Trigger Points and Muscle Knots
If you’re a regular to massage, the concept of a muscle knot is probably something you’re well aware of, but what are they exactly? And what’s the relationship between trigger points and muscle knots?
What’s a trigger point?
Trigger points are tender spots on your body that ‘trigger’ or cause discomfort. These tender spots are common, and many of us have them, but they can become troublesome for some people. They are common in hot areas like the shoulders and neck, but they can crop up just about anywhere, and in some people, they can cause a lot of pain.
A trigger point is like a ‘knot’ in your muscle or the fascia (the thin wrapping around each muscle). This is why those trigger points are often referred to as muscle knots. To a massage therapist, it feels like a hard contraction on the muscle fibers connected to it, like a tight band around the muscle. Trigger points in muscles are ‘myofascial trigger points – and there are other types of trigger points that can occur around the body, on your skin, ligaments, tendons, and scar tissue.
How can you tell if you have a muscle knot or trigger point?
You’ll be able to tell where your trigger points are; if you touch them with any pressure, you’ll notice they start to hurt or hurt more. They are often situated close to problem areas, so your trigger points are likely to be around your back, neck, and shoulders if you have back issues, although this isn’t always the case. The range of sensations you might feel from a trigger point can be pretty broad, too; anything from intense pain to a dull, throbbing ache. Some people think ‘pins and needles or numbness.
So, what causes trigger points to flare up? One theory is that they are down to some muscular overload if you’ve been working out too hard or overdoing it or just not been taking care of your posture.
How to treat trigger points pain?
If you notice a sore spot and want to see a massage therapist for advice, we’d advise having a word with your medical adviser first to make sure that any swelling or soreness is just down to muscular stress and nothing more serious.
A good massage therapist will be able to work on your trigger points and muscle knots gently but firmly, releasing them. They can also help you with in-between treatment massage techniques to try at home. These techniques will ease any discomfort and help to prevent the muscle knots from building up again.
Trigger points and tender spots can cause a considerable amount of pain and discomfort. It often restricts your movement and your ability to do the activities you want to. You don’t have to put up with this pain though, with some action on your part, you can be pain-free!
You can shop for essential oils online for your in-between massage relaxation aromatherapy at home.
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