What exactly are muscle knots?

Tina, Muscle Therapy and Acupunture

Clients often come to me with a “knot” in their back or their necks. And occasionally, one of them will ask me the question I’ve just posed above: “Exactly what is a knot?” I often feel like they’re picturing a nice little half hitch or slipknot in their muscle fibers. “But a knot, in this context, is less like something you learn in the Navy, with loops and twists, and more like what you find in a piece of wood: a hard place.”

Source: Knot Whisper

Massage and muscle therapy can help relive muscle knotsThe phenomenon of muscle knots is not uncommon. Essentially, muscle knots are sections within the various muscles of the body that have constricted and create pain that is consistent. The condition is common enough to merit the application of a scientific name, which is myofascial trigger points.

Source: Wise Geek

When you say that you have “muscle knots,” you are talking about myofascial trigger points.

There are no actual knots involved, of course. Although their true nature is uncertain, the dominant theory is that a trigger point (TrP) is a small patch of tightly contracted muscle, an isolated spasm affecting just a small patch of muscle tissue (not a whole-muscle spasm like a “charlie horse” or cramp). That small patch of knotted muscle cuts off its own blood supply, which irritates it even more — a vicious cycle called “metabolic crisis.” The swampy metabolic situation is why I sometimes also call it “sick muscle syndrome.”

A collection of too many nasty trigger points is called myofascial pain syndrome (MPS).

Individual TrPs and MPS can cause a shocking amount of discomfort — far more than most people believe is possible — as well as some surprising side effects. Its bark is much louder than its bite, but the bark can be extremely loud.

Source: Save Yourself