We’ve all had the experience of tension in our shoulders or back only to find the tension radiating from a knot in a particular muscle. These muscle knots are painful to the touch and can feel like someone actually tied our muscles up. But what are they? Here’s everything you need to know to get rid of muscle knots and prevent them from coming back:
What Causes Muscle Knots?
The medical term for muscle knots is myofascial trigger points, which is quite a mouthful for such a common problem. There is some debate among doctors about what causes muscle knots but it seems to be connected to an abnormal build up of protein after a release of lactic acid.
Muscles that form knots are muscles that have gone into a muscle spasm either due to injury, overuse, or a sedentary lifestyle, and then have remained “stuck” in that tense state. A muscle knot is your muscle remaining flexed and refusing to relax, which is a big part of the reason they can be so painful.
While many people tend to believe that a muscle knot is most likely due to a “pulled muscle” or an overuse injury, the most common cause of these muscle knots is a sedentary lifestyle containing short bursts of activity. If you sit hunched over at a computer all day, you train your muscles to behave abnormally, which will make it more difficult to prevent injury when you exercise.