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What Causes Knots In Your Back?

With regard to muscle pain, the word “knot”—medically known as a myofascial trigger point—refers to a small bump in the muscle that is painful or tender to the touch. Even when the muscle is at rest, these trigger points tend to tighten and tense up, putting pressure on nerves and causing chronic pain. These stubborn, knotty points are caused by a number of things, ranging from dehydration to emotional stress to poor posture.

Muscle knots can happen all over the body, but some of the most likely places for them to occur are in the lower back, neck, and shoulders. Sometimes, they can cause pain in other parts of the body, often triggering headaches and ear pain. If you experience any of these symptoms, you may want to consider some of the common causes of muscle knots so you can prevent them from recurring and find treatments to ease the pain.

  • Overuse or Injury – Whether it is from lifting something heavy, repetitive motion (overuse), trauma, or a sprain or strain, damage to the muscles in the lower back are often the impetus for stubborn myofascial trigger points. The damage to the area causes the muscles to bunch up and tighten in order to protect the back from further injury in a process known as muscle guarding. Athletes and casual exercisers alike are at risk for developing back knots from weight lifting, cardiovascular exercise, and improper stretching.
  • Dehydration – You already know that being dehydrated can affect your entire body, but did you know it can cause muscle knots, too? On top of that, being dehydrated can make all kinds of pain feel worse, so it may make your trigger points extra painful. Be sure you’re drinking enough water as part of your overall health, wellness, and muscle knot prevention plan.
  • Poor Posture – Ever notice that after getting a new chair or changing your sitting position you suddenly have a lingering knot or two? It’s not a coincidence. Poor posture and prolonged hunching can put pressure and stress on the trapezius muscle, in particular (the upper back muscle that helps you turn your head), but the way you sit can also lead to knots in the lower and central back. In the same vein, a poor sleep position can cause certain muscles to develop knots.
  • Sitting All Day – As humanity as a whole moves toward a more sedentary lifestyle, we’re quickly learning what negative long-term effects this may bring. One of the ways that too much sitting harms your body is by overstraining the shoulders and upper back, leading to knots. A sedentary lifestyle can also cause the disks in the lower back to bulge, the hips to weaken, and sciatica to develop, so it’s generally not good for your back and your body as a whole.
  • Stress and Tension – The stress, anxiety, and tension in your life have a direct impact on the physical tension you carry in your body. Indeed, tension from mental and emotional stress can cause your muscles to tense up for prolonged periods of time, which can lead to nagging muscle knots and even chronic musculoskeletal disorders.

How to Treat Muscle Knots

Figuring out what causes knots in your back will help you determine how to develop a treatment plan that works for you. Among the best treatments for knotty muscles is massage therapy, stretching, and rest. A professional massage therapist or a self-massage device (such as a foam roller or deep massage ball) can quite literally work out those tense muscles, loosening them so they feel normal again.

How does laser treatment help back pain? Laser therapy devices deliver targeted visible light rays, which have a phototherapeutic effect on biological tissue. Using a laser therapy back belt can help relieve lower back pain associated with aches, muscle spasms, and inflammation, all without drugs or surgery. Give it a try today to experience this revolutionary treatment first-hand.


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