Why your muscle knot is a problem. No, it’s not what you think.

It’s fair to describe your symptom experience as a muscle knot. As a chiropractor, I often hear clients talk about their tightness that needs to be released. However, this is often a problem.

Your muscles do not get caught in a knot.

neck stretch, chiropractor singapore, jesse cai
While chiropractor Jesse Cai may have stretched necks in his early days of practice, Square One Active Recovery has evolved to embrace evidence-based practice. In short, we only offer science-based treatments that work.

If you think about it, it’s not really possible for your muscles to be caught in a knot.

Muscle fibres are connected from one bone to another bone through tendons. For them to be caught in a knot, they would need to separate from their attachment site and — by some magic — loop and tighten around themselves.

If you think it’s possible, try doing an experiment on it.

Buy a whole chicken from the supermarket and tie a string to one of its bones. Once you are done with that, try to tie a knot by moving its limbs around.

How do you think that will work out?

It doesn’t make sense to stretch something that is tight.

It doesn’t make sense to stretch something that’s tight. What do you think happens when you try to apply further strain to a rubber band that’s already on the verge of snapping?

Sure, it makes sense to think stretching will help with your tightness because you do get temporary relief from it. No one is contesting that.

The question we ask, however, is if it is a meaningful, long-term solution.

Let’s face it. It isn’t.

If it was, you wouldn’t be reading this.

Stretching a muscle knot is . . . high illogical!

When you perform a stretch, you apply more tension to the muscle. What you do, essentially, is to pull the muscle further apart.

What do you think happens when you pull the two ends of a knot away from each well?

Well, the knot gets tighter.

How does stretching even make sense!

Your muscle knot is a problem.

muscle knot
Muscle knots may make sense to you but they are inaccurate diagnostic and structural metaphors. Image: Painful metaphors: enactivism and art in qualitative research

Using inaccurate narratives can lead you to wrong treatment choices.

Most people think their muscles are tight and therefore need to be stretch out.

Here is the problem, stretching has never been identified as a viable treatment in clinical guideline recommendations for neck pain or low back ache.

If you dig deeper into such narratives, you should realise they don’t make sense. Stretching a knot only makes it tighter. Stretching a tight anything is going to cause strain.

Research has chronic pain doesn’t come with a structural basis.

Recent clinical studies have also shown muscle relaxants do not work — something you probably have experienced for yourself.

The solution to your muscle knot?

Clinical guidelines have all pointed to exercise and education as the best treatment for chronic pain. Exercise helps you improve your physical health and well-being while education helps you with self-management principles.

If you are sick and tired of going in circles because of broscience and bullsh*t treatments, book in an appointment with us to discover the difference science-back treatments can make.


Frustrated by the lack of results-driven and ethical chiropractic clinics in Singapore, Chiropractor Jesse Cai found Square One Active Recovery to deliver meaningful and sustainable pain solutions.

Our goal? To make our own services redundant to you.

*We do not offer temporary pain relief such as chiropractic adjustments, dry needling, or any form of soft tissue therapy.