Learn About Muscles
What exactly is inside our muscles?
Within each muscle there are numerous tiny fibers called sarcomeres. A single sarcolemma is filled with even smaller fibers called myofibrils where the chemical reaction of a muscle contraction occurs.
As a result of a muscle contraction there are many metabolites which are left as wastes within the muscle. Within metabolic waste we will find chloride, potassium, lactic acid, ADP, magnesium, reactive oxygen species, and inorganic phosphate.
How do knots begin?
Knots are generally created by stress on our muscles. This can be from lifting excess weight, strenuous or repetitive activity and even prolonged positions. This stress creates tears in our muscle fibers called micro-tears which may turn into a knot called an adhesion. Everyday use and excess stress placed on the muscle also creates metabolic waste which is left in our tissues which may create knots called trigger points.
What exactly are adhesion's?
Adhesion are small knots in our muscles that are created by micro-tearing of our muscle tissues caused by stress. Often the fibers will grow into a spider web like way instead of growing back with the direction of the original muscle fibers. Adhesion's have more scar tissues and less collagen in them which makes that area of the muscle less flexible and can cause discomfort and pain. An adhesion also restrict the normal flow of blood and lymph in the area. With the normal flow restricted metabolic wastes collect easier in the area of the adhesion causing what is known as trigger points.
What exactly are trigger points?
Trigger points are small knots in our muscles caused by metabolic waste which begins to collect and makes that area of the muscle tissues dense and less malleable. They are found in our muscles and more often tend to collect within adhesions. Trigger points cause local pain and/or have a pattern of pain referral most often when pressed on but also can be activated and cause irritation at any time. They restrict normal range of motion in the muscle which affects our joint motion and restricts the blood and lymph flow through the area. With this normal flow restricted the problem becomes even worse which creates a cycle causing the trigger point to become bigger.
How do we remove and prevent knots in our muscles?
There is no way to avoid retaining knots although we can perform treatments and preventative maintenance to the muscles in our body to reduce them and prevent them from occurring as often.
The following are strategies to aid our bodies natural process to reduce the knots in our bodies:
Adequate water intake is a larger factor helping our fluids flow through the body easier and keeping our tissues hydrated so nature can assist in keeping our muscles clean. Don’t forget to eat clean also!
Heat is a great hydrotherapy which affects blood and lymph circulation by increasing it which assist our body in its natural process of moving these metabolites out of our muscles to be recirculated properly.
Stretching is helpful as it lengthens and aligns the muscle fiber and increases circulation within our tissues. This is another great way to naturally keep our muscles clean and our bodies limber which makes us less prone to injury.
Foam rolling can help break up the knots by the pressure, assist in lengthening a muscle and increases circulation.
Massage! Nothing kick starts our body faster than a therapeutic massage to reduce knots in our muscles and aid in preventative maintenance.
Follow all these preventative and maintenance tips to get your body into a cleaner self-healing state.