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How to Get Knots Out of Your Back

Myofascial pain, or pain from muscle knots, affects 1 in 3 people. You can get the knots out using a few simple methods and be able to get on with your day, pain-free.


  • Step 1: Practice self-massage Massage your supraspinatus muscle. Sit in a chair, put your right hand down to your side, and hold onto the chair's seat. Tilt your head to your left and, with your left hand, reach up to your right shoulder and massage the muscle.
  • Step 2: Switch sides Switch to the other side. Hold the chair with your left hand, tilt your head to the right, and massage the supraspinatus muscle on your left side.
  • TIP: 2 to 3 minutes per hour is all it takes to work out the knots.
  • Step 3: Apply heat Apply a heating pad to the knot to relax the muscle for 30 minutes at a time. You can make a heating pad yourself by filling a sock with uncooked rice, putting it in the microwave for a few minutes, and applying the hot sock to the knot.
  • Step 4: Use a tennis ball Use a tennis ball to loosen knots. Lie down on the floor with your legs extended. Lean on the side with the knot and position the tennis ball beneath the knotted area. Then squirm on the floor, rolling the ball around until it is directly against the most painful area. When the ball is in position, wiggle a bit and allow your body to sink onto the tennis ball. Stay on the ball until the knot is relaxed.
  • Step 5: Have someone else massage the muscle Have someone else massage the muscle by standing behind you while you're sitting, squeezing the muscle, and breaking up the kinks and spasms in the muscle.
  • Step 6: See a massage therapist See a massage therapist to locate and massage the trigger points of myofascial pain. A trained massage therapist will easily work out the knots that are causing you discomfort. The knots will shrink and soon you'll be able to relax without the nagging irritation of back and neck pain.
  • FACT: Back pain is the leading cause of disability in Americans under 45 years old.

You Will Need

  • Chair
  • Heating pad
  • Sock
  • Rice
  • Microwave
  • Tennis ball
  • Friend
  • Massage therapist

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