Got a pesky knot in your back that’s giving you bother? We’ve all been there. But you might be wondering what they actually are? Is it literally a knot in your back muscles? And what causes them? Find out the answers to all of your muscle knot-related questions right here, so you can learn how to keep them at bay in the future.
Muscle knots are hardened and tight muscles which feel tense, even when you’re not activating them with exercise. Normal muscles contract when in use and relax afterwards. Sometimes, they don’t relax post-contraction, and that’s when a knot is formed.1 Knots are a tight band of muscle located in a trigger point, which is why they’re also known as myofascial trigger points.
They accumulate in places liable to hold tension, like shoulder blades. A knot is an appropriate name, as muscle knots can feel like a rope under the skin when probed with fingertips.
There are actually a variety of reasons why you may get knots in your back, from what we put into our bodies to the way we hold ourselves. Here are some of the most common causes of muscle knots in a bit more detail:
Most physiotherapists advise massage as the best management method to .6 If you intend to massage at home, apply vigorous pressure to the affected area with your hands. Locate the knot and work the tightened area with your fingers until it becomes loosened. If you don’t want to use your hand, use a foam roller or ball to relieve pressure.
If that fails to work, consult your GP or a private physiotherapist. The GP may recommend injections to loosen muscles.7 Physiotherapists may recommend stretches or suggest acupuncture treatments to relieve discomfort.8
The best thing you can do to prevent muscle knots developing is to work on your posture. Exercises like yoga can help correct posture and improve spine health, reducing the likelihood you’ll suffer from knots.9
Here are other ways you can prevent muscle knots developing, while also working on your postural muscles:
Muscle knots can get in the way of your daily life, so it’s important to make sure you’re taking the precautions to keep them at bay. That way, you can live your best, healthy life without having any soreness to contend with. Having said this, it’s important to get medical advice on any aches and pains, as a professional can provide you with personalised information.
Joined Holland & Barrett: Apr 2019
Masters Degree in Toxicology and BSc Hons in Medical Biochemistry
Bhupesh started his career as a Clinical Toxicologist for Public Health England, advising healthcare professionals all around the country on how to manage clinical cases of adverse exposure to supplements, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, industrial chemicals and agricultural products.
After 7 years in this role and a further year working as a drug safety officer in the pharmaceutical industry, Bhupesh joined Holland & Barrett as a Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate in 2019.