The medical term for muscle knots is myofascial trigger points, which is a fancy three dollar word for a common problem. Now there is some debate among the medical community about what causes muscle knots, but it seems to be connected to an abnormal build-up of fatigue toxins like lactic acid.
Generally speaking, any disease process that causes inflammation, stress (chemical, emotional, or physical), and trauma can cause these myofascial trigger points or muscle knots. Muscle knots occur when a small group of muscle fibers remain flexed and don’t relax within a large group of muscle fiber, which is why they can be so painful.
While some people seem to think a muscle knot is due to a “pulled muscle” or an overuse injury, the most common cause of these myofacsial trigger points are a sedentary lifestyle (i.e. being a couch potato) and then having short bursts of strenuous activity. Now if you sit at a desk all day or lay around on the couch, you’ll train your muscles to behave abnormally, which will set you up for injury when you exercise (or have short bursts of strenuous activity).
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