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Valentina Carlile Osteopata
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  • Writer's pictureValentina Carlile DO

Do muscles tie “knots”? Muscle contractures

Do muscles tie “knots”? Muscle contractures

It is popular belief that muscles make 'knots', and these knots are usually painful, even just to the touch.


What actually happens?


The body is an intelligent machine. Generally speaking, a muscle fits onto two different structures and there is a joint in the middle. When a muscle contracts it produces a movement that is reflected in that joint. If something goes wrong at the joint, the associated muscle will contract more to protect that joint. In these cases the muscle 'knots' to prevent further joint dysfunction. When this happens, the area around it also becomes hypersensitive. Muscles therefore not only contract to produce joint movement but also to protect the joint.

The muscles also contract in areas where there are non-joint problems. An example of this can be seen at the abdominal level. When an organ becomes inflamed, such as the appendix or the gallbladder, the muscles that are over these organs become very stiff and hypersensitive. These are just examples to underline the protective role of muscles.


Our body is very intelligent in showing us where there are problems and only by restoring normality to the corresponding structures will we be able to achieve almost instantaneous relaxation of the muscles and hypersensitive area.


Osteopathic treatment can be a good ally for solving these problems.

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