There are many different types of back pain. Short-term muscle pain from over-exertion is an entirely different problem from damage that has been done to the structures that make up your spine, but that doesn’t change the fact that they can cause real discomfort.
If you are struggling with a knot in your back and you are looking for relief, you may be able to manage the problem yourself by applying pressure to the involved trigger points.
Applying the Pressure
When you feel like you have a knot in your back, it is actually a spasm of the muscle. Though it is not clear what causes it, one thing that has been proven to provide relief is the application of pressure on the spot that is causing the pain.
There is some disagreement in the scientific community as to whether applying pressure actually releases the spasm or is simply providing a distraction from discomfort, but in either case it can be very effective.
The most obvious way to relieve the knots in your back muscles is by booking yourself for a professional massage, but you can also try trigger point release on your own with the use of a tennis ball (or similar tool.) This type of do-it-yourself therapy gives you full control of the amount of pressure that’s put on the painful spot, and can yield surprising results without having to make an appointment or spend any money.
Using Tennis Balls
Using a tennis ball to break up a knot in your back is the same basic idea as having somebody push down on the painful spot with their fingers, but it’s a technique you can do for yourself whenever you feel the need.
There are a variety of techniques that people have found most useful: some people prefer using the tennis ball while standing, positioning the ball between the back and a nearby wall, while other people prefer to stretch out on the floor and lay down with the ball between their back and the floor. Either way, the basic idea is to apply pressure to the painful muscle by trapping it between your body and something else.
If you choose to use the wall and perform the therapy while standing, make sure that your footwear provides you with a solid grip on the ground.
The advantage of using a tennis ball for pressure point massage is that its small size provides you with the ability to pinpoint the painful spot. You don’t have to be precise in the ball’s positioning: just put it someplace close to the area that is bothering you, then roll it back and forth with the movement of your own body in order to find the right spot. Once the ball hits the spot, apply pressure while trying to relax into it.
The goal is to apply enough pressure to make the muscle tenseness release, so you will feel a sort of “hurts so good” sensation that will take you from pain to relief. Do not apply so much pressure that you are causing yourself excess pain.
If your attempts at pressure point massage don’t provide you with relief and your pain persists, you may be dealing with more than a tense muscle. Contact our office to set up an appointment and come in for a diagnosis.