What Causes Knots In The Back? [step By Step Guide 2020]

Myofascial trigger points, which is also popular with the name, Muscle knot is a situation when you have a contraction. There will be bumps on your muscles at any spot in your body, especially common for back, hands, and leg muscles. These bumps or the knots are primarily not diseases; rather a prevention mechanism of your body. The muscles develop these knots as some shells to protect themselves from a greater or more severe injury. 

However, that assumably less-harmful description doesn’t make them voluntary at going away on themselves. Moreover, they can make severe pain in the affected area and put you in an uncomfortable situation. To get rid of them, you must know what causes knots in the back, how to take care of them, and what to change in lifestyle. In this article, I’ll get you through what you must know about them and how to get rid of them. 

What causes knots in the back?

In most cases, muscle knots are common in your back, and it gets annoying and painful at that moment. The foremost thing you must know before taking action against muscle knots is what causes knots in the back. Here are the most common causes of muscle knots which can help you understand it in a whole: 

what causes knots in the bac

Stress and tension

The most common cause of developing muscle knots is stress and tension over your muscles. When you’re using the muscles too often without giving it proper rest and stretch, it will get stressed. The tension from the stress to the pack of muscle will understand that it needs to make guarding to protect itself. Then, it will trigger a muscle knot to protect itself from further impact or stress, and that’s how you end up with muscle knots. 

A sedentary lifestyle

If you’re used to a sedentary lifestyle and spend most of your time on the desk, the outcome will be a muscle knot in the back. Spending too much time on the chair where your back doesn’t have a healthy posture will develop the knot as a protection response. Your brain does this to protect the muscles from external impact while fragile because of a higher tension to the fibers.

Sudden injuries 

The most experienced phenomenon, after which people commonly end up with muscle knots, is a sudden injury. If you’re working at your regular capability and take excessive lift without training the muscle, it will develop a muscle guard to protect you. The same applies to a repetitive working motion or if you put excessive pressure on a certain muscle. Repetitive pressure on a muscle group will irritate and develop a muscle guard (knot) to protect it.

Poor posture

Do you work in a position where your body doesn’t feel comfortable after a while? You can develop muscle knots with almost certainty at some point because your body doesn’t suit the posture. If you have to sit, sleep, or stay on an awkward physical posture, the muscles in action get stressed. Once the stress goes beyond a certain level, the outcome is a muscle guard that develops to protect your muscle. 

Lack of muscle stretching

People who work in prolonged hours without moving much, resting, and stretching develop muscle knots. The same may apply for prolonged bed rest at the same poster or sitting without stretching for long hours. You must stretch your body after every few minutes to keep the blood flow at a normal level to stay healthy. If you don’t stretch the muscles after they get sore and stiff, they will develop the muscle knots. 

Faulty biomechanics

If you have faulty biomechanics, overpronation, or any other deviations from a natural body alignment, your body is likely to develop muscle knots. The faulty biomechanics put excessive pressure on the related muscles around the affected area. If your biomechanics goes off the rail and makes an imbalance over time, the muscle will start to get irritated and develop knots. It can also develop with old faulty biomechanics that you’ve recently corrected with surgery or medication. The muscles were in a bad position of the limb; when it gets over the problem and develops new movement, it triggers a quick muscle guard. 

Overusing your muscles

Overusing your muscles will cause muscle knots pretty often because of the excessive and repetitive pressure on it. When you keep using a certain muscle group without rest, the muscle gets tensed and cannot keep up properly. When the body realizes it won’t protect the muscles anymore, it develops muscle guards to protect itself. Most of the people develop these knots on their back, shoulders, and neck because these are the most tensed and most used muscles. 

How do you get rid of a knot in your back?

Developing muscle guards or muscle knots are a pretty common phenomenon that can lead you to severe pain and suffering. The worst part of these muscle knots is the stubbornness of not going on their own easily. Here are some effective ways that you can use if you’re trying to get rid of your body’s muscle knots

  • If you have multiple muscle knots, find the most painful one by pressing on them. The densest and stiff knot doesn’t always refer to the most painful one.
  • Rest first. The excessive restless pressure on your muscles causes the knots, giving the muscle a full rest first. 
  • Apply some hot and cold therapy that can ease the muscle tension and make it easier to move the muscles and stretch or massage. 
  • Apply self-massage on the most painful one with your fingers gently at the beginning. Increase the pressure on the massage gradually when it becomes more tolerable. 
  • Put a tennis ball or a foam roller under the knot if it’s on your back and lay on it for a few moments. Then, start to roll over the ball or the roller to press and massage the knot. 
  • As you know, the lack of stretching causes knots; apply the vice versa here. Stretch the muscle area that has developed the knots and cause pain and irritation. 
  • Squeeze your shoulders, neck, or wherever the knot is, apply the tuck and roll method, or apply shoulder rolls to stretch properly. 

Frequently asked questions

Here are the most frequently asked questions about muscle knots and their effects on the human body that you must know about: 

How long does it take to massage out a knot?

If it’s the first time you develop a muscle knot and it’s not a dense one, you can dismiss it with a 30-second massage or so. However, it may take several minutes to days if it’s severe. 

What causes knots in muscles?

When you put excessive pressure, tension, strain, overuse, or stress on your muscles, the muscle scenes become dangerous and develop a knot to protect itself from damage. 

Can muscle knots be permanent? 

Some muscle knots may take quite a while to break down and go flat with massages and therapies. However, most of the time, they will recover even though it may take time. 

Final thought

Muscle knots often end up developing back pain, headaches, shoulder pain, neck pain, tennis elbow, and so many other problems. You must know what causes knots in the back if you want to avoid them all. You must know the common physical phenomenons that cause muscle knots in your back, legs, or other places and avoid them. Once you know all the reasons why they develop, you can easily avoid them in your daily life to stay safe. However, if you end up with muscle knots, you should take rest, take actions to take the knot down. 

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