Massage Therapy for Muscle Knots: How it Helps

by Jacky Edstrom
by Jacky Edstrom
muscle knot pain

What is a Muscle Knot?

A muscle knot, also known as a trigger point, is a small area of tightness or stiffness in a muscle. It can cause localized pain and may even refer pain to another area of the body when pressed. Muscle knots often develop due to tension or overuse of a particular muscle group or due to repetitive motions such as typing or lifting weights.

Trigger Point Massage for Muscle Knots

Trigger point massage is a type of massage therapy that targets areas of tightness or knots in the muscles. It works by applying pressure to these spots, known as trigger points, which can reduce pain and tension in the area. Trigger point massage is often an integral part of a successful muscle pain treatment plan.

What To Expect From a Trigger Point Massage

Trigger point massage can produce a variety of sensations, depending on the individual and the amount of pressure used. Most people will feel a deep ache in the affected area, followed by a feeling of relaxation or relief as the tension is released. Some may also feel a dull numbness or tingling sensation while others may experience some discomfort. Though it’s common to feel discomfort during the massage because pressure is being applied to the targeted area of tightness, it should not cause any lasting pain or soreness afterward.

Where Do Muscle Knots Develop?

When muscles work hard and are under stress for a long period of time, they become tense or tighten up, which can cause little knots or tight spots to form. Muscle knots can develop in any muscle of the body, though they are commonly found in areas such as:

  • Neck
  • Shoulders
  • Back
  • Chest
  • Arms
  • Legs

Trigger point massage can be applied to any of these areas in order to reduce pain and tension. It is important to note, however, that if the muscle knot is due to an underlying medical condition such as fibromyalgia or arthritis, trigger point massage may not be enough on its own and other treatments may be necessary.

The Benefits of Trigger Point Massage

Trigger point massage is a type of massage therapy that has been used for centuries to help relieve pain, tension, and knots in the muscles. Here are some of the most significant benefits it can provide:

  • Reduce pain and tension in the affected area.
  • Improve range of motion and flexibility.
  • Increase circulation to help promote healing.
  • Stimulate endorphins, which can reduce stress levels and improve mood.
  • Help to prevent further muscle knots from forming by relaxing tight muscles.
  • Improve blood circulation
  • Improve posture and alignment.

Equipment Used During Trigger Point Massage

During a trigger point massage, therapists will use their fingers, knuckles, and elbows to apply pressure to the targeted areas. As well, therapists will often special tools. These tools can be used to apply pressure to specific trigger points in the muscle, helping to break up knots and reduce pain and tension. Generally speaking, these tools include a massage roller, foam roller, massage balls, and massage sticks.

How To Avoid Muscle Knots

The best way to avoid muscle knots is to take preventive measures such as incorporating stretching into your daily routine, taking regular breaks during physical activity, and maintaining good posture. Stretching helps to keep muscles loose, preventing tightness that can lead to muscle knots. Taking regular breaks during physical activity is important because prolonged repetitive movements can cause tension in the muscles. Finally, maintaining a good posture can help to prevent muscle knots by reducing strain on the muscles and joints.


Trigger point massage is an effective form of massage therapy that is used to reduce stiffness and tension in the muscles. This type of massage can also help to improve circulation, flexibility, and range of motion, as well as reduce stress and improve mood. If you suffer from muscle knot pain, trigger point massage can be an effective treatment. However, if the pain is due to a medical condition, additional treatments may be necessary. Taking preventive measures such as stretching and maintaining good posture can help to prevent muscle knots from forming in the first place.

If you live in the Vancouver area and are experiencing muscle tension or knots, consider booking an appointment with CC Massage. Located in the heart of downtown Vancouver, this massage therapy clinic is devoted to providing quality care and treatments for those looking for relief from their pain and discomfort.

About the author

Jacky Edstrom
Jacky Edstrom is an experienced registered massage therapist based in Vancouver, BC, Canada. With a combination of general Swedish massage, fascial techniques, pin and stretch, joint mobilizations, and trigger point release, Jacky offers tailored treatments to address a variety of orthopedic and systemic conditions. She specializes in providing relief from migraines, headaches, overuse injuries, and acute and chronic conditions. With her patient-centred approach, Jacky's goal is to increase the well-being of her clients by restoring balance, enhancing joint function, and preventing injury.

Book a massage today with CC Massage Therapy in Vancouver

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