the individual fibers that make up a muscle become stuck together in the form of
a bundled ball of muscle tissue (muscle knot) or a bundled strand (muscle rope). One of the reasons that these develop is due to a muscular imbalance that is present in the body. The vast majority of the muscles in our body work in a synergistic flow between opposing muscle groups. Movement of the different parts of our bodies is accomplished by this coordinated flow as one muscle group relaxes while the opposing group flexes and vice versa. Problems arise when one muscle group becomes considerably stronger than its complementary opposing group. This can occur consciously as when one heavily exercises a muscle group but not the other (such as a person who focuses on the chest by doing bench presses all the time but neglects to exercise the muscles of the back or someone who regularly exercises the biceps but not the triceps). It can also occur unconsciously simply through the activities of daily life as, being creatures of habit, we have a tendency to engage in the same activities day in and day out thereby engaging our muscle groups in one particular way and not in its opposing way (working at a computer for hours, for example, requires us to engage our biceps, forearm, and neck muscles in one position for extended periods of time while neglecting the opposing muscle groups). As one muscle group becomes stronger than its complementary group, it has a tendency to overpower the weaker muscles and the body becomes out of balance as the stronger muscle group pulls ever tighter and the weaker muscle group pulls ever looser (known as hypertonic and hypotonic respectively). As the weak muscles do not want to be pulled apart, they develop knots in order to prevent this from happening. Luckily, regular massage therapy can help to alleviate this condition by releasing the tightness in the overpowering muscles as well as the knots in the weaker muscles and return the body to a more balanced state.