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Muscle Knots Cause Joint Pain

What is a muscle knot?


A muscle knot is a bunch of fibers in the muscle that feels like a hard bump.  It can range from the size of a pea to the size of your fist, but it will always feel like a knot surrounded by normal muscle fibers. A muscle knot will be a tender spot in your muscle.  These knots hurt to the touch and can sometimes be quite painful to even a light touch.

How muscle knots cause joint pain?


To put it simply, muscles attach to bones and when muscle fibers are knotted the muscle pulls on the bone creating pain in the joint.

Muscles knots are created by repetitive motion or overuse of muscles.


Muscle knots are created from hydrogen ions in lactic acid.  Lactic acid is a waste product created by muscle action.  Movements, especially when repetitive and done with strength, cause lactic acid to fill the muscles.

Lactic acid is required for movement.  The body has the ability to remove  lactic acid from muscles but often not at the same speed it is created.  Since our body doesn’t flush away all the hydrogen ions in lactic acid that is produced during exercise or other repetitive movements the excess causes muscle fibers to shorten into a knot.

What movements create muscle knots?


Constant tension held from stress, over exercise, repetitive movements and repeated poor body position can cause muscle knots. Repetitive movements like sitting, standing, walking, reading books, working with computers, driving and – quite honestly – almost any other movement repeated over and over again causes trigger points.

How To Know When You Have a Muscle Knot


Muscle knots are quickly found when massaging your muscles.  Press on your muscles mindfully until you feel a hardened area which is tender when you apply pressure over it. A very obvious trigger point will cause referred pain to different areas of your body. Sometimes, you can feel this referred pain shoot to other areas in your body depending on the trigger point.

How To Release Muscle Knots


Release your muscle knot and relieve your pain. Press down on the knot until you feel discomfort, then slide your fingers deeply “along the grain” of the muscle.  This elongates the fibers by stretching them out lengthwise.  The pressing and sliding creates a void in the muscle fiber causing blood to fill and nourish the muscle fibers.  As the muscle fibers are stretched tension on bones and ligaments are also released.

You will know when the knot releases because it will not be as tender as before. In fact, you can often instantly feel the release of a muscle knot — the pain you were feeling will suddenly go away.

And That Brings us to a Great Point…


You should NOT stretch until you have released your muscle knots! When you stretch a muscle that is tied in knots the muscle on either side of the knot is overstretched.  Releasing trigger points before you stretch maximizes the benefits of stretching.  Without first releasing them, your stretch may never lengthen to its full ability and this can limit the poses you can achieve.

Now you understand why it is important to release muscle knots. This is why Julie created her stretching system!

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