Knots – What Are They?

knotI have a lot of people asking me about knots. What are they? How do I get them? Will they go away?

Knots are basically a build of tissue that gets deposited at certain sites around the body. Common areas are neck and shoulders, glutes and calves. Knots can be due to muscles working overtime, being contracted continually, and not getting enough stretching so that it works the muscle in the opposite direction to bring it back to its natural state. Knots may cause painful spasms and restricted movement which can also lead to other dysfunctions.

Knots can be attributed to a build of toxins and by-products in the system that have not been flushed out sufficiently enough after exercise, for example, and therefore has been deposited. A build-up of scar tissue from an operation or a torn muscle can also lead to knots as the tissues are in a repair phase.

Muscle fatigue can also lead to knots; if a muscle is in a contracted state for an extended period of time then the muscle fibres stick together and there is build-up of muscle tissue trying to support the posture, for example sitting a computer for hours. A static posture also restricts the blood flow around the body which also causes a build up of metabolic waste products. This specific prolonged posture causes issues with glutes, lower back, hips, neck, shoulders, mid-upper back and head.

Depending on the size of the knot, the severity, the length of time it has been there, the location determines whether it may disappear over time or not. If the knot is in a position where it is unlikely to be rested for a period of time after treatment, it may take longer to improve. Sometimes, just the reduction in size of the knot is enough to feel better, as a therapist we aim to break down a knot into smaller knots so that the body can dispose of the smaller ones more easily.

Regular treatment will certainly improve the process as we will continually focus on reducing the knots over a period of time. This is much more beneficial than seeing a therapist only when you can’t stand the pain anymore and only come for a once off treatment.

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