Us Osteopaths are often asked ‘what are muscle knots’? Most people have some experience of muscle knots, back pain and how types of back massage will help. In essence, it’s easier to imagine the fibres as ‘knotted’ which create painful hard lumps within our muscles. Here, I endeavor to describe to you in detail what occurs during muscle knots, or trigger points and how we discover, work with and treat them.
Trigger points, also known as trigger sites or muscle knots, are described as hyperirritable spots in skeletal muscle that are associated with palpable nodules in taut bands of muscle fibres.
What Are Connective Tissues?
Connective tissue acts as a binding agent, connecting tissues together such as different muscles to one another with the most common type being loose connective tissue and coming in 3 forms: Elastic fibres are stretchable fibres made of elastin found the lungs, skin and in blood vessels such as the aorta; Collagenous fibres which contain lots of collagen molecules making up fibrils; and Reticular fibres which connect connective tissue to other tissues in the body. Another important connective tissue is Fibrous connective tissue which is found in tendons and ligaments. The reason why tendons and ligaments are tougher than muscle is because there is a larger amount of close knit collagenous fibres within them, more suitable to hold and connect structures than muscle tissue…
Other, differently known, forms of connective tissue are Adipose which stores fat, Bone which is made up of collagen and calcium phosphate giving it firmness, Cartilage which is a fibrous connective tissue and supports the ears and nose and even blood can be considered connective tissue because of its extra cellular matrix!
Fascia is the main connective tissue that holds our muscles, skin, organs and external features in position. Fascia is a type of strong, fibrous connective tissue which is made up of collagen fibres a lot like ligaments and tendons. It joins different structures together and helps adjacent structures move past each other smoothly. Fascia forms under the skin and is a form of connective tissue between the skin and muscles, holding us all in place; it is known as the ORGAN OF POSTURE and has a more predominant effect on how we stand than are muscles do…