Using a TENS Machine to Relieve Muscle Knots & Tightness

Muscle knots and muscle tightness can be painful and sometimes debilitating, limiting range of motion and lasting for days or weeks if not not treated with the right techniques. Knots in the muscles are generally caused by strain, overworking of your muscles, or pain (read on to find out how). But there's good news! You can get rid of muscle knots using several different methods--including TENS therapy. That's right, TENS machines can be used to relieve muscle knots and tightness due to its relaxation effects on your muscles. If you are suffering from knots, tightness or stiffness in your muscles, using TENS treatment regimens can relieve pain and even speed up recovery times.

Using TENS for Muscle Knots & Tightness

TENS is well known as a pain relief device, but can TENS relieve and treat muscle knots? The answer is yes. TENS can treat muscle knots by relieving pain. When muscle pain is relieved, the muscle knots begin to loosen because the guarding reaction is no longer triggered. Muscle knot treatment is even more effective when used in conjunction with a stretching routine. This can both relieve the knot and tightness and improve range of motion, according to studies.


EMS (electronic muscle stimulation) is different than TENS. It only causes a muscle contraction and stimulation more designed to stimulate the muscle than to confuse pain signals. EMS is not as effective as a TENS machine for soothing tight, knotted muscles, according to certain studies. However, it can be more effective in improving range of motion in stiff muscles. Using EMS for treatment of tight muscles has been shown to increase range of motion according to certain studies. 2 While TENS provides relief for muscle knots by confusing pain signals and providing pain relief to reduce tightness. EMS stimulates and triggers muscle contraction. So it mainly helps relieve tension and this extends motion range. If you really want the best of worlds you can treat muscle knots using both TENS and EMS. This can help reduce pain and get you back in the game faster with full range of motion. Try using one of these EMS & TENS combination machines. They treat muscle tightness and can also be used for muscle training and strengthening, along with treating more common types of pain. Shop all TENS & EMS units here. There are many other effective treatments for muscle knots, soreness or tightness.

How DOES TENS Relieve Knots, Tightness and HARDNESS

According to studies, TENS helps relieve muscle knots, muscle tightness, soreness and even spasms with its pain alleviating effects. When muscles are injured or in pain, a phenomena known as muscle guarding occurs. Muscle guarding is when muscles surrounding the injuring tighten up to protect the area from further harm and facilitate healing. Since TENS eases pain and creates endorphin flow, it can switch this response off, reducing muscle tightness and knots. The pain-reducing effects help loosen the muscle knot and curtail the "guarding" reaction that causes tightness. Endorphins released by therapeutic TENS devices also help reduce knot formation. With both a TENS and EMS treatment you can reduce pain from muscle knots while improving range of motion. You can purchase both EMS & TENS combination devices for advanced treatment of several types of muscle pain.

How to Use TENS to Treat Muscle Knots

To use a TENS unit for treating muscle knots or tightness or spasms, apply the electrode pads to the skin near or over the area affected. Adjust the TENS machine in the same way you would to treat any muscle pain. Let the treatment work to relieve the pain and as it subsides the muscles themselves should start relaxing. Once the muscles relax the tightness or muscle knot should begin to loosen up. You can combine TENS and therapeutic massage, or hot and cold compresses to loosen up muscle knots as instructed by a therapist or doctor. Using these treatments together can significantly reduce tightness, soreness and knots in your muscles. Resources: