Knots in back muscles

20 posts in this topic

Hi. I get quite stubborn and painful knots in my back - usually near the shoulder blades - and have had this for a few years now. Massage only offers temporary relief - usually the knots are back within a couple of days. Cracking my back relieves the pain too but the pain returns the same day, and I'm also not sure if regularly cracking your back (twice a day or more) could damage or weaken it. So, I'm looking for any advice. If anyone knows what causes knots - or, more importantly, what gets rid of them (mid-long term), I'd really appreciate the advice.

I have pretty good posture, am active enough (but not a fitness fanatic) and usually the knots are worst when I wake up.

Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dr. TT, GP advises consulting an orthopedist. Until then, next time you have a massage ask the physiotherapist which exercises you can to to prevent the knots returning.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like you are not lying properly in bed where you spend probably 8 hours a day. Perhaps a special supporting mattress would help...

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey there,

 

I have had the same problem for years. Sometimes they get so big they are actually visible. I know you said that massages don't work for you, but I thought I'd share my experience with that over the last several months. I'm pregnant and aside from the painful knots I also started having horrible tension headaches. I now get 20 minute massages twice a week plus some giant heatlamp treatment for a few minutes. The therapist mostly just sits there and slowly works through my back (especially the shoulder blades area) and finds the beginnings of knot and applies pressure until they desolve. I haven't been this pain free in years and years and that is at 7 months pregnant! I loathe the time when the insurance won't pay for this anymore but I might keep a once a week schedule going even if I have to pay out of pocket.

 

Hope this helps.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sarabyrd, Thanks. I've asked doctors etc and the exercises have been tried and tested and found to be unsuccessful. I was not looking for a detailed medical report - more any advice from somebody who perhaps has a similar problem and can suggest what has worked for them. Maybe I should have put that in the previous post.

I've got quite a firm mattress. Didn't know there were special (orthopedic?) mattresses. Will look into that. Hope they're not ueber-expensive

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks calibear. What is

 

 

giant heatlamp treatment

?

I don't have insurance as I live in Ireland so getting massages that regularly could become quite expensive, but thanks for sharing your own experience/advice. Did a doc tell you the headaches are caused by/related to the knots?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you talking about trigger points? My husband has this. He has had various treatments, none of which has been completely successful. You can get specialized trigger point massages - painful but somewhat effective. There's also the possibility to get injection treatments where you get either saline, a weak anesthetic or a steroid injected directly into the trigger point. Both the massage and the injections have helped my husband but neither has cleared it up completely.

 

As sarabyrd suggests, you should probably go to an orthopedic doctor to get checked out. But if you really have trigger points then you might want to also try a doctor who specializes in pain treatment/management. At least for my husband, the pain doc has been more willing to try out the various treatment options available.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's an infrared light heat lamp (like this but really big to cover your entire back at once) that they put me under for 5-10 minutes. It feels good and I guess it warms and therefore loosens the muscles before the massage.

 

The headaches were definitely related to the knots (though I also get migraines and those seem to be more related to stress and hormones). I guess I didn't realize how often I would medicate with pain killers to keep the headaches under control until the pregnancy cut me off.

 

Are you a member of a gym? At mine they have fairly inexpensive massages for shorter amounts of time. Maybe you could afford to do a couple of 10 minutes sessions a week that way.

 

Anway, good luck. I know how debilitating this can be,

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Smilin'

 

you're describing what took me 8 years to fathom out and I'd gone through all the other posters routes before the true root exposed itself.

Underlying cause was stress, but the brain worked hard at "chewing the cud" as I slept.

 

I woke in shock one night to find half a wisdom tooth in my mouth and the opposite one in crumbs. I went to the dentist as soon as he opened.

2 minutes manipulative checking and the following questions and he solved the puzzle.

 

Hear any clicks in your ears when yawning?

Have you not yawned for a long time?

How about if you swivel your chin left to right?

Get Tinitus ever?

Sleep badly?

Stiff shoulders?

Upper back too?

Wake up with neck spasms?

How many years have you needed to take muscle relaxants to stop the headaches?

Iron bands around your neck and temples?

Heart rhythm related pains?

Neck too stiff to turn or twist without slow stretching excersises?

 

You can assume my answers by the pattern of questions.

I said, jokingly, "I thought you were a fairly good dentist, but I didn't know you were a fecking mind reader too. Or did the doc spill the beans and you're just taking the mick?"

 

He said it was a classic case of chronic, now acute, TMJ syndrom.

 

The cure is simple and the results, after about 3-5 weeks, amazing. If that is the cause no specialist doctor, but a Kiefer Chirurg or Kiefer Orthondtist (Dr. Jaws) or a good dentist will look for that until all else fails. You should consider getting your dentists opinion sooner rather than later. There was a very recent thread on this which has details on the solution. I'll hunt it down for you to compare notes.

 

I'd not bothered to seek a solution thinking I'd have to live forever more in pain cycles because of a hard fall on my cocyxx (sp), ach tailbone, which caused instant triple scoliosis. Compressed most of my disks leaving me 2cm shorter. During those same years that fall gave me the first 9 of 15 (so far, though none in 3 years now) slipped disks and/or lumbago (hexenschusse describes how it feels better) attacks.

 

I have a kipptisch (don't remember the English) which is basically a board that pivots midway. I lock my ankles in and hang like a bat 5 - 10 mins and then do sit-ups from that angle 2 x weekly. Other days lay flat on hard floor for up to 30 min. 15 mins is hard at the start, but later on that's the time it takes for every part of my spine to make contact.

 

These are very good for relaxation of the multitude of intertwined thin back muscles. If they're are hard as cable that vicious circle of badly circulating blood (nutrition and clearance of lymph) hardens them and they impinge on the spinal nerve paths causing pain or numbness at a number of odd places. I often woke up unable to feel, or move, either of my entire arms. Rolling sideways and making like a rag doll flailing until feet on floor before the nerves released then the arms got a pretty sore, but mobilising, wave run through. That kind of stuff weakens any otherwise fit person.

 

I can now bend at the hip and put my palms on the floor thanks to these proactive preventative measures. Not too bad for 56 years old.

 

About 5 years ago a neighbour lad, then 22 fresh out of the Kriegsmarine, 1.98 /100 kg no fat, called on me to tell his seamans yarns and said cheekily, "Na und, wie gehts der alte mann nun?" I'd just warmed up and bet him he couldn't match an "old mans" party piece.

 

Lying on my back I had him stand on my, not obvious, six pack and touched both his hips with my toes and finger tips with my 68kg.*

I was past 15 x when he got too scared and asked me to stop.

His response? gave up at the second failed attempt.

Hah! Near weightless flexible past pain panic old man beats big military boot camp bravado boyo :lol: hands down 15:0

 

I hope you get some relief soon, but stay working on keeping fit Smilin', and everyone else, coz it pays longterm on more serious things than party tricks.

 

*Please do NOT try this one at home folks. If you have not been shown EXACTLY how the set up goes first, then your strength is irrelevant... it IS dangerous!

 

Edit: Here you go; Kazalphaville, who I hope is feeling better now, started this thread on TMJ Disorder and related pain

Edit 2: Re-reading the thread I think calibear should investigate the same possible culprit. Going on years, wakes up in worse shape. Unless, as rugbycoach suggests, your bed/mattress is in more obvious saggy, lumpy shape than mine. Expensive mattresses of good quality are, like well made and fitting shoes a good investment and worth dropping other priorities for. Both cause untold long-term damage to older people long after a new handbag or laptop is forgotten.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2B orNot2B - Thank you first and foremost for your detailed explanation. Some of those symptoms would seem to fit (popping jaw, earaches, migraine, inexplicable chest pain) but others don't. I reckon I don't have what you have but your post made me think that the other pains I'm having (also on an ongoing basis) might be related to the muscle knots. Maybe it's all down to stress but it's hard to believe stress could cause such strong pain. I should probably go to the doctor and list out my pains etc but docs usually fob you off with 'there's nothing wrong with you' and they charge you E50 for the trouble. Thank you again for the info. Very kind and helpful

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had the same kind of pain for 25-plus years and one thing that is helping so much is practicing gentle yoga. I went three times a week all summer and I had much less episodes as a result. I got busy with work and was out of town last weekend so I missed yoga for over a week and I feel the stiffness and muscle tension creeping back up. Also having a contour pillow made of that foam like temprapedic mattresses is good, too. When I do go away I miss my pillow, but I flew Ryanair last weekend and didn't want to pay extra to take it in a checked bag. Also getting regular massages is good. As a last resort I will take muscle relaxers but I really hate to use them unless I am desperate. I have been told I have TMJ and I never put that together with neck pain...who knew?!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a chest pain kind of between the shoulder blades but deep inside at the inner muscles of the back. The first time I thought it was a heart problem.

 

Basically it was caused by a combination of stress and cold weather (I was tensing up in the cold to stop shivering). Less stress, particularly environmental (posture and keeping warm), as well as back stretching (curing the back forward to stretch the deep muscles as the pass over the shoulder blade).

 

Qigong is quite good for this, as too is Tai Chi.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

being a 'Schreibtischtäter' (lovely word btw) I suffer from similar issues, a somehow stiff and aching neck plus hardening shoulder muscles giving me migraine-like issues. As you said, massage helps for the moment but not over a longer period. What improved the situation a lot is a mixture of the following:

 

- Progressive muscle relaxation: you can find instructions online and courses are available over itunes. I felt slightly stupid doing those at first but they are a great stress relief.

- Isometric exercises: They are great when you have a minute like at work or something

- A general workout for the upper body with a 'Thera band' plus the usual suspects: press-ups, bicycle crunches and some more stuff. Make sure to monitor yourself like checking your position in a mirror

 

It's not like you risk a lot financial wise if you give those a go. Aldi has those rubber bands once a year but even the original isn't that expensive. Bonus

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you tried a good Osteopath?

 

I have lived a life filled with migraines, TMJ, and knots throughout my shoulders and upper back. After hundreds of visits to doctors and a cabinet full of Rx, I went to an Osteopath on a lark. Life has never been better since I made that decision!!

 

Here is a link http://www.state-of-flow.com/ to an Osteopath that has helped me with my TMJ and migraine problems. He speaks English fluently, and may be available via phone to answer questions.

 

I wish you the best of luck with your health!!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, I had this problem a year ago with excruciating pain in my neck and shoulders. I bought a new pillow with extra neck support and put it under my snuggly english pillow (I like a soft pillow) and it worked well. To get rid of the pain I did take some muscle relaxants for a few days or a week and a mild Entzündungshemmer (to get rid of the inflammation). Exercise especially for the upper body is really important and something that we need even more these days being stuck on computers most of the day. Massage helps hugely too but you know that and it is time consuming unless you have someone around to help out there ;-)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Get a waterbed. Free massage ;)

 

Do you react to cold, noise or stress with a slight contraction of your shoulders? Maybe that is the reason.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Peeps,

 

Since last 3 days I am suffering from back pain - muscle sprain.

 

Which specialist i can visit now. FYI I am living at Karlsruhe now ?

Before two days I visited GP he given me ibuprufen but its not working.?

 

Any suggestions?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had something similar and my gp referred me to an osteopath.  She gave me injections to interrupt the muscle spasm (they hurt like hell, but they do help a lot, almost immediately) then I was prescribed a few massage therapy sessions as follow up at a physiotherapy practice.  Sometimes you can find combination practices that offer both.

 

if your gp won't refer you, you could just make an appointment yourself.  Be sure to tell them you are in pain

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/4/2019, 8:34:50, lisa13 said:

I had something similar and my gp referred me to an osteopath.  She gave me injections to interrupt the muscle spasm (they hurt like hell, but they do help a lot, almost immediately) then I was prescribed a few massage therapy sessions as follow up at a physiotherapy practice.  Sometimes you can find combination practices that offer both.

 

if your gp won't refer you, you could just make an appointment yourself.  Be sure to tell them you are in pain

Thanks for your valuable information.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now