You can use massage to treat muscle knots. Massage therapy increases circulation and improves blood flow. That can improve muscle function and help loosen up your muscles. This helps to relieve pain and stiffness.
Keep in mind that one session isn’t usually enough to heal you completely. You’ll likely need to have several frequent sessions. Once you see improvements you can space out your sessions.
There are several types of massage. The type you’ll benefit from most will depend on the severity of your muscle knots and your personal preference. You may need to try several different types of massage before you find a type that you like.
In some cases, you can massage the sore muscles yourself. Locate the muscle knot and use your fingers to gently massage it.
While massaging, focus on trying to loosen up the tight muscle fibers and relieve tension. Press firmly into the affected area and make small circles with your fingers. You can also place a tennis ball between your back and the floor or a wall, and roll back and forth on the ball to apply more pressure to the knot. Experiment by slowly and gently moving the ball to apply pressure to points of tension. You can use a foam roller in much the same way.
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This gentle massage technique will be suitable for you if have a lot of tension or are sensitive to touch. Swedish massage uses long strokes, kneading, and deep circular movements. Vibration and tapping are also used to aid in relaxation.
Deep tissue massage
This type of massage uses forceful strokes to release chronic muscle tension. It targets the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue. It’s often used to treat muscle damage from injuries.
Sports massage therapy
This massage technique is geared especially toward athletes. It can be used to prevent or treat injuries.
When to seek help
Untreated muscle knots can cause chronic pain and lead to other health issues. See your health care provider if you’ve taken measures to relieve your muscle pain, but it persists. You should also call your doctor if pain becomes severe and is interfering with your daily life and well-being.
It’s possible that what seems like a muscle knot could be something else, such as a swollen lymph node. Usually there will be other symptoms that accompany a swollen lymph node, such as a cold, cough, or infection.
Check with a doctor, physical therapist, or osteopath if you want to make sure it’s a muscle knot and not something else. They can determine possible causes for the pain.