What is a Muscle Knot? - IMPACT Physical Therapy

What is a Muscle Knot?

Rhomboid Muscle Knot Treatment

Sometimes referred to as myofascial trigger points, muscle knots are hyper-irritable spots made up of tense muscle fibers or fascial tissue. These bundles of muscle fiber can feel like a tangle or knot in the affected muscle, hence the name most people use. 

Although there are medical treatment options available, many muscle knots can be relieved with manual therapies at home, like massage and stretches. If pain persists, our physical therapists in Chicagoland and Central Illinois can help develop a treatment plan.

Types of Muscle Knots

Not all muscle knots are the same. While the location can certainly impact how the knot affects your daily life, not all muscle knots cause this consistent pain.

  • Active muscle knots produce a relatively continuous and intense pain.
  • Latent (or hidden) muscle knots may be mistaken for another type of injury, as you typically only experience a dull pain or tenderness if the knot is pressed on. 

Where Do Muscle Knots Develop?

You can experience a muscle knot anywhere in the body where you have muscles or fascial tissue. Common muscle knot locations include:

  • Neck
  • Shoulders
  • Lower back
  • Calves
  • Shins
  • Outside of the leg, from the hip to the knee (IT band)

Physical injury is an obvious culprit, but muscle knots have a variety of causes. Anything that can cause consistent and/or repeated stress to a muscle can lead to a knot. Repetitive motions at work, poor posture, and even recurring anxiety and stress can all lead to these trigger point pains.

Untangle Your Muscle Knot

If your self-treatments aren’t successful, it can be tempting to try to wait out a muscle knot, but relief typically arrives through direct action and a considered treatment plan. A trained physical therapist can help you find a solution to recurring muscle knots before turning to medication or injections.The IMPACT Physical Therapy team is here to help.

You can request a virtual visit to get started or reach out to one of our Chicagoland or Central Illinois locations.