If you’ve ever had an upper back massage, you’ve probably felt the lumps and bumps, commonly referred to as “knots”. But what are these really?
Remember when I wrote to you about the super important body fabric called fascia? Trigger points, knots and adhesions all happen in the fascia.
In the case of your upper back – trigger points form due to the overstretching of the tissues that happens when you slouch. Now, this doesn’t happen after one day of slouching, but the buildup of slouchy time that probably is not just happening while you’re seated, but also when you stand.
In an effort to prevent your muscles and fascia from getting over-stretched to the point of injury, the fascia starts laying down collagen to toughen itself up. The collagen build-up helps to increase the strength of the surrounding tissue.
If this was just a temporary thing, it would be no big deal. But if you’re like most people, you’re not just slouching for 5 minutes once a year – it’s more of 5 hours, twice a day kind of thing. The trigger points and adhesions form and have no reason to dissipate.
The reason why they feel tough and painful is that the build-up of collagen also limits the way fluid flows in and out of the area. Sometimes, muscle fibers also contract, and then stay contracted, ongoing.
Imagine it this way – if you made a super tight fist, squeezing your fingers as tightly as you could into your palm – would you be able to get water into your palm? Would any fluid stuck in your palm be able to flow out?
Which is basically what’s happening in a trigger point. The tissues are congested, irritated, dehydrated and way grouchy from not being able to get the nutrients they need into the area and not being able to get the cellular garbage out.
What’s the fix? MOVEMENT!
Creating movement in and around the irritation can help to gently encourage fluid to once again flow in and out of the surrounding tissues. Increase in fluid flow and blood flow can gradually help the irritation to subside as your knots soften.
But movement isn’t enough – you also have to address the CAUSES of the trigger point. This includes posture (stop slouching) and strengthening of the muscles that hold you upright. Think of it as posture rehab!
Is getting rid of trigger points as simple as standing up straight? Could be – but you won’t know until you try 😉
And if you’re totally stuck, unsure of where to start, and dealing with aches and pains – let’s chat. You’re not that old and you don’t have to feel like you are – check out one of the options below for your next steps.
PS Ready to get stronger with every movement you do? Here are 3 ways I can help you now:
- Join the AE Wellness Body Nerds and connect with other busy women on a quest to make self-care easy and to move more every day.
- Join me for my free online class, Movement Managed: How to Move Better and Feel Better, Every Day and learn how to stop feeling exhausted, stressed out and completely disconnected from your body.
- Book a free Movement Magic session and I will share with you my simple strategies for getting stronger, getting flexible and getting powerful through self-care. Want to build a body that feels as young as you feel in your head? Want to wake up in the morning WITHOUT pain and be ready to take on the world? I can help. Schedule your call here.