Muscle knots are also known as myofascial trigger points. These are small bumps of muscle that can appear anywhere on the body and occur when muscle fibers or fascia tense up and tighten. These points can either be active or latent: active trigger points mean they are painful in general and latent trigger points only cause pain when pressed on.
There can be many causes of muscle knots, including stress and tension, injuries related to lifting, repetitive motion, poor posture, or sitting for long periods of time. This is why back knots are the most common kind of muscle knots. You’re at risk of them by just sitting at your desk all day without stretching.
So what can you do to treat them? What is the best massage for back knots?
Is it good to massage muscle knots?
A deep tissue massage is the most effective treatment for muscle knots. When a muscle is tight, it limits the blood flow in that area so by using a massage as a treatment technique for this works by increasing blood flow to the muscle, which can in turn reduce inflammation and ease any soreness and pain.
A deep tissue massage can loosen painful knots by applying pressure in slow strokes. A massage therapist will work on the connective tissue as well as the muscle itself.
How often should you massage muscle knots?
For the best results, you should massage each muscle group for up to 6 minutes a day. This is entirely dependent on each individual and how bad the muscle knot is. You can massage muscle knots every day, but don’t over-do it as this could actually cause more irritation.
Sometimes muscle knots can go away on their own, but a massage is definitely the fastest and most effective way to loosen the muscle and get rid of muscle knots. Prevention is always better than cure! To prevent muscle knots, make sure you’re stretching on a daily basis and making a conscious decision to drink enough water - hydrated muscles are healthy muscles!
How can I get a deep tissue massage?
There are some really effective massage tools which enable you to experience a deep tissue massage in the comfort of your own home. Try a vibrating foam roller or massage gun to get deep into the muscle tissue. These kinds of tools are particularly beneficial on the back as a treatment for a back knot massage, as a foam roller can easily reach the width of the back and shoulders.
To do this, simply place the roller on the floor and lay back, apply pressure, and gently roll and lean side to side. Additionally, a massage gun can target specific trigger points and sore spots. We have a post dedicated to the benefits of different back massager tools which you can read here.