How to Prevent Muscle Knots

Muscle knots are hard, sensitive areas of the muscles that contract and tighten even when your muscles are resting. When touched, the tension in these muscle fibers can trigger pain in other areas of your body.

Another name for muscle knots is trigger points. Muscle knots can be caused by the following:

  • Poor posture

  • Injuring or overusing your muscles

  • A sedentary lifestyle

Other factors that may cause muscle knots include unhealthy eating habits, anxiety and stress, and dehydration.

Muscle knots can occur in any part of the body but are usually found in the neck, shoulder, and back. They can also show up in your gluteal muscles.

Muscle knots cause pain and aching sensations in your joints and muscles. When you put your hand around a muscle knot, you can feel some tense, bumpy, or swollen knot. A knot could also feel contracted or tight, even when you attempt to relax, and they are usually sensitive to touch. Sometimes, the affected area may swell up or become inflamed.

Muscle knots can cause symptoms in non-muscle areas of the body, including:

  • Earaches
  • Toothaches
  • Headaches

Some people may experience depression, anxiety, stress, and difficulty sleeping.

Conventional treatment for a muscle knot

You have to break the knotted tissue and calm inflamed nerves to eliminate muscle knots. Here’s what you can do to find relief.

1. Have some rest

Give your body some rest if you have muscle knots. Take time off from any activities that may cause knots or that may cause discomfort, and pain. Instead, spend as much time as you can relaxing. For example, you can sleep longer than usual or use pillows to support your body while sleeping.

2. Exercise

Muscle knots may be relieved with aerobic exercise. For example, if the knots are in your neck or shoulders, do swimming, jumping jacks, or other arm movements that work the muscles in your neck and shoulders. This will stretch the muscles and increase the flow of blood to them. Increased blood flow to the muscles helps repair damaged tissue.

3. Stretch

Do some gentle stretches. Gentle stretches elongate your body and release the tension in them. Take care while stretching. Do not force yourself into painful positions.

Hold a stretch for 30 seconds at the least for best results, and release slowly, so you don’t get any injuries.

4. Hot and cold therapy

Heat and cold therapy can help relieve inflammation and pain.

Cold therapy constricts the blood vessels, which in turn reduces swelling. To apply cold therapy, use a cold compress for 10 minutes, then take it off for 15 minutes at the least. You can repeat this until you start getting relief.

Heat loosens and relaxes stiff muscles. It also relieves pain. Heat may also increase the flow of blood, which promotes healing. Take a warm bath or use a heating pad.

Alternating between heat and cold treatment is essential, or using the one that works best for you. Cold and hot therapy should be used alongside other therapies.

5. Physical therapy

Physical therapy may be recommended in more severe cases. First, your therapist can help you identify the exact cause of your muscle knots. Then, the therapist will teach you techniques to ease your pain and prevent a recurrence.

6. Trigger point pressure release

This involves the application of pressure to your trigger points. For example, a trained chiropractor will pressure the muscle knot until it softens and releases. After a treatment session, you will be taught movements to help retrain and strengthen your muscles.

7. Massage therapy

Massage can be used to treat muscle knots. In addition, massage therapy improves blood flow. Enhanced circulation and blood flow can improve muscle function and loosen up muscles. This relieves pain and stiffness.

How does upper cervical chiropractic help?

All the other options treat the symptoms and secondary conditions, but upper cervical chiropractic fixes the primary condition, which is the root cause of many problems.

Upper cervical chiropractic aims to restore normal alignment to the spine and normal tension to the muscles. Upper cervical chiropractic requires no popping, cracking, or twisting of the spine and relies on precise mathematical calculations to determine how best to realign the spine and keep it that way for long periods of time.

A normal and balanced spine helps the muscles to pull more evenly. It also improves overall nerve and blood flow to enhance muscle function. This procedure helps to get to the underlying cause of muscle knots.

How to prevent muscle knots

There are several ways to prevent muscle knots from forming.

  • Always practice good posture in your daily life. Focus on sitting relaxed, with your shoulders back and down, and avoid slouching.

  • Get plenty of rest and adequate exercise.

  • Warm-up and cool down when exercising, and don’t overexert yourself. For example, lifting too heavy or running too fast can cause injuries that may lead to muscle knots.

  • Don’t sit for long periods. Instead, take a break, and get up and move at least once every hour of extended sitting.

  • Do simple stretches throughout the day to keep your muscles from getting tight. You can even do exercises while sitting at a desk or watching television. Bring awareness of the alignment of your body while going about physical activities.

  • Maintain a healthy diet that includes calcium, potassium, and magnesium, and drink plenty of water. Replace processed foods with fresh, whole foods.

  • Consider getting regular massages to help you to relax, gain flexibility, and keep your muscles healthy.

Foundation Chiropractic utilizes Upper Cervical Chiropractic care to fix the primary cause of various secondary conditions (symptoms). Call our office at 813–578–5889 to schedule a complimentary consultation.


Dr. Berner does not diagnose, treat, or prevent any medical diseases or conditions; instead, he analyzes and corrects the structure of his patients with Foundational Corrections to improve their overall quality of life. He works with their physicians, who regulate their medications. This blog post is not designed to provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment, or services to you or any other individual. The information provided in this post or through linkages to other sites is not a substitute for medical or professional care. You should not use the information in place of a visit, consultation, or the advice of your physician or another healthcare provider. Foundation Chiropractic and Dr. Brett Berner are not liable or responsible for any advice, the course of treatment, diagnosis, or any other information, services, or product you obtain through this article or others.

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