What is a knot?

 Knot in shoulder

The technical term for a knot is ‘myofascial trigger point’ we’ve all had them but what causes them? Knots occur when a particular muscle gets so tense and de-hydrated that it restricts its own circulation of blood and tissue fluid. Eventually the muscles fibres ‘stick’ to each other and form lumpy hard knots which can be sore and painful, in some cases they can also limit movement too.

There are two types of knots – Latent and Active. Latent trigger points you probably won’t know you have unless you have a massage and then you will feel them! Active trigger points are sore and painful.

Common causes of knots include:
– Sitting at a desk all day in the same position
– Drinking sugary and caffeine filled drinks which de-hydrate the muscles
– Injuries
– Emotional  stress.
– Bad posture
– Over or under exertion of a muscle
– Cold draughts/ exertion of a muscle when it is cold

What can you do to help prevent knots?
It is important to keep your body well hydrated, stretch often, exercise and eat well. There are lots of simple stretches that you can do whilst sitting at your desk at work to help keep your muscles flexible, just ask a member of the Hemel Massage Team and we will be happy to show you.

What can you do to help get rid of knots?
If you already have knots then it is still important to stretch, and keep your muscles hydrated and warm. Foam rollers can also be helpful, but the best treatment for knots is a Massage! Massage  will not only help to break down the knot itself but it also helps to oxygenate the tissues fibres by increasing the blood flow, and it helps to release tension in the surrounding muscles that have contributed to the knot formation.

The good news!
Knots can go away and be fully treated but you must look after yourself! It is important to identify the cause of your knots as well as having a regular massage to help dispose of them.

Written by Rachel Lawley, Hemel Massage therapist

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