I always thought knots were primarily an issue in the back and neck muscles. That is, until I discovered a painful knot in my calf. It was so deep in the muscle and so sensitive to the touch that self-massage was not an option.
I remember the exact moment I found it. I was lying on the couch watching TV with my boyfriend and he reached over and grabbed my right calf, giving it a gentle, loving squeeze. Rather than smile at this show of affection, I jumped back in pain. My reaction surprised us both. “Why did that hurt so much?” I asked, as I started gently poking around my calf to find the source of the pain. When he replied that I must have a knot, I almost didn’t believe him. In my calf?
It made sense. Most of my workouts are high intensity, which means a lot of jumping and use of my calf muscles. But I was shocked something so sensitive could be there without me noticing. It never bothered me throughout the day. I never felt it while walking or even while working out. It was only painful to the touch.
I had a feeling this knot wouldn’t go easy so I brought in professional help — the PUREWAVE GEN II Advanced Dual-Mode Massager ($150). This dual-motor body massager comes with seven attachments and features two separate modes: one end vibrates for delicate tissue and pressure points, and the other end is percussion therapy for deep tissue tension relief and dissolving knots. Bingo!
I created my own deep tissue massage experience, alternating between three of the percussion tips. I started with the wide arch pivot tip to warm up my muscle before really targeting the knot with the point tip. After several (painful!) rounds with the point tip, I tried to make amends with my muscles using the six-head tip designed for deep tissue massage. The multi-speed control allowed me to ease into the knot and increase the intensity as I wanted. And the extended handle made it easy for me to sit comfortably on the couch while working on my muscles.
It wasn’t the relaxing, feel-good massage you get at a spa, but it was exactly what I needed. My calf was sore for the next couple days, but now I feel no pain. The knot is gone, and my partner can grab my legs without me wincing. Take this as a cautionary tale that muscle knots can be lurking anywhere. If you find one, the PUREWAVE GEN II can help you work it out.