Why do muscles “knot” and how does a massage help them un-knot?


Why do muscles “knot” and how does a massage help them un-knot?

In: 61

Muscle knots are areas of hypersensitivity in a muscle that can be uncomfortable. They are caused by nearby connective tissue becoming restricted due to overuse or injury. The body then protects itself by limiting movement in the affected area and lowering the chance that it will get further injured. This results in tight bands of muscles we refer to as muscle knots or trigger points.

Massage therapy can help relieve muscle knots by increasing blood flow to the affected area and releasing tension in the muscles. This can help reduce inflammation and promote healing.

It may be placebo or anecdotal.. but any morning I stretch and my calf muscles do that I’m dehydrated. If I go pound a liter or so of water in the hours before I go to bed it never happens and I sleep great.

I really think how dehydrated you are has a lot to do with it. What happens to an engine with no oil? Seizes up. Same thing with our muscles but their oil is water and electrical signals lol.

Part of why massage helps to release tension is the pressure. You have specialized nerve cells called nociceptors that are specially wired to communicate to your brain that you’re experiencing pressure. The pressure signals are received by your brain and the brain then tells the muscle to loosen as a reflex.

I’m an RMT in BC Canada. Actually, no reputable study has been done on this from what i have seen. Its all just theory. Some say its its aggravates muscle tissue, some say its stuck tissue, some say its muscle fibers that can’t relax after contracting…no one knows for sure because nobody is throwing thousands of dollars into a proper scientific peer reviewed study. So take all this with a grain of salt.

I have a Master’s in Rehab Therapy and vaguely remember the physiology regarding this mechanism, which is called the Inverse Stretch Reflex which involve Golgi Tendon Organs (GTOs).

**”[GTO] lies in series with skeletal muscle fibres and therefore discharges during passive stretching of the muscle as well as when the tendon is stretched by the contraction of the muscle.”**

**”A reflex action mediated by the Golgi tendon organs that is called the inverse stretch reflex. When the organs are stimulated by a prolonged stretch they cause the stretched muscle to relax.”**

Source: https://www.physio-pedia.com/Golgi_Tendon_Organ#:~:text=A%20reflex%20action%20mediated%20by,the%20stretched%20muscle%20to%20relax.

TL;DR: muscle is sore, massage muscle, GTOs send signals, muscle relaxes