How Chiropractic Aims to Help Relieve Muscle Knots

knotEveryone gets muscle knots. You know, those lumps of muscle that can cause discomfort and pain? Everyone is familiar with them! What you may not know if that your chiropractor can help. Here’s what you need to know about how to help release constricted muscles so that you don’t get all tied up in knots!

What Are Muscle Knots?

When you’ve had a long day at the office or a particularly hard work out, you may notice that the tension in your shoulders or the pain radiating from a certain area seems to be centered on a lump of muscle. This is the muscle knot, and they made of entangled muscle fibers that get bunched together and are unable to relax. When this happens, the tissue can’t get enough oxygen and this leads to small tears in the muscle, tendons or ligaments called adhesions that eventually become muscle knots.

How Muscle Knots Form

There are three main ways that knots, and their preceding tears, develop. The first is with a sudden injury or trauma. Second is overuse or repetitive injury, like sitting at a computer all day clicking with a mouse (sound familiar?). The third way is with constant pressure or tension or an extended amount of time, like what happens with poor posture.

What Your Chiropractor Can Do

Muscles function at their best when they have enough oxygen, which means they need good blood flow. When you get stressed or overworked the muscle fibers in certain places can clump together to form a knot and that can become quite painful. There are ways to get rid of these knots and keep them from coming back, though!

Your chiropractor will likely perform a technique called “Active Release Technique” on any trouble areas that you have. This technique breaks up knots and adhesions and is done with direct pressure and very specific movements that your chiropractor is highly trained in. They may also use a soft tissue technique called “technical gavilan”. This technique uses an instrument to help increase the blood flow to damaged tissue that will help your muscles to heal.

Of course, your chiropractor will advise you on some nutritional elements too. If you have low potassium levels then you could have an increased risk for developing knots. Adding potassium rich foods, such as bananas, may help.

Your chiropractor can also advise you on exercises or stretches that can help to alleviate some discomfort you may be having and might help to reduce your risk of developing knots in the future!

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Patrick McConahay

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