"What are knots in muscles?"
By Sebastian Urbanik
As massage therapists, this is the question we get asked the most frequently. And it's usually when we're massaging a client's shoulders, where small areas of muscle can feel hard, and 'crunchy' or 'stringy'.
So what causes this? Obviously the muscle fibres haven't literally tied themselves into the knots you'd get in a piece of string. What has happened, though, is that those muscle fibres have contracted (shortened) - as a result of physical acti vity, or postural imbalance, or stress - and then stayed shortened. The place this happens most noticeably is in the shoulder and neck area, where permanent (chronic) muscle tension can so easily build up, but it can occur anywhere in the body.