Why do we get knotted muscles and what can we do?

February 10, 2014

People ask me about their muscular knots fairly frequently, the most common question being "why does this happen to me?/ Why do the knots exist?/ Why do they keep showing up in my body?"

Just having a knot is a little different from having a "trigger point" but a lot of the time they are the underlying cause of the bulbous issue. From Jeanne Aland's book "Deep Tissue and Neuromuscular Therapy," pg 73:

"Formation of Trigger points: When an injury occurs, nerve endings in the area become hyper sensitive. They fire much more rapidly then normal and cause an excessive release of calcium in the muscle cells. Calcium ions facilitate muscle contraction- excessive calcium creates hyper-contracted or shortened muscle fibers (cells).

ATP will release the contractions and pump the calcium back into storage but gets used up quickly when the cells keep contracting. If the stores of ATP run out, the muscle will remain in a state of hyper-contraction.

Because oxygen is an essential component of ATP & gets used up quickly in the manufacturing process, it is essential that a fresh oxygen supply always be available to the cells. But when the muscles are shortened, the capillaries collapse and less oxygen can get to the hungry cells.

Although the injury heals, dysfunctional cells can remain for many years and maintain a chronic pain pattern. These sites of dysfunction are called trigger points."

So here are some links to shed some light on the situation further and even a little home advice on how to relieve some of that pain that is associated with having a knotted muscle. Stretching is THE BEST tool I've found to prevent muscular tension from furthering onwards to a trigger point!! So stretch yourself out and drink plenty of water~






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