it really is important for them to be working well and for us to give our muscles the TLC that they deserve!
We have approximately 700 muscles throughout the body – amazing huh!
And how do we look after our muscles?
- Regular body work – such as massage, stretching and exercise
- Hydration – this one is often underestimated but super important!
- Adequate nutrients – such as Magnesium, Calcium, Vitamin C and Zinc
Looking after these 3 key aspects of our muscles will ensure we have fully functioning and healthy muscle tissue.
I hope you have learnt a little more about knots and why we have them, so you can better look after your body!