Muscle knots, boy, they can sure stink, am I right? Anyone who suffers from painful muscle knots understands how uncomfortable, unpleasant, and unwelcome they can be. Muscle knots come in various shapes, sizes, and severities. Correctly identifying the degree to which a muscle is knotted allows professionals to assign the correct amount of treatment to help alleviate the knot-centric pains and frustrations.
In this article, we’ll discuss the need-to-know basics regarding muscle knots and answer that nagging question, “How often should I get a massage for knots?” Spoiler alert: it largely depends on lifestyle choices and how badly someone wishes to be knot-free.
How often Should I Get a Massage for Muscle Knots? Wait, What are Muscle Knots?
Muscle knots, scientifically known as myofascial trigger points, are a common affliction that many people experience; these tough buggers are tight, tense areas within the muscle that can be felt as nodules or lumps. Knots form when muscle fibers contract and do not release, leading to a buildup of tension in the muscle. The causes of muscle knots vary widely and include poor posture, stress, muscle imbalances, dehydration, fatigue, and injury. You know, all the stuff that’s super easy to avoid 🙂
Muscle knots are extremely common, but some people experience more severe knotting than others, making daily tasks a real struggle. Easily, 80-90% of patients coming into our Houston massage spa for treatments say they suffer from knots on some part of their body. We mostly see the highest concentration of knotting in the upper back, shoulders, and lower back; however, knots can occur anywhere on the body.
What Types of Muscle Knots Do I Have?
- Mild Muscle Knots
For most people, some degree of mild muscle knotting can be a weekly occurrence. Mild muscle knotting is characterized by a dull, localized ache that comes and goes. You can feel the knot under the skin, but it’s malleable and will squish with slight pressure. Usually, focused care such as stretching, heating-pad isolation, and drinking plenty of water can help alleviate a mild knot within a couple of days.
- Severe/Debilitating Muscle Knots
Severe muscle knotting can be a traumatic and debilitating affliction for those suffering from it. Severe muscle knots can send electric pain across your body and reduce mobility almost completely. There’s a “snowball effect” to severe knotting, as the contracting muscles tend to insulate themselves and wrench tighter and tighter if no action is taken. The knots are rock-hard to the touch and cannot be massaged to release from one session alone.
To Be or Knot To Be?
While mild muscle knots can be treated at home with some simple remedies, severe knotting will often require massage therapy to reverse the tension and help the muscle “unlearn” its defensive response to tension and trauma. Typical massage treatments for severe muscle knotting include deep tissue massage and sports massage to help trigger the myofascial release and reduce pain.
Also, aside from directly treating the knots, massage professionals can help knot sufferers understand what lifestyle changes they can make to help combat the knotting and reduce the risk of future attacks/issues.
So, how often should you get a massage for your knots? We recommend that people suffering from severe muscle knotting begin with weekly/biweekly treatments; then, we can scale those back as the mobility is restored and debilitating pain subsides. From there, the frequency of massages needed will depend on lifestyle changes and preemptive “knot management” at home. Monthly massage is recommended to keep a happy, well-functioning body - think of it like an oil change. Knots can be managed, but if no actions are taken, they’ll creep back into the muscles without pause.
If you’re suffering from muscle knots and looking for relief, visit us at Elevation Massage & Spa and start on the path toward a knot-free life!
Book an appointment with us today.
Consent of the client is required:
I understand that results will vary among individuals. I understand that although I may see a change after my first treatment, I will likely require a series of sessions to obtain my desired outcome.