Reddit Gold highlights the most useful and educational content on Reddit as found on r/AutoBestOf.
Today’s post is from u/PoopyPoopers who answers the question: “ELI5: What exactly is a muscle knot? What causes them and why do massages relieve them?”
Muscles are like strings. they only pull in one direction. We have lots of muscles so we have lots of freedom of motion. When muscles are repeatedly needed to pull, the unsconscious brain decides to send signals so that some of the muscles are already pulling. This makes the whole action easier.
Muscles pull their ends closer to the middle which means the middle “bunches up.” Knots are the bunches of your muscles that your unconscious brain has told to remain clenched.
Massage fixes this by literally squishing that clenched knot so the muscles can go back to their resting position. Since the clench was caused by our unconscious brain, we cant just think “release” but rather need some external pressure to squish the knots.
I am a LMBT and have worked independently as a stretch therapist helping people develop better neuromuscular connections to fix their posture and any resulting pain from it. I’ve found that the exhale is very helpful when trying to release knotted muscles. I also am constantly leaning against a lacrosse ball on the wall to help release muscles that my hands cant reach.