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Can Acupuncture Help Loosen Up Knotted Back Muscles?

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Muscle knots or myofascial trigger points (medical name) consist of tense muscle fibers. They tighten or contract even when the muscle is at rest. They often occur in the back and legs. Muscle knots can cause aching sensations and pain in other parts of the body when touched.

Types of Muscle Knots

Myofascial trigger points can be classified into two types – active and latent. Active trigger points cause pain even when not touched. Latent trigger points, on the other hand, cause pain only when touched. Muscle knots can limit the range of motion.

Symptoms and Causes

Some symptoms of muscle knots include toothaches, tension headaches, earaches, lower back pain, and jaw pain. Some common causes of muscle knots include injuries related to repetitive motion, poor posture, sedentary lifestyle (sitting for long periods), and stress and tension.

People with a history of joint problems and injuries and people who eat unhealthy diets that lack a variety of minerals and vitamins are more likely to experience muscle knots.

How Can Acupuncture Help?

Many people who experience trigger points rely heavily on OTC pain relievers to manage their pain. However, over-the-counter pain medications provide only temporary relief, as they merely treat the symptoms, and the underlying cause is still there. To manage pain caused by a muscle knot, you need to relax the affected muscle.

Studies show that acupuncture can help untangle muscle tension. Acupuncturists insert paper-thin needles through the skin at strategic points in the body to release tension from knots and release endorphins that are known to reduce pain and boost pleasure.

In most cases, patients start experiencing benefits after the first few sessions, however, it may take multiple sessions to fully relax a knot. The number of sessions a patient will require will depend on the nature and severity of their knot.

In addition to using acupuncture, many TCM practitioners employ cupping (another TCM method) to relax muscle knots. In this method, cups are used to break up the contracting tissue, and restore blood flow to the affected area.

Are painful muscle knots keeping you up at night? Let Monarch Acupuncture & Wellness help you break the cycle of pain. We are one of the most trusted acupuncture clinics near you in Walnut Creek. Over the years, we have helped several people struggling with chronic pain take control of their health. To book an appointment, call 925-268-8830.