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Managing the pain of muscle knots


Muscle knots can be experienced in a wide range of intensities, from sharp to dull pain. Why do these knots happen? Is there anything that can be done to get rid of a knot in your neck, back, shoulder, etc.?


What is a muscle knot?


A knot is formed when muscle fibers stay tight and do not eventually relax. This often happens to muscles when they are overused for a length of time or because they are being misused. The experience of the tightened fibers feels like the knot is under the skin, hence the term now being used.


Injuries can also cause knots to happen. Some reasons a knot may originate are car accidents, a painful fall, a sports injury, or even sleeping the wrong way so that the neck is pinched or bent in a strange direction. Another reason a knot may form is due to a spinal misalignment that causes muscles to tighten and shift as they try to adapt to the problem.


Although avoiding a car accident may be something that you don’t have much control over, there are many things you can do to help keep knots at bay. Using proper posture, especially when lifting heavy objects or sitting for extended lengths of time, is an example of significant measures to take to avoid muscle knots.


What relieves muscle knots?


There is an easy solution for muscle knots, depending on the severity. For some, a simple massage from a loved one may loosen it up. For a more intense knot, you may need a licensed massage therapist. For knots that frequently appear, particularly in the neck and the shoulders, the root issue may be in the alignment of the spine. Unless the misalignment is corrected, the knot will keep coming back.


When the upper cervical spine is out of alignment, it can cause the muscles to tighten in and around the neck, back, and shoulders. Fixing the misalignment could immediately prevent the knot from reappearing, particularly for knots in the neck. Knots located further from the source but are still associated with the misalignment can be relieved over time as the body heals around the corrected vertebrae. A visit with an upper cervical chiropractor is an excellent step toward long-term relief from muscle knots.


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