Trigger Points – “Knot” Guilty

Go ahead, feel around on the top of your shoulders and see if you can find a knot.  You may already know exactly where they are, because they constantly bug you.  Today’s article will address what knots or myofascial trigger points are and a logical approach to get rid of them.

A knot forms in a muscle for a couple of reasons.  First, posture.  If a muscle is being over-stretched too much of the time, such as the shoulder or neck during slouched “computer posture”, the brain tells the muscle to contract to fight the pull.  If the poor posture is repeated, a vicious cycle of accumulating scarred tissue develops and you’ve got your own growing “knot”, like a chia pet on your shoulder.

A second knot forming pattern is if a muscle is constantly over-worked and/or used for a job it is not meant to perform.  If you have poor shoulder joint mobility or blade stability, the shoulder elevating muscles shrug the shoulder with every eye level or higher activity you perform.  The pain and soreness in this scenario is similar to getting sore from a workout, and then doing the same workout twice a day, every day.  Without time to recover, muscles will soon fail and a contracted, scarred knot accumulates.

In both of these situations it’s not the “knot” that’s at fault.  It is a consequence of poor posture or faulty shoulder movement.  My suggestion is to have the cause fixed before having the effect removed.  In reality, the “knot” is your body’s attempt to create stability at the shoulder and neck..  A massage at this point may temporarily feel good, but leaves you needing more and more.  If this story sounds like you, as much as we all like chia pets, isn’t it about time to get yours fixed.  At Cumberland Chiropractic and Sports Medicine we find the problem, restore mobility to the appropriate joints or muscles and teach you how to fix the pattern, preventing it in the future.  Check out our page on Active Release Technique, FAKTR, and Class IV Laser Therapy to read about how we get it done.