Muscles knots can be extremely painful, but there are many ways you can both prevent and treat them
Muscle knots are muscles fibres that are tight and tense, even when your body is at rest. They may be sensitive to touch, and feel swollen and lumpy. Muscle knots commonly occur in your back, shoulders and neck, and are also known as trigger points. They can cause additional conditions such as headache, toothache, jaw pain, and lower back pain.
Muscle knots can happen for a variety of reasons. Common causes are poor posture, overuse or injury of a muscle, stress, dehydration, and a sedentary lifestyle.
Firstly, take a look at your posture. If you spend hours at your desk, are you sitting correctly and taking enough breaks? Slouching causes muscle stress which can lead to back pain, so try keeping your back straight, and your head upright in a neutral position.
Moving regularly through everyday activities, or following an exercise plan, helps to keep muscles strong, flexible, and free of tension. Including gentle stretching into your daily routine will also release tension in your muscles. Activities such as swimming can be beneficial by working the muscles in your neck and shoulders, and improving circulation to these areas.
If you’re not drinking enough water, dehydration may be the cause of your muscle knots. Your water requirement varies depending on factors such as your age, and the amount of exercise you do, but health authorities commonly recommend seven to nine glasses a day. There are many apps you can use to remind you to drink water, and track your daily intake.
If these preventative measures aren’t working for your muscle knots, then it may be time to seek professional help. Chiropractors may use chiropractic adjustments to address the underlying cause, improve posture and reduce tension in your body. They can also use or recommend other therapies such as massage to relieve immediate pain. A combination of approaches can not only help immediate symptoms of muscle knots, but also correct the cause and prevent them from occurring again.
This article first appeared in the September/ October edition of your Chiropractor. The November/ December edition of your chiropractor will be out any day now. Make sure to collect yours at your next appointment.