Why do we get knots in the back muscles ?

Why do we get knots in the back muscles ?

Knots in Back Muscles

I have patients that swear I have magic hands because I can find painful knots in the muscles in the back and neck.

No magic, in chiropractic college we literally spend years practicing the art of the palpatory exam, or simply put, the art of examination by feeling the tissues with our hands. There is no doubt, we get very good with our hands. It doesn’t take long to be able to find the areas in someone’s back and neck where these painful knots develop. Certain spots within the muscles that surround the spine can actually begin to feel abnormal when someone touches them. Some spots will feel tighter than surrounding muscle tissue, it literally feels like a “knot” in the muscle. When you press on these “knots” it can be very painful, or it can give a sensation of “it hurts so good” when you apply pressure.

What causes knots in the muscles of the back and neck? We could delve deeply into the science and discuss muscle physiology, metabolic waste such as lactic acid, trigger points, myofascial pain, and all the little details involved here…but that is not my goal. We know that the pain associated with back and neck muscles is serious, it can be mild, or debilitating to the point that it makes everyday activities difficult to perform.

Back-pain sufferers in America cost this country more than $100 billion annually in medical bills, disability and lost productivity at work. And 80 percent of Americans will battle back pain at some point in their lives, making it the number two reason for doctor visits, after coughs and other respiratory infections, Newsweek reports.

So, what causes this pain? Well think about it this way, the muscles do not have a mind of their own. In other words, muscles can’t decide, on their own, to start tightening, and knotting up. The muscles are controlled directly by a nerve, which tells the muscle what to do by sending a specific electrical message to the muscle.

In many cases the knot in the muscle is caused by an abnormal nerve message being sent to the muscle. The abnormal nerve message is, in turn, caused by a misaligned bone in the spine that irritates the nerve.
To keep it simple. Bone out of alignment, irritates and pinches the nerve, the nerve sends an abnormal message to the muscle, and the muscle begins to tighten and “knots” develop in the muscle.

How should this be treated or cared for? How about taking drugs? Does that sound like a good solution? You have a bone out of alignment in the spine, which pinches the nerve, this causes abnormal electrical messages to be sent to the muscles and knots and pain develop. Will taking a painkiller or muscle relaxer fix the problem? Why not correct the cause of the problem by gently re-aligning the out of place bone in the spine and relieving the pressure on the nerve? Sounds almost too good to be true…too simple, right?

I actually see this occur every single day that I am in my office! We use a very gentle procedure called the NUCCA technique, to gently correct the neck alignment. After the correction there is an immediate change in muscle knots in the neck and back area! In some cases there is immediate relief of the pain, in some cases it takes time for the pain to go away. But in every case where there is a correction, there is a change in the muscle tissue around the spine that is very obvious. This NUCCA correction is NOT a forceful manipulation, or “cracking” of the neck or back! The NUCCA procedure is a low-force correction that very precisely moves the spinal bones back into alignment. This procedure is painless.

Here is another way to think about knots in the back and neck. It is a mechanical problem! It is a symptom of an alignment problem! Correct the alignment problem and the body will heal itself from the knots. Why would you take a drug, a chemical, to correct a mechanical problem? Would you pour an additive into the fuel of your car to correct the front end alignment? No…front end alignment is a mechanical problem and needs a mechanical solution not a chemical solution!

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3 Responses to Why do we get knots in the back muscles ?

  1. teresa says:

    my back currently has problems with L4 & L5 with L5 being the main problem to deal with. It is currently out of place inward and is poking at a nerve causing swelling and severe pain to the point I can not move. Going to the doctor has produce no results other than constantly being asked to do epidermals. With my refusal to simply mask the pain I have been kicked out of many pain clinics and many chiropractors have been scared of being sued if there is a mistake. I need help putting it back in place after that I can take care of recovery on my own with my son’s help. I am aware that there are risks in your profession and that is the reason many people who chose this profession have refused but at the rate I am going if I don’t take a chance with experienced chiroprators I will become paralyzed. I will not sue anyone because if I don’t get help now I’m through and even if you make a mistake you won’t be making it any worse. Without help I will becom paralyzed regardless.

  2. admin says:

    Theresa,
    I recommend that you call Sherwood Spinal Care ASAP to receive a thorough evaluation. It sounds like you may be a good candidate for NUCCA care. The number is 425-227-0111.
    Sherwood Spinal Care

  3. wissam says:

    Theresa, Epidermals do not mask pain. I agree with your philosophy and was in the same situation 2 years ago.

    The epidermal will reduce inflammation around the nerve allowing you to engage in natural methods of healing, such as physical therapy or visiting a chiropractor. It does not mask pain like an epidermal during delivery or a pain killer.

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