Back muscle knots, also known as myofascial trigger points, are small, “bumpy” muscle areas that occur when muscle fibers or the bands of tissue called fascia underneath them – tighten up, contract, but do not release.
These trigger points can irritate the nerves around them and cause referred pain anywhere horizontally or vertically in your lower body.
Can you speed up the healing of muscle knots – naturally?
YES. Here you’ll quickly find out the best ways to do that.
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- How Do You Know if You Have a Muscle Knot in Your Back?
- What Causes Lower Back/Mid Back Muscle Knots?
- The 3 Quickest Ways to Release Muscle Knots (By Yourself)
How Do You Know if You Have a Muscle Knot in Your Back?
Muscle knots (hypertonicity) can usually be felt under the skin. When you press them, the pain gets worse. Muscle knots are often a bit swollen and feel hard when you touch them. If you have an active trigger point, the area causes pain even when you don’t touch it. If you have a latent trigger point, it is only painful when you press on it.
The most common area of muscle knots is the trapezius muscle, which starts in the neck and goes to the middle of the back and shoulders, forming a trapezium shape.
What Do Muscle Knots Look Like in Real Life?
Here’s how muscle knots look like in real life (instead of the common animations you find online):
What Causes Lower Back/Mid Back Muscle Knots?
Muscle knots are caused when a lower back muscle group is strained beyond being able to self-repair, so your body makes it contract and tighten up to avoid further use and more injury.
Common causes of muscle knots include:
- Poor posture (caused by sitting most of the day)
- Stress and tension
- Injuries (Lime improper weight lifting, or repetitive moves)
- Muscle spasms
- Too much bed rest or sitting without stretching
How Long Do Muscle Knots Last?
The back knot usually stays there for about 10 days to 14 days, or until an outside force breaks up the knotted tissue and reduces the inflammation – through massage or heat, or both.
The 3 Quickest Ways to Release Muscle Knots (By Yourself)
I know the pain from a trigger point can be awful, but please consider letting go of the painkiller and try these natural and quick natural home treatments to quickly loosen a muscle knot:
1. Trigger Point Self-Massage Tools
Using a self-massage tool for myofascial trigger points is scientifically proven to effectively relieve muscle knots – without any side effects.
Self-massage tools are easy to use, are low cost, and can be used at home whenever you need them.
The most popular ones are the Body Back Body and the Theracane, both of which are recommended by physical therapists, massage therapists, and chiropractors.
Both of them have about 10 knobs on them, which you use to apply pressure to your trigger points, relax the muscle knots, and boost blood circulation to promote healing.
Both of them are lightweight and easy to use.
How Do You Use Self-Massage Tools to Release Trigger Points?
To release back muscle knots, you simply hook the Body Back Buddy or the Theracane over your shoulder or around your side and hold it by the handles so that the knob touched your trigger point.
Then you push away from your body with your lower or outside hand while guiding the knob with the upper or inside hand.
Stick with a comfortable pressure for 10 to 30 seconds and return to the treated area 3 to 4 times each session.
You may be shocked to see how fast you’ll feel better, and after a few sessions, you’ll be able to move better, use your muscles, and even drive pain-free.
2. Trigger Point Foam Roller
Unlike regular foam rollers, trigger point foam rollers are compact, heavy-duty foam rollers with different patterns on the surface for a variety of manipulations and applications.
They really put the regular foam rollers to shame. They won’t crumble apart after a few weeks of use and they can really be helpful for your sore muscles.
Simply lie down on the roller and move around until you feel the pressure on your muscle knot. Roll over the painful area for about 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.
The Grid Foam Roller (my personal favorite) comes with a great guide on how to use it on different parts of the body, which is very helpful.
Here’s how to use a foam roller for muscle knots:
👉 See my detailed review of the Grid Foam Roller
3. Infrared Heating Pad
An infrared heating pad is probably the least known muscle knots reliever, yet the most effective one in my experience.
First, it’s highly effective. For me, it works every time, and you’ll have trouble finding even one person claiming that an infrared heat pad hasn’t helped relieve their pain – any kind of pain – without medication.
Second, it requires you to do…absolutely nothing.
All you have to do is take a 30-minute nap while you’re on it. Or read a book. Or watch television.
While you’re enjoying your little break from life, the deeply penetrating and healing infrared rays will increase your blood circulation all the way to your bones and help your body un-knot your knots, naturally and safely.
My Infrared heating pad (I also have a full-body mat) has made my home much more popular in the last few years.
(And now may be the time to get a little message through to my relatives – get your own!)
It can be used to relieve any type of pain, anywhere in your body, safely and naturally.
And, it has many other amazing uses (detox, weight loss, heart health, circulation problems, chronic illness, and more) which I’ve written about many times.
What Are Muscle Knots That Crunch With Massage?
According to a massage therapist I spoke to, a muscle knot that feels like it “crunches” when you massage it is the muscle fascia “slipping” past the skin with enough friction to catch and release repeatedly. When this fascia is hard, a “crunching” noise may be heard until it is softened and is able to be kneaded properly.
To your health and happiness,
4 thoughts on “3 Ways to Get Rid of Muscle Knots in Back (Quickly & Naturally)”
It is November 2 and I’ve been repeatedly getting muscle knots in the same place since July 28. I’ve had three massages in this time but keep getting knots. What can I do. I’m tired of living with this pain
I suggest using a self-massage tool daily and adding the use of an infrared heating pad on your back for at least 30 minutes a day. The heat will being energy to your muscles which is obviously missing and prevent the next muscle knots. I hope this helps.
Thanks for sharing on Natural Living Monday! I love my foam roller ball. It has helped me so much at relieving back pain. Your post is one of our featured posts! Come back on Monday and check it out.
Thank you Amanda!:) Of course I’ll come back, just like I do every monday…:)