How to get rid of muscle knots in your neck, traps, shoulders, and back

What’S up guys, hey Jared Beck strand here, doctor of physical therapy tone and tighten calm today, we’re talking all about muscle knots and specifically muscle knots that you’re going to get in your neck and in your upper shoulders. We’Re going to talk about what they are. Why you get them and, most importantly, I wanted to share with you guys ten simple things that you can do right now at home to help eliminate yours coming at you right now: [, Music, ], all right. So what exactly is a muscle not in order to understand what that is? We need a little bit of an anatomy lesson. Now your body is a series of muscles that are kind of stacked on top of each other in layers. These muscles pull on bones that move joints and that’s how we can move in all the different motions, all the different directions that we can go now when muscles contract. Basically, what they do is in their lengthened state, they’re kind of elongated and they’re relaxed when they’re in their contracted state. What happens is those muscles have to slide over each other kind of looks like this, so we’re relaxed here when we’re contracted we’re right here? What a muscle knot is is a muscle that kind of gets into this contracted state and then gets stuck there. That’S why and so, when it’s all kind of balled up like this and again we’re talking about the neck and upper shoulders today, you can kind of push on those spots and you can find those areas that are not there, basically a little bit at A tighter than that normal muscle tissue feels and that’s what that is it’s when those muscle fibers contract and then just don’t let go so. Why do we get these muscle knots now? The three primary causes that I see the most often are going to be poor, posture, muscle, weakness, and lack of activity. So let’s talk about posture for just a second in normal posture. My ears should be right over my shoulders. Unfortunately, that’s not where most of us hang out all day. Maybe you have a desk job where you’re here and you’re typing you’re looking down at a computer screen, I mean gravity is always pulling us down. Most of our activities are right here in front of us. Causes our shoulders to round forward our head to come forward and put a strain on those muscles here, we’re depending on muscles to hold our head up and to keep our gaze up right here, we’re depending on gravity to do that. This is a very passive activity. This becomes a very basic muscle. Strenuous activity causes those muscles to remain in this tightened contracted state for hours on end there, not supposed to do that. They’Re not used to doing that. That’S what causes those muscle knots in there. So posture is the first thing and muscle weakness is another thing which is directly related to our third cause, which is inactivity if you’re just not doing a whole lot, especially if you’re not doing a lot of resisted exercise a lot of pulling a lot of rowing. A lot of just activating those muscles in your back and between your shoulder blades chances, are you’re going to have some muscle knots that creep up into there, and so, most importantly, I want to show you now ten of my favorite things. These are so easy. You guys can do these at home with very little equipment required. These are some simple things that you can do to help eliminate those muscle knots all right. So, let’s get into it the most important part of this video, the part that you came for. How do we get rid of these muscle knots in our neck and in our upper shoulders? I brought my wife. Not only is it easier to demonstrate these on someone else, but this is something that she struggles with, also just not who doesn’t get knots who doesn’t carry tension in their neck. Let’S show you some easy ways to get rid of that. So she’s gonna circle around to the other side of the table here, and the first thing that I like to tell people just reaches for a heating pad, and so I’ve got a couple of different options. You know these rice bags, you know you throw these, throw these in the microwave, get them nice and hot, and then you can kind of drape that over wherever that knot is if it’s kind of up higher on your neck, a lot of times these electric heating Pads are really nice, sometimes that’s a little harder to keep on there. So what we like to do and she’ll just hold that for a second, is: if you get a towel and then you can kind of put it on the right spot and then wrap it around that’s kind of an easier convenient way to hold it. Heat is actually a vasodilator meaning it’s gonna open up your capillaries brings blood flow into an area and actually helps those muscles, those knots to relax, and so it’s not only a vasodilator, but it’s a way that we can promote oxygen and blood flow into an Area to promote relaxation, so he is the first thing that I like to reach for and thing number two that we’re gon going tona do is just stretch it out. So again, most often it’s the upper trapezius muscle right here and then you’ve got a muscle. That kind of comes down this way. It’S called your levator scapulae comes in and hooks right into the top part of that shoulder blade so from the base of her skull to her shoulder blade. Those are the two muscles that we need to stretch out to work. Some of those muscle knots out, and so what she’s going to do is she’s going to tilt one ear over to her shoulder and then, with that same here, so she’s going right ear over to right, shoulder with her right hand at the left side of her head and then she’s just applying a little bit of a gentle pressure to get a stretch. So again, so upper trapezius we’re going base of the skull out to the tip of the shoulder. You should fill this on the outside part of your neck. That’S muscle number one where we tend to get a lot of muscle. Knots. Muscle number two is again that levator scapulae, so now, rather than a straight ear to shoulder. I call this one. The smell your armpit stretch, so what she’s going to do is she’s going to kind of duck her head down towards her armpit. So it’s kind of this oblique angle down toward your armpit and then it’s that same overpressure again, this time, we’re kind of diving more forward than straight lateral and this one. We were practicing this one earlier and she said: oh gosh, that’s pain, and so this man, she’s going to, feel again base of the skull up to the top of that. The shoulder blade is another common area where you’re going to give those muscle knots. That’S another great stretch: that’s going to take care of those okay, and so then, while she’s sitting right here, another great way to take care of those muscle knots is to actually fatigue that area to promote movement, to promote muscle contraction in that area. Again, it’s going to bring blood flow and oxygen and just kind of help, the muscle to reset so in order to activate as many of those muscles up there as we can. What we’re going todo is some shrugs, so she’s going to shrugged her shoulders up towards her ears and then retraction. So when we say retraction we’re going to squeeze our shoulder blades together. So she goes. She goes up and then she’s going to squeeze the shoulder. Blades together hold for about a three-second count and then relax. If you want to add even one more muscle, contraction whoo, what she can do is actually shrugged her shoulders up. Let’S say that knots over here on the left side, she’s going to tell her ear to the left, kicks on one more muscle right here and now, let’s retract from there hold two three and then come back down. You should feel that you should feel that those muscles working those areas where you’re tight those areas where you do have your muscle nuts. That’S what we’re trying to do again to just kind of promote relaxation, promote those muscles to more or less reset as what we’re. After okay cool, let’s go ahead and, let’s see, can you turn sideways, so the next thing that we’re going to work on is again. We establish that a lot of this problem is due to postural issues. So one thing that we can do is help those postural issues. Basically, what we need to do is get the head back from from too far forward. We need to get it back up over the shoulder where it needs to be thus eliminating the fatigue and the stress on that muscle and helping that not to eliminate, and so what Camille’s going to do are some chin, tucks and so she’s going to tuck. Her chin kind of straight into her throat and pull her head backwards now, do it incorrectly so a lot of times. People will just do a chin tuck by ducking their head down kind of tucking, their chin down into their chest. We’Re not nodding we’re not going up and down rather we’re going straight back. Is the motion that you should look for with this we’re going to get a good stretch, kind of right here at the base of the skull. These muscles are called your suboccipital muscles. We get a good stretch there. We get a good elongation here and it’s a great way that we can stretch those muscles and train your posture train your head to kind of sit back over your shoulders where we need it to be. That’S another way to call it. What it is is the double chin exercise. Okay, next, I’m going to grab this foam roll. These foam rolls were on this. Oh, these are so great. If you guys don’t have one of these, I’m going to leave a link in the description to this video. I like these. This is it’s six inches in circumference by 36 inches in length. I like it the bigger size just because they’re a little more versatile. There’S a little bit more that you can do with them, and so I’m going to lay this down and she’s. Actually going to lay right on top of this, so we’re going to sit down on that and it yep. And then you can lay all the way down just like that: okay and then the exercises that I’d like to run people through on this is she’s. Just going to take her hands. She’S going to go up and over her head kind of in a big. Why hang out right? There should feel a stretch through the front of your chest. The front of your shoulders hang out for about 10 seconds and then come back down. Arms come back down to that starting position again. The goal here is to get out of this position where there’s going to be a ton of stress in your neck and shoulders get back and up into this tall position, and so that’s an exercise that I love to do for that very good. It feels good nice yeah this one, this one patience when I put them on this. They all say: oh my gosh, that actually it kind of is uncomfortable, but after you kind of stretch it out for a second, that’s one of my favorite exercises very cool. Okay. So now we get her up off of there. We’Re done on the table for a second, and so now. The next thing that I like to show people is she’s going to, come over the wall and we’re going to do what we would call a wall angel and so on. This her feet can come out from the wall a little bit, but I want your but your shoulders in the back of your head up against the wall and then she’s going to get her knuckles to the wall. Also, now, in this position, she’s going to slide. Her arms up and over her head knuckles stay in contact with the wall up at the top and then come right on back down, and that rate looks perfect. What I shoot for here is about ten reps, and then we repeat that for three sets. This is a great way to again work on posture, but then we’re also promoting fatigue and muscle activation in those muscles. I’M sure you feel that, so you shake that between your shoulder blades and then, as we come up and down we’re, also going to get it in those muscles where there’s where there’s those tight muscle knots so that upper trap, the rhomboid group that levator scapulae all Those muscles she’s working out we’re promoting basically activation and hopefully relaxation by doing this exercise. Okay, next we’re going to flip around and to the other side and we’re going to do what we call some wall slide. So I’m going to give her this towel. She’S going to put her forearms against the towel kind of help to decrease, friction and then she’s, just going to take both hands up as high as you can over her head. So she’s kind of leaning into the wall a little bit up, nice and slow and down nice and slow. I tell people you can kind of spray a little cleaner on there like if you need to wash the walls. This is a great way to do that, and so again, what we’re promoting here is just a lot of extension through her spine. We’Re working on these muscles were again promoting blood flow into that spot. Hopefully, we’re Kenna she’s feeling a stretch through her shoulder through the front of her chest through her shoulders, as we get up there to the top and then coming right back down and so wall. Slides is another great way that we can eliminate that tension and those knots in the upper shoulders. Okay, the last thing that we’re going to talk about and you can do SiC well actually, you know before you sit down massage is a great way to do it, and so, if you’ve got don’t laugh, you got a spouse at home. Who happens to be a physical therapist, he’s going to work out he’s going to we’re going sometime? Oh okay, fair enough! I deserve that, but if you have a significant other who can kind of help to work on and rub those knots out a little bit, that’s great! If you don’t, there are actually some ways that you can self mobilize those knots that you can take care of those by yourself, the simplest one is you just get a tennis ball, and then what you’re going to do is put that on the wall. You’Re going to turn around backward there. It is, and so to kind of creep that up to wherever that knot is, and then she’s going to mobilize it just like that, and again what you’re going to find is. There are areas where that tissue again we’re talking about those contractile layers that are come together and they’re tight like that, and so, when you find them with miss ball, you’re, actually going to feel it’s going to be a little bit tender. Sometimes we refer to muscle knots as trigger points yeah, so it can be a little bit tender. It can be a little bit painful, but you find those spots, and then she’s doing a perfect job. You can kind of massage your way over. There you go. You can massage your way over them. Another thing you can do is find that spot and just leave it right there and just apply what we call acupressure or a trigger point release is a technique that we’re going for there. The idea is that you kind of starve that area of blood flow for a second hold up, for you know 10 20 30 seconds and then, when you release it, what that does is promotes blood into that spot and it’s a good way that you can promote. Relaxation and those knots nice so I’ll take that from her go ahead and sit up here facing this way, please and then, if you’re really prone to these there’s a couple of these actually self, massage tools that you can use this one’s my favorite, this one’s Called a theracane, if you guys have never heard of these or seen one again if you’re prone to these muscle knots, you’re going to want one immediately because this is going to save your life. I will also leave a discreetly to one of these in the description to this video again, it’s called a theracane or a self massage stick. Those are the types of things that you’re going to search for. You can see that it’s kind of got these nodule and these handles all around on us. What she’s going to do is just grab on to that and then from here it’s just the same thing: she’s going to find those areas and those knots in her back and just kind of work them over a little bit. This is another good way that you can apply that acupressure technique. You find one of those knots you just kind of dig that theracane into it hold it there for again about you, know ten to thirty seconds and it’s a great way that you can promote it to release and relax like that. Okay, unless you want to keep it, I was going to take it from her, but I think that she’s pretty comfortable like that all right, so there you have them about ten great techniques that you can do at home to treat those muscle knots in your neck And in your upper shoulders, hey, I hope you guys found this beneficial. I hope that this helps you out if you liked this video go ahead and hit that thumbs up down below and thank you so much for those likes in advance. Also, if you haven’t done so already, it’s a great chance to subscribe to tone and tighten where I share a lot of you know: fitness tips and advice. Some physical therapy related advice, some workouts and healthy recipes. My goal is that it’s a one-stop fitness shop for you, I want you to. I want to help you to achieve your goals. I hope you subscribe to this channel. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them down below and I’ll get to those. Just as soon as I can, and until next time, we’ll see you right back here on tone and tighten [ Music ]

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