If you suddenly feel a twinge in you back after lifting something or getting injured, you probably have a muscle knot. Muscle knots are often called trigger points, or TrP, and they occur when muscles can't relax.

These points can be anywhere on the body, but the TrPs in the latissimus dorsi, the lower back muscle, and the trapezius, the huge muscle between your back and shoulder blades and neck, are the most susceptible to them. Here are some tips to relieve knots in your back.

Massage It

Massage the area in a circular motion using light pressure with two fingertips. Massaging the area helps to relieve tense muscles by improving blood circulation. You may also press on the knot for about one minute.

When you first start massaging, get ready for pain, but the pain should decrease. Start with 30-second sessions and work you way up to several minutes. If you have trouble reaching the area, get someone else to do the massage.

Try to massage with a tennis ball. Lie on a flat surface propped on your elbows, or lean against a wall. Set a tennis ball on the infected area, and leave it for several seconds.

Apply Heat And Ice

If the knots are caused by an injury, apply an ice pack three times daily to help reduce the swelling, and numb the area. Buy a commercial ice pack, or use a pack of frozen vegetables. Wrap the ice pack or bag of vegetables in a towel to keep the skin from getting too cold, and hold it on the area fifteen to twenty minutes.

Heat improves blood flow. A warm bath may be all you need to stop the pain. If that doesn't work, try a medical heating pad or a heating bottle. Place a towel on the skin, and let the heating pad or bottle remain for about twenty minutes. Do not use heating pads or bottles more than three times daily. 

Stretch It Out

Stretching the muscles reduces the pain. Lie on your back on a mat or a soft carpet. Bend one knee, and bring it to your chest, hold the stretch fifteen to twenty seconds, then repeat on the other side.

Do a shoulder blade squeeze to release tight shoulder and back muscles. As you sit or stand, lift bent arms to shoulders, and squeeze the shoulder blades together. Hold several second, and release.

These tips should give you relief from muscle knots in your back. If the knots in your back keep recurring, or they don't get better with self-treatment, make an appointment with a chiropractor. For more information, consider contacting a professional like those at Vanderloo Chiropractic.