"I've got a lot of knots!" This phrase is among one of the most popular that I hear when I'm working as a local massage therapist in NJ. Sometimes clients want to know why they have these knots, sometimes they want to know how they form. Most of us just want to say good riddance to them!
Some knots are crunchy sounding. Others are lumpy and bumpy. Some knots restrict our movement and can be painful to the touch. They all cause a chain reaction to occur in soft tissues that we have to adapt to.
Simply described, muscle knots are layers of muscle and connective tissue that get adhered together. They get stuck, they stop gliding and get bound up. That's what they are. But how do we get them, and why do they form?
Here are the 2 primary reasons we get muscle knots:
1. Most obvious through injury or strain (overuse).
I don't think it's really possible to live a full human life and not get some knots along the way. But take into account that we are living and using our bodies in ways that nature never intended (such as 10 hours at a desk) we get "alot of knots". The muscle knots form because most of us don't move around enough and our bodies don't receive nearly the amount of blood flow, oxygen, lymph and nutrients as they should. Those fluids lubricate the soft tissues and keep us well oiled. We live longer than our ancestors of course, but that just gives us more years to collect more knots!
2. Another reason we get knots may be due to dehydration.
We need to look at our coffee and alcohol intake as factors because of the dehydrating effects on the body. And we can prevent knots from forming by exercising, breathing fresh air, stretching and taking lots of breaks for movement activities. Especially if we work at a desk. Whatever activity you do repetitively, you need to counterbalance with stretching or moving on a daily basis to help avoid muscle pain.
When you want the adhesion worked out, massage therapy can provide immediate relief and set in motion an avenue for permanent change. Its a great way to begin to break up the knots and allow for the body to heal the sore muscles by unraveling the layers of bound up tissue and muscle fibers.