What exactly is a muscle knot?
Muscles are made of strands of fibers and these fibers are made up of protein threads. These threads are called sarcomeres, which are responsible for muscles contraction, and the diameter is smaller than a single strand of hair. When the sarcomeres contracts but does not relax blood flow is restricted to the muscles. Without the lubrication from the blood flow, the muscles fibers become dry and then entangled. This in turn irritates to the sensory nerve endings and increases the contraction. Also, nutrients and oxygen cannot get into the belly of the muscle and waste cannot be removed.
Why does this happen?
Unfortunately, not much is known about why these knots form. Possible causes are stress, injury, poor posture and general overuse.
What can you do about it?
Massage helps to separate the fibers and untangle the knot. Circulation is increased which brings more oxygen and nutrients to the muscle allowing it to heal. Also, manually stretching the muscles will help the sarcomeres to slow down and become less inflamed.
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