Muscle knots, also known as Myofascial trigger points, are hard, sensitive areas of muscle that tighten and contract even when the muscle is at rest. Whether you lead a sedentary lifestyle or work out a lot at the gym, you’re equally susceptible to getting these. They occur when the muscle fibers are unable to get rest and cannot relax. Removing muscle knots can take a lot of effort and you may have to employ a variety of techniques.
Bright Side brings to you tested techniques to remove muscle knots along with a few hacks to avoid them from occurring.
1. Try the Graston Technique.
The Graston Technique is a more intense version of a massage. It uses 6 different types of stainless steel tools to perform muscle mobilizations. This technique should only be performed by trained practitioners.
2. Use tennis balls.
Lie flat on the ground and place tennis balls underneath the pain points. Press gently and try rolling the balls over the knots. Knots get soothed by pressure and rubbing, and tennis balls are excellent at it. You may feel pain and discomfort at first, but with time it should subside.
3. Use a WALBALL.
If lying on the ground and using a tennis ball is not your thing, you can perform a similar routine using a product called the WALBALL. It can be attached to a wall using its suction cup and can then be used in a manner similar to using a tennis ball.
Locate the knot and firmly press the area. Then using your fingers, rub the knot in a circular motion. Massage increases blood circulation, improves muscle function and helps loosen up the muscles, thereby removing the stiffness. You may also seek the help of a friend if the knots are located in places where your hands cannot reach. Enlisting the help of a trained massage therapist is suggested.
5. Try using an umbrella.
If you don’t have a friend around and the knot is located in your back, you can try using an umbrella with a curved handle to alleviate the pain. Place the end of the umbrella’s handle over the knot and gently apply pressure while using it.
6. Get a foam roller.
A foam roller is another tool that you can use to treat muscle knots. Place it on the ground horizontally and lie over it in a way that the sore area falls on top of the roller. Now roll yourself slowly over it. Remember not to use it for over 3 minutes at a time.
7. Consider acupuncture treatment.
Acupuncture can be effective in relieving you of muscle knots. It works by getting right to the center of the muscle knot and relaxing it. Some results should be visible immediately even after the first acupuncture session. But to completely resolve it, more sessions might be required.
8. Try cupping.
Another traditional technique known as cupping can also be used to get relief from muscle knots. Cups help break up the contracting tissues and restore blood flow to the affected area.
9. Apply hot or cold to the area.
Using a heating pad or cold compress can alleviate pain associated with muscle knots. Taking a warm shower can also have healing effects. For added benefits, mix Epsom salts into the water.
Bonus: How to avoid muscle knots
1. Follow the correct posture.
Bending while sitting in a chair can increase the risks of developing a muscle knot. Sit erect. Also, make sure that your chair has proper back support. If your back starts to hurt, take a short break.
2. Add vitamins to your diet.
Vitamin deficiency can make you susceptible to knots so eat fruits and vegetables. Try eating food rich in magnesium, calcium, and zinc.
3. Exercise regularly.
Exercising regularly stretches the muscles and maintains flexibility. It thereby reduces the chances of muscle knots. Aerobic exercises are often more effective at removing muscle pain.
Have you ever suffered from muscle knots? Which techniques did you use? Let us know in the comments. Also, remember to share this article with all your friends and family members!
Preview photo credit GTindy / Wikimedia Commons