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What Is a Knot in My Back?

A knot in the back is a colloquial expression that describes a real medical phenomenon. Technically known as myofascial trigger points, these small muscle bumps can be tender or painful to the touch, even when you're not using that muscle. Learn what these stubborn pain points, how to treat a knot in your back and when to seek physiotherapy treatment or massage therapy.

Muscle Knots

A knot or myofascial trigger point is a tender or painful spot to touch in muscles. These tender spots typically occur in the back, neck or shoulder area, and you can recognize them as hard knobs in the centre of stiff bands of muscle.

Muscle knots, especially on your back, impair mobility, reduce the quality of life and cause pain. This pain can pop up spontaneously or trigger when the knot is pressed, and it can radiate into the surrounding muscles.

What Causes a Knot in My Back?

When muscle knots tense and tighten up, the trigger point puts pressure on nerves and causes chronic pain even when you rest. A muscle knot is a strained muscle fibre caused by irritation from a repetitive motion like endurance training. Some of the most common factors that cause muscle knots include:

  • Poor posture: Slouching adds additional pressure on your spinal cord, leading to shoulders, neck and back knots.
  • Unhealthy diet: Insufficient water, high-fat foods, alcohol, sugary treats and more may cause muscle knots.
  • Overuse: Repeated movements cause tensed muscles, which develop into knots.
  • Sedentary lifestyle: Inactivity overstretches muscles, which stiffen and cause knots.

How to Treat the Knot in My Back

Finding relief can take time if you have a persistent knot in your back. To treat muscle knots, you or a health professional must break up the knotted tissue and ease your inflamed nerves.

Physiotheraphy, also called physical therapy, is a hands-on approach to recovery from muscle knots. Treatment sessions often involve exercises to relieve back tension. Physiotherapists may also administer acupuncture treatments or stretches to remove discomfort. You can find beneficial massage therapy in Barrie and Innisfil to achieve a deeper level of relaxation, as well.

If all this fails, talk to your GP, who may recommend injections that help relax muscles.

For treating back knots at home, try the following methods:

Ice and Heat

Cold constricts blood vessels, reducing swelling, while heat loosens and relaxes stiff muscles. To relieve pain, try placing an ice pack on your back briefly and then switch to a heating pad.


Exercises like aerobics provide movements that work on your back and boost blood supply that help repair damaged tissue.


Exercises like yoga, gentle stretches or myofascial stretching techniques can also loosen up knotted muscles and prevent knots. Ask your physiotherapist or massage therapist to advise you on the best stretches to loosen muscles.

Trigger Point Massage

You can use a foam roller or your hands to apply pressure on the sensitive part of your back to help your muscle release. Repeat this procedure a few times a day until your back feels better.

Who Treats Knot In My Back

Knowing the root causes of your knots is the best way to develop a treatment method that works for your specific need. This way, you know the situations you can work on and when to call a health professional, such as a masseuse or physiotherapist. Treatment may involve physiotherapy, ultrasound waves, chiropractic, massage therapy or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.

Chiropractor for Knots in Back

Chiropractors are medical professionals specializing in spinal alignment who can provide relief from muscle knots. Their holistic approach uses gentle force to adjust the spine, which can address stored tension in your muscles and joints and decrease inflammation throughout your body. MyoDynamic Health offers chiropractic care to residents throughout Barrie and Innisfil.

Professional Massage Therapist for Knots in Back

Massage therapy is a highly successful treatment for muscle knots. Professional massage therapists can use various therapeutic techniques to improve circulation and blood flow to the muscles, loosening these trigger points and relieving tension.

We invite you to speak to our professional massage therapists in Barrie and Innisfil about your muscle tension and knots and their causes. The therapist may work on the knot and also identify other areas contributing to the pain.

When the Muscle Knots Don't Get Better

Home care and time are often enough to loosen your muscles. However, some people have myofascial pain syndrome. Myofascial pain syndrome has the following symptoms:

  • A worsening pain.
  • Chronic pain keeping you awake.
  • Deep muscle pain.
  • Persistent sore spot.

Physiotherapists may recommend myofascial release therapy to restore motion and ease pain in myofascial connective tissue.

Find Relief From Muscle Knots at MyoDynamic Health

Don't let muscle pain impact your quality of life. We offer a wide range of physiotherapy, chiropractic and massage therapy treatment options for you at MyoDynamic Health. Please schedule an appointment with us today and get professional advice from our diverse team of physiotherapists, chiropractors and massage therapists in Barrie and Innisfil.

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