What Is A ‘Muscle Knot’ And How To Treat It

Muscles that form knots are muscles that have gone into a muscle spasm either due to injury, overuse, or a sedentary lifestyle, and then have remained “stuck” in that tense state. The knot causes your muscle to remain flexed and unable to relax, which is the reason why they can become so painful.

A “knot” is a place where a muscle has become ‘tight’ for one reason or another. Overwork is the most common cause. That doesn’t mean that ’you’ are working too much–it just means that some of your muscles are! One common cause for muscle knots is a forward-head posture. This posture puts a lot of strain on your upper back muscles.

While many people tend to believe that a muscle knot is most likely due to a “pulled muscle” or an overuse injury, in fact the main causes are from a sedentary lifestyle containing short bursts of activity. The neck and shoulders are an area that often gets mistreated with tension and pain. This usually stems from too much activity, not enough activity or from spending long hours in a fixed position in front of a computer or television. If you do sit hunched over a computer all day, you train your muscles to behave abnormally, which will make it more difficult to prevent injury when you exercise.


If you have only a few knots, the very best way to encourage them to go away is to massage them briefly several times a day for several days. Massaging these knots can be painful, and you should be exerting targeted force directly on the knots. This helps the inflammation to go down and “trains” your muscles to relax. Assured Health Group Suggests to see a Registered Massage Therapist to  receive a more focused massage using trigger point therapy.

Few other tips:

  • Potassium and calcium help to prevent muscle knots
  • Drinking plenty of water can work wonders.
  • Avoid hunching over, and if you are at work or studying, take frequent breaks to walk around.
  • Stretch before and after you exercise.