The phenomenon of muscle knots is not uncommon. Essentially, muscle knots are sections within the various muscles of the body that have constricted and create pain that is consistent. The condition is common enough to merit the application of a scientific name, which is myofascial trigger points. While there is not currently a definitive medical explanation as to why muscle knots form, several theories are undergoing testing. Here is some information about the nature of the muscle knot, as well as some of the treatment methods that are in use today.
The generally accepted answer to why muscle knots form is that something triggers a reaction where the muscle never relaxes. In effect, the muscle is always in a state where it appears to be actively rather than passively in use. This is unusual, since even with such activities as weight lifting, running, or any type of heavy lifting the muscle goes through a series of off and on cycles. The constant active condition of the muscle leads to muscle spasms, which in turn acts as the root cause the muscle knot.
Surgically removing a portion of muscle knots has led to the discovery of the presence of unusual deposits of protein within the tissue. There is also a theory that an excessive amount of connective tissue surrounding the muscle may also contribute to the development of muscle knots. However, very little research has been done on the matter of connective tissue, so most doctors do not recognize that as a contributing factor in the development of a myofascial trigger point.
There are several recommended treatments for muscle knots. Some involve the application of massage therapy to calm the knots. While massaging the knot may be somewhat painful during the process, there are reports of a temporary easing of the muscle spasm process. Other treatments involve the application of hot or cold packs to the muscle knots, as a means of helping the muscle to relax. Electrical stimulation, as well as ultrasound treatments are also common ways to deal with muscle knots.
At present, there does not seem to be any one effective means of eliminating the presence of muscle knots, although different people respond to one or more of these treatments over time. While it is rare, there are reports of muscle knots disappearing during treatments. However, in most cases, treatments are more focused on managing the condition, rather than eliminating the presence of the muscle knots.