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Chiropractic Guide to Muscle Knots

Updated: Jan 15, 2023

Two-thirds of people, at some time in their life, have experienced aches and tenderness in the muscles.

Muscle knots can impair mobility, cause pain, and reduce a person’s quality of life. They are typically found in your back, shoulders, and neck as stiff bands of muscle with a hard knob in the centre known as a trigger point. The pain can either pop up spontaneously or when the trigger point is pressed.

What causes muscle knots?

Muscle knots have a variety of possible causes, often from overuse, such as heavy lifting or repetitive activities. Other causes may include the following:

  • Psychological stress

  • Poor ergonomics

  • Bad posture

  • Fatigue

  • Dehydration

  • Sleep disturbances

  • Joint problems

Working from home is part of the 'new norm' and sitting down at the computer all day, with minimal movement, our muscles begin to get stiff and can form a knot. Incorrect posture puts stress on our muscles, and with enough time, this stress can cause scar tissue formation.

Muscle knots Symptoms

We all experience pain differently and the pain symptoms may be very different for each person. The primary symptom of muscle knots is pain. The interesting fact is that the location of the muscle knot may cause pain in other areas we don't expect. If the muscle knot is in your neck, it can cause a tension headache.

Who is most at risk for muscle knots?

Ninety-seven percent of people with chronic pain have trigger points, and 100 percent of people with neck pain have them. Certain risk factors increase the likelihood of developing muscle knots.

  • Aging

  • Disease

  • Stress

  • People with fibromyalgia

Diagnosing a Muscle Know

A chiropractor can complete a physical assessment to diagnose if you have a muscle knot. They will look for tight muscles, tender spots and how the patient reacts to pressure in that area.

How are muscle knots treated?

Once you’ve been diagnosed, there are several options, but the most common include the following:



Ultrasound therapy

Whichever option you choose, the main goal is to release the trigger point to reduce pain and increase mobility by breaking up the knotted tissue and calming inflamed nerves.

It would be best if you felt safe and educated on the benefits and risks before obtaining any treatment. When you visit us in our clinic in Stoney Creek, we are happy to discuss with you what we do to the point you are making an educated decision.


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