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Muscle Knots: What are they and how to treat them.

Muscle Knots: What are they and how to treat them

*Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor or Physical Therapist. Please consult with a doctor if you need more information and have an ongoing problem.

I have been struggling for months with trouble with my left shoulder. I am having a continual issue with painful muscle knots in my shoulder that are causing tightness is my left arm as well as the tightness in my back. I am a little worried that the origin of this problem is CrossFit which has worsened with my running due to the repetitive motion of the arm swing when you run.

What are muscle knots and why do they happen?

Muscle knots are actually called myofascial trigger points. They happen when the fascia in the muscle fibers tense and tighten. They can be both active and latent. When they are active they will hurt and bother you without even touching them. Latent muscle knots are painful to the touch. One of the problems with muscle knots is that they can also affect range of motion.

Muscle Knots: What are they and how to treat them #runchat #running #fitness

The muscle knots that I am experiencing are happening in the most common place, the Trapezius muscle which is the triangle shaped muscle below your neck, in between your shoulder blades. Muscle knots can also occur in the calves, lower back, shins, and neck. Knots in the trapezius are often caused by stress, poor posture, injuries related to lifting in a repetitive motion and muscle weakness.

How to get rid of muscle knots and to make the pain go away.

Here are some things that you can due to try to get rid of your muscle knots and to alleviate the pain:

RUBZ Ball, great for getting rid of muscle knots
RUBZ Ball, great for getting rid of muscle knots
  • apply a warm compress or heating pad
  • apply ice to the muscle knot
  • use anti-inflammatory medications
  • stretch the muscles in your upper trapezius. Here is a video that may help with stretches.
  • self-massage if you can reach the trigger point
  • massage the area using a golf ball, tennis ball, trigger point or rubz ball by leaning against the ball against a wall and moving the ball around on the knot
  • use a self-massage stick or TheraCane
  • use a foam roller to massage the muscle knots.
  • apply a muscle rub such as ICY HOT
  • apply a warm compress or heating pad
  • apply ice to the muscle knot
  • use anti-inflammatory medications
  • stretch the muscles in your upper trapezius. Here is a video that may help with stretches.
  • self-massage if you can reach the trigger point
  • massage the area using a golf ball, tennis ball, trigger point or rubz ball by leaning against the ball against a wall and moving the ball around on the knot
  • use a self-massage stick or TheraCane
  • use a foam roller to massage the muscle knots.
  • apply a muscle rub such as ICY HOT

If none of these strategies work then you may need to see a professional for massage, trigger point release, Active Release Therapy, ultrasound or other therapies.

Do you get muscle knots? What have you found that works for getting rid of muscle knots?

organic runner mom
organic runner mom

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12 responses

12 responses

  1. I get a monthly deep tissue massage so I’m usually pretty loose. The first time I went though, it was quite painful! If I get knots in between, I have the foam roller, the worm, that nubs ball, and the stick to work it all out. Nice collection of methods!

  2. That sounds like a very painful spot for a muscle knot. OUCH. I have a few painful spots on my upper back today…and I know they’re from the Murph yesterday LOL I may be rolling up against the wall later with a tennis ball 😉

  3. I have knots all over! I even get tension into my scalp! I see my chiro weekly who does graston treatment (OUCH) and I get a hot stone massage monthly. In the mean time, I foam roll, stretch, and use my trigger point balls, hot baths with Epsom salts, turmeric and a massage stick.
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  4. My physical therapist used graston tools & dry needling for the trigger points in my calf. I also have stretches I do.

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