This is one in a series of articles where I will address how acupuncture can help with various health issues. This installment is Acupuncture for Muscle Knots.
Since starting practice as an acupuncturist given thousands of treatments. A very common complaint or question is, “I have this knot in my shoulder. Or, Can you feel the knot here?”.
This is puzzling to many of my patients as it isn’t an actual descriptor of what is going on. The real definition of a muscular knot is a myofascial trigger point. Trigger points ah-ha! That’s real. Okay well actually still confusing. Myo-means muscles and fascia means connective tissue. So literally knots mean tension in either the muscle or connective tissue of the body.
Myofascial trigger points can be caused by a number of factors, but usually injury, overuse, or repetitive motions are the most likely culprits. Stress can also cause trigger points. The good news is that The good news is, acupuncture for muscle knots can help. Actually to my knowledge acupuncture is the best method to rid the body of trigger points. Other methods include massage, NSAIDS (like Ibuprofen), or injections into the muscles.
When using an acupuncture needle gentle in and out stimulations are used to stimulate an involuntary twitch response in the muscle. It is thought that this twitch literally retrains the muscle and fascial systems to become less taught.
The father of stress, Hans Selye, often was quoted as stating that he wished the word stress was actually translated into English differently – he would have used strain. When a muscle is stressed it’s as if been pushed into a shape permanently. When a muscle is strained it means that a force has been exerted on it, but it’s possible to remove that force.
So now you know that knots are actually called myofascial trigger points and that they exist as tension or strain in a muscle or connective tissue. You also know that acupuncture is very effective as relieving trigger points as is massage and sometimes anti-inflammatories (always check with your physician first).
In general several weekly treatments of acupuncture for muscle knots can often relieve your body of the painful trigger point or knots.
Is there an acupuncture topic you would like to see covered after Acupuncture for Muscle Knots? Use the contact form to let me know.