It doesn’t really matter what your daily grind is, whether it’s sitting behind a desk or building the future infrastructures of the city with heavy physical labor, we are all likely to experience what is colloquially referred to as ‘knots’ in our back and neck. They are highly uncomfortable and can make regular motions we know we should be able to perform without any problem difficult to do without noticing the pain that comes with them. So what exactly are they and what can be done about them? (hint: Therapeutic massage is the answer to the second question, but there’s more to it than that!)
The Anatomy of a Knot
For most of us using the term ‘knot’, we are talking about a ‘trigger points’, which is oftentimes referred to as TrP by professionals. They are present over your entire body, but the ones on your back and neck are especially sensitive to irritations that occur for a variety of reasons.
There is currently no scientific consensus about the origins of knots, but there is a lot of consensus about what they are. There is a kind of tissue that connects muscle to your bone called fascia which is present deeper in your body and is typically where knots originate from and nearly all of them are considered TrP areas. The idea that is most popular about what causes the tissue to bunch up into a ‘knot’, as it’s referred to, is that nerves misfire messages near the trigger points, resulting in the muscle spasming into the pain that is sometimes clinically referred to as myofascial pain. The pain is almost always originating from that deep tissue near the bone and can range from mild discomfort to extremely sharp and intense pain. If you’ve never experienced one, you will know it when you feel some pain that can be reproduced by touching what feels like a little bump where there shouldn’t be one (and you’re positive it’s not something like a cyst, a completely different topic for another kind of specialist!).
Common Knot Formation Sites
Knots are generally found all over the body, but they are most common on the back and neck as described earlier, mostly due to the fact that our back and neck perform a good amount more work for use throughout the day than we realize. More often than knot (er…not), you’re likely to experience a knot on your Trapezius, the latissimus dorsi, semispinalis capiti, and your glutes. We all know what glutes are (hopefully!), but the trapezius is one we also refer to colloquially as ‘traps’ in the athletic community. It’s a wing-like muscle that runs from your neck to your shoulder blades. The latissimus dorsi is commonly called the ‘lats’ and knots will form along it and the erector spinae, which make up your lower back. The semispinalis capiti is the muscle that connects your spine to the back of your skull and is often a place of high tension regardless of the presence of a knot.
Well, there’s a variety of ways. Deep tissue massages can do a lot to relieve pain, but also heat therapy can help quite significantly with both easing the pain and relaxing the muscle back into its proper resting shape. Generally, hot stone massages can be highly effective in taking care of knots. They aren’t generally serious and for less serious pain in lieu of a professional massage of the affected areas, anti-inflammatory medicine like ibuprofen can alleviate some of the pain, though won’t actually ‘cure’ a knot. Sometimes they will go away on their own, other times they will persist, but there’s not a lot of sure-fire things that can be said about what one can do. It’s best to seek therapeutic massage if you really want to ‘fix’ the pain and get back to your life.
Contact Modoma Today And Untie Your Back
If you’re currently dealing with the dreaded back ‘knots’ and they haven’t sorted themselves out with simple stretches, it’s recommended that you seek a professional masseuse to work out your kinks. Schedule with us today to set up an appointment and let our professionals go to work untying those unpleasant knots. Get our Introductory Massage Package.