Muscle Knots: Symptoms, Causes, Treatments

Muscle Knots: Symptoms, Causes, Treatments

How To Treat Muscle Knots

Muscle knots are tiny, bump-like muscle areas that are usually painful to the touch. “Myofascial trigger points” is the medical term for these muscle knots. Typically, these knots happen when muscle fibers or the tissue bands, known as fascia, beneath them tense and tighten. 

In most cases, doctors classify these trigger points as either latent or active. When it comes to active trigger points, an individual doesn’t have to touch that trigger point to feel the pain. Latent trigger points are only painful when someone presses them.

Since myofascial trigger points can affect the range of motion and cause pain, the individual must try to treat them early. In this article, you’ll learn more regarding treatment and prevention. 


Symptoms for Muscle Knots


In most cases, muscle knots target the calf and shin muscles. However, they can develop almost anywhere on your body where fascia or muscle is present. 

Also, the knots have this feeling like they’re tiny, hard lumps, or nodules. An individual might have to press much deeper into their connective tissue to feel the trigger points or knots. 

Usually, trigger points bring about what doctors refer to as referred pain. Once a person presses on the trigger point, they’ll feel the pain spreading from that trigger point to muscles that are within reach. 

At times, the muscle might move or twitch once the knot is pressed. And this symptom assists in differentiating between a trigger point and a tender point. The latter is an area that hurts only in the specific pressed location, but the pain doesn’t radiate to other nearby muscles.

Some of the places where muscle knots usually occur include:

  • Shoulders
  • Shins
  • Neck
  • Lower back
  • Calf muscles

The trapezius muscle is the most common source when it comes to muscle knots. This muscle generally makes a triangle-like shape from your neck to the middle of your back and shoulder. 

In most cases, knots and tension in the trapezius muscle occur because of poor posture and stress. 

In addition, muscle knots can also result in additional symptoms, such as: 

  • Tension headaches
  •  Ringing in the ears
  •  Lower back pain
  •   Jaw pain

Causes for Muscle Knots



There are many common causes of these muscle knots, such as:

  •  Sitting without stretching or prolonged bed rest
  •  Poor posture
  •  Injuries related to repetitive motion and lifting
  •  Stress and tension

An individual who takes a considerable amount of their time sitting at work might develop muscle knots, mainly because of staying in the same position for a very long period.

What are the Risk Factors of Muscle Knots?


Doctors have discovered several risk factors for individuals who are more prone to experience trigger points. Some of these risk factors include:

  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Poor posture
  • History of joint issues and injuries
  •  Insomnia or difficulty sleeping
  • A diet that lacks the combination of vitamins and minerals

People who work with their hands or play sports might also be at risk since they participate in repetitive activities. Doing the same action can result in knots and tension over time.


What are Some of the Home Remedies?

People might want to try out home remedies, and these are usually the first line of treatment when it comes to muscle knots. In this case, the individual must start by determining why their muscle knots may have occurred in the first place. 

If someone’s muscle knots are as a result of a prior muscle injury or prolonged sitting, practicing regular stretching breaks might also assist in reducing muscle tension.

Alternatively, people could try:

  • If stress is the cause of an individual’s muscle knots, they could take steps to minimize it, including;
  •  Spending at least 15-30 minutes daily on relaxation techniques, like gentle yoga or meditation
  • Getting more, or enough, sleep at night
  •  Listening to music or reading a book
  •  A 30-minute exercise daily
  •  Taking short deep breathing and stretching breaks during the day
  • Taking anti-inflammatory medications, like ibuprofen to lessen muscle pain
  • Aerobic exercise, including cycling, jumping jacks and swimming to loosen tight muscles
  • Applying a cloth-covered ice pack or heat pad to the affected area



PSO-RITE is the newest self massage tool on the market. Its patented design mimics the hand and elbow of a massage therapist.

What does the PSO-RITE do?

  • Increases circulation, relaxation and warmth to the muscles, and increases mobility. The PSO-RITE is used for muscle lengthening and joint decompression, which enhances physical performance. It also adds range of motion by releasing tension in the muscle allowing the joint to have more space, increasing mobility/movement.
  • What is releasing?  the cross link adhesions between the muscle fibers.
  • Increasing Capacity which will increase your Performance


Where do you use PSO-RITE?

  • Everywhere: Hip flexor, psoas, lower back, shoulder, neck etc.
  • Along any muscle group that surrounds the joints.


Check out the intro demonstration video to see how simple it is to use and what it could do for you.

Below is Michael Chandler featured on the Joe Rogan Experience raving about his experience with the PSO RITE.


You can also visit our store and check out our Psoas Muscle Massager that can help in releasing your psoas muscle and stretching your muscles.



An individual might be in a position to rub out or push the knot by applying constant pressure to that pressure point. By applying enough pressure, that knot will begin to feel softer to the touch and might start to release.

Using a PSO RITE to massage that muscle is another option people could use, which can work out the knots.

Treatments for Muscle Knots

In case home remedies fail to minimize the symptoms of muscle knots, there are professional treatments you could consider. These are aimed at reducing pain and smoothing out the muscle knots. Some examples include: 

  •  Mechanical vibration
  •  Low-level laser therapy
  • Therapeutic massage
  • Pulsed ultrasound
  • Trigger point injections of saline, steroids, or local anesthetic

In rare cases, a doctor might recommend applying a “stretch and spray” technique. It generally entails spraying a cold solution onto the specific affected muscle. Temporarily, the cold temperature can lessen pain and any swelling, enabling an individual to press and stretch that muscle knot.

How to Prevent Muscle Knots

Engaging in regular physical activity and practicing good posture are ideal ways to avoid muscle knots.

Most knots develop as a result of repeated muscle trauma, and so a person might wish to engage in various forms of activities to avoid overuse of the same muscles. Activities may include walking one day and swimming the next day.

A physical therapist or doctor can help in ensuring you’re practicing the appropriate postures when working or exercising.

Determining ways to practice better form and posture can help in preventing muscle knots and muscle injuries. 

Bottom Line

In most cases, myofascial trigger points or muscle knots can be treated with stretching and simple home remedies.

Some knots, however, can be painful to disrupt a person’s usual activities.

If this is the case, one is recommended to visit a doctor for treatment. Once s/he corrects the underlying problem, they’ll be able to reduce tension, improve their posture, and prevent future muscle knots.

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