Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: January 23, 2018
You’ve probably heard the expression “I’ve got a knot in my back,” but what does that really mean, and how is the issue treated? In today’s blog, we explain exactly what’s going on in your body when a “knot” develops, and we share five ways you can prevent and treat spinal knots.
What Is A Spinal Knot?
Your back is filled with muscle fibers that run in all different directions to facilitate movement. These muscle groups are designed to be strong, pliable and strengthened with movement, so while you might believe that a knot is caused by twisting or tangling of muscle fibers, a knot is actually caused by inactivity.
See, when muscles are unused or they remain in the same position for long periods, they lose mobility and flexibility. When this happens, muscle fibers can actually stick to one another and become adhered, producing a hard or lumpy spot that feels like a knot. Untreated, they can lead to a loss of mobility and flexibility in the area, as well as leaving you at an increased risk for strains or sprains, which come with their own problems.
Treating Knots in Your Back
Now that we know what causes spinal knots to develop, we can come up with a treatment and prevention plan. In fact, treating and preventing spinal knots if actually pretty easy and only involves a couple of lifestyle changes. Some ways to prevent knots in your back include:
- Exercise – Exercise will strengthen these muscle groups and keep them active, which will prevent them from adhering to one another due to inactivity. Try to find time for 30-45 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise 3-5 times a week.
- Stretching – If you can’t find time to exercise, consider doing a 5-10 minute stretching routine, especially if you work an office job where you’re not that mobile throughout the day. Stretching and moving these muscles can help them retain their mobility and flexibility.
- Hydrate – Muscle knots in your back are also caused by dehydration. When your muscles are dehydrated, they can adhere to one another more easily. Also, if you’re inactive, you may not realize that your body is dehydrated since you’re not actively losing fluids. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to remain hydrated and decrease your likelihood of developing a spinal muscle knot.
- Massage – If the above treatment options don’t help, or you’re just in the mood to spoil yourself, consider trying a back massage. They can work on these muscle knots and help to break up adhesions, but this technique should only be considered if you plan on implementing other strategies, because it’s not a very active treatment option.
- Physical Therapy – Physical therapy is a combination of a few of the above points. It involves targeted stretching and exercise designed to activate and stimulate certain muscle groups in the spine. Many people who deal with chronic muscle knots benefit from a physical therapy program, and most people can find a program that works for them by doing some searching on the internet or by reaching out to a spine specialist for help.
For more information about spinal knots, or to talk to a doctor about your back pain, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi’s office today.