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Love Knots for everyone…

Love Knot

Lizzie asks…

What exactly causes muscular “knots” that people feel in their body?

People often use the descriptive of having “knots” in ones back, legs or other parts of their muscular system / body to describe the feelings of tension and local aching they feel.

What exactly are the “knots”, what causes them and how can they best be healed?
The muscle does not usually literally turn into a knot just from tension? That would involve muscle fibers actually breaking loose and becoming entangled around each other, knotting up. Some theories focus on it being local accumulations of lactic acid or other vague toxins, creating soreness. But this too is in debate.
Would love specific, technical explanations for this phenomenon and specific ways of healing them using bodywork modalities like massage, stretching, heat, etc.?

LoveKnots answers:

The reason there is much debate over it is because there is no definitive reason why we get ‘knots’. It is a complicated mixture of the following:
1) Lactic acid accumulation which impedes the muscle contraction process making use of the muscles both painful and less effective. Lactic acid is actually broken down via oxygen supply so increasing blood flow (red blood cells contain haemoglobin which carries oxygen) via cardio, massage or stretching effectively reduces lactic acid.
2) Torn muscle fibres. When you lift weights or do any extensive exercise your muscles are constantly contracting at high rates which causes some to tear which inevitable causes your body to reproduce more. Basic logic would tell you that this is going to cause pain in some degree whether it be immediately through injury (only in extreme cases) or in the case of DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness). Protein, potassium, selenium, vitamin B can all help to effectively reduce this.

The best way to effectively reduce soreness is to maximise your intake of essential vitamins and minerals both before and after you exercise along with undertaking in an effective cool-down phase after exercise.

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