How to Massage Out a Knot In The Back
Muscle knots are areas where the muscles have contracted and become tight. The affected muscle fibres cause discomfort and pain.
Muscle knots are often found in the shoulder area and upper back. Common causes of muscle knots are sitting at a desk for extended periods, lifting heavy objects and stress.
Massaging out knots helps to relieve pain and restore blood flow which helps the muscle function normally.
Several methods can be used to massage knots in the back. You can try using your fingers or a massage tool. Stretching is also useful. Above all, you should improve your habits. Sitting less and lifting objects correctly helps a great deal.
Making sure you have a good quality orthopaedic pillow in your bed also prevents muscle knots from occurring.
Carry on reading for more tips and advice on how to deal with muscle knots in the back.
Using Fingers to Massage Out A Muscle Knot
If you are experiencing back pain, using your hands or fingers is perhaps slightly tricky. But it is worth giving it a go.
This method is best tried after you have had a shower or bath. Warm water improves blood flow to the muscles. If you like bathing, you should try massaging while still in the bath.
Identify the area of your back which is causing pain. With the fingers on your hand spread widely, press gently down on the affected area. If you notice excessive pain you should stop.
Try again, but this time use gentle pressure. As you feel the area soften, and the pain ease, push harder with your fingertips.
Alternatively, if you can, you can also use the knuckles on your hand. Press down while twisting your hand slightly. Try to make the movement circular if you can.
Dealing with muscle knots using your fingers and knuckles is challenging. When you find this method too difficult and painful, try foam rolling instead.
Foam rolling gently releases tension and helps to restore blood flow. When you are into sports, having a foam roller on standby is handy.
If you don’t have a foam roller at home, you can try using a tennis ball instead. Use the ball in a similar action to your hand - in a slight circulation motion while pressing down.
Stretching The Back Muscle
Stretching your muscles is another way of releasing muscle knots. The safest way to do this is to stretch when you are warm This means you need to increase your body heat. Walking or marching on the spot for a few minutes is the best way to raise your body temperature.
After you have warmed up, raise your arms above your head. Drop one arm down placing the hand on that arm between the shoulder blades.
With the hand on the other arm, press the arm back slightly. You can try gently pressing on the other side of the elbow as well. That way, you achieve a slight movement in the muscle.
Exercising bands are useful when it comes to dealing with muscle knots. Place the bands around your hands and do a series of stretching exercises.
One of the best exercises is reaching with extended arms over your head and leaning slightly to one side. Straighten up and do the same on the other side.
Applying hot and cold packs alternatively can also help. A note of caution here - make sure you protect the skin. It is a good idea to apply a towel over the affected areas before attempting hot and cold remedies.
Alternate the packs leaving each pack on for a few minutes. After a warm pack, try gently massaging the area.
Check Your Posture Is Correct
Once you have successfully dealt with your muscle knot, you should focus on prevention.
Check your posture. If you sit for long hours, make sure you sit in an ergonomic chair which is right for your body shape.
Sitting down is still the most common way to work. However, physiotherapists recognise that standing up to work is a great alternative. Your spine and muscles are far less likely to compress when you stand up.
Standing up also makes it easier for you to stretch more frequently. Check your posture making sure your screen is at the right height to prevent slouching.
Exercising and Muscle Knots
Exercising helps to deal with and prevent muscle knots.
The best ways to exercise when you are prone to muscle knots are swimming and walking.
Keeping active helps to increase blood flow. This means less inflammation builds up in your muscles. In turn, this prevents small crystals from forming which can eventually lead to muscle knots.
Walking for shorter periods but more often is as useful as going for long walks. Before and during your walk, make sure you check your posture.
Wearing MBT walking shoes is one of the best ways of controlling posture. If you still find good posture challenging, add a pair of Scandinavian walking poles to your walking regime.
Swimming is a fantastic way of exercising all of the muscles in the body. If you are a good swimmer, try using different strokes. Doing so exercises different muscle groups during your swim workout.
Massaging out a muscle knot is something most of us have to do from time to time. The source of most muscle knots is poor posture. The way we lift objects also plays a role.
Be gentle when you massage out your knot. You can make the experience more comfortable by using almond or jojoba oil. Add a few drops of ginger essential oil, and removing the knot becomes easier.
Should the condition persist, visit a healthcare professional to check your posture. Physiotherapists can help you to adopt better posture and movement practices to prevent muscle knots.