How To Loosen A Muscle Knot In Your Neck or Lower Back

How To Loosen A Muscle Knot In Your Neck or Lower Back

Muscle knots, also known as trigger points, can be a real pain in the neck (or lower back)! These small knots form when muscles are overworked or injured and can cause muscle pain, stiffness, and fatigue. While there is no one-size-fits-all cure for muscle knots, there are a few methods that can help relieve the discomfort. In this blog post, we’ll explore how to loosen a muscle knot in your neck or lower back using self-massage techniques and other methods. So read on to find out how you can get relief from those pesky knots!

Neck stretches courtesy of CORE Restore Physiotherapy + Pelvic Health. (Read the caption)

What is a muscle knot and how do you get them?

A muscle knot is a tight, painful spot in a muscle that can feel like a hard lump. You may have experienced a muscle knot yourself if you’ve ever had a massage and the therapist spent time working on a particularly tight spot. In fact, you can probably find one if you start feeling your upper trap muscles which are between your neck and your shoulder. Muscle knots often occur as a result of repetitive motions or poor posture habits. Over time, the muscles become irritated, resulting in a knot. To release a muscle knot, the first step is to loosen the muscle where the knot is located. This can be done with self-massage or by stretching. Once the muscle is more relaxed, it will be easier to work on the knot itself. Applying pressure to the knot and massaging it with circular motions can help to break up the tension and finally release the muscle knot.

The causes of muscle knots

There are a number of potential causes of muscle knots, including repetitive motions, poor posture habits and muscle imbalances. Repetitive motions can cause the muscles to become tight and overloaded, leading to inflammation and pain. Poor posture habits can put excessive strain on the muscles and lead to imbalances. Muscle imbalances happen when some muscles are stronger than others, causing the weaker muscles to work harder and become more contracted. In addition, underlying medical conditions such as arthritis or fibromyalgia can also lead to muscle knots. Treatment for muscle knots typically involves stretching, massage, and sometimes physical therapy. Severe cases may require injections or surgery.

Quick and easy stretches to help relieve back and hip pain courtesy of National Spine Care and Sports Medicine (Read the caption)

Tips to loosening up a muscle knot in your lower back or neck

Although they’re painful, muscle knots are actually fairly easy to get rid of. The first step is to identify the knots. You may be able to feel them as raised bumps under your skin. Once you’ve found the knots, you can start to work on loosening them up. The best way to do this is with a tennis ball. Put the ball in a sock and then position it on the knot. Apply pressure and roll or move around on the ball  until the knot starts to loosen. You should feel the muscle relax as the knot loosens up. If you don’t have a tennis ball, you can also use a foam roller or your fingers to massage the knots out. Just be sure to apply firm pressure and avoid any sensitive areas. With a little bit of effort, you’ll be able to get rid of those pesky muscle knots for good!

There are many benefits to loosening up muscle knots. For one thing, it can help to improve blood flow and reduce inflammation.. Additionally, loosening up knots can help to improve your range of motion and prevent future injuries. If you’re dealing with muscle knots, talk to your doctor or physical therapist about the best way to loosen them. You may find that a simple massage is all you need to feel relief.

Additional tips for preventing and treating muscle knots

Poor posture habits can lead to a number of health problems, including muscle knots. Fortunately, employing good posture habits throughout your day can help to prevent muscle knots from forming in the first place. When you sit or stand in more biomechanically advantageous positions, your muscles absorb less cumulative stress. Additionally changing your posture frequently throughout the day can disperse load evenly throughout your body. As a result, your muscles are less likely to become knotted and tight.

Muscle imbalances are one of the primary causes of muscle knots. When muscles become overworked or tight, they can start to pull on the surrounding tissues, leading to irritation and pain. Additionally, imbalances between opposing muscle groups can cause one group to work harder than the other, leading to fatigue and further discomfort. While there are many possible causes of muscle imbalances, some of the most common include poor posture habits, improper form during exercise, and repetitive motions. By correcting these underlying issues, it is often possible to reduce or eliminate muscle knots.

In conclusion, muscle knots can be painful and frustrating, but they can be treated very easily! Massaging the knot, applying heat, and stretching can all help to reduce pain and improve range of motion. In severe cases, it is best to consult a doctor or physical therapist for proper treatment. Taking steps to maintaining good posture habits and stretching regularly can also help prevent muscle knots from forming in the first place.

If you’d like to find a certified massage therapist to help loosen up your muscle knot you can click the “Find a Clinic” button on this page to find a top massage clinic near you.

Posture courtesy of Body Science Therapy & Performance Centre (Read the caption)


This appointment is your opportunity to tell us what hurts and discover whether physiotherapy or chiropractic care is a good fit for you! During this session, you will talk with a physiotherapist or chiropractor on a phone call (or online) and create the right care plan specifically for your pain. There is no obligation on this session is to find out whether physiotherapy or chiropractic care can help you getting back to doing the things you love in life.

Frequently Asked Questions

It is possible for muscle knots to protrude from the skin, but this is usually due to a more severe muscle injury or underlying condition. It is best to see a doctor if you notice any unusual lumps or bumps in your muscles.

Persistent muscle knots may be a sign of a larger issue, such as muscle imbalances or poor posture habits. It is important to address any underlying problems in order to fully alleviate the knots. In severe cases, it may be necessary to seek professional treatment from a doctor or physical therapist.

It can vary depending on the severity of the knot and individual differences. It may take multiple massages to completely release a muscle knot. Alternatively, stretching and other treatments may also help alleviate knots.

About Taylor Sipos

Taylor is a physiotherapist at The Orthopaedic Therapy Clinic located in Toronto, Ontario. He treats patients with various musculoskeletal conditions using patient education, exercise therapy, manual therapy and acupuncture. His treatment philosophy involves giving his patient’s the means to self-manage their injuries. He does this through reassurance, education and health promotion. Taylor uses the same principles as a patient educator at Pain Hero. He aims to provide you with high-quality, easy to understand information to teach you about your condition and how to improve it.

Medical Disclaimer:

The information presented in this blog post is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, treatment or a diagnosis, consult with a medical professional such as one suggested on this website. The Clinic Accelerator Inc. and the author of this page are not liable for the associated risks of using or acting upon the information contained in this article.

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