Depending upon the individual affected, muscle knots back pain can vary from mildly irritating to excruciating. And unfortunately, this is an area that is not too well addressed by the medical profession. It seems that there are various treatments available but no one treatment has been discovered that will work for every person who suffers from muscle knot pain.
Although muscle knots have not been a subject for extensive research they have been assigned a scientific name which is myofascial trigger points. Normally, when we engage in any activity our muscles go through a repetitive pattern of contraction and relaxation. In the case of a muscle knot, the muscle does not relax but remains contracted, thus causing the pain.
When only one isolated area of muscle tissue is affected, a muscle knot is referred to as a myofascial trigger point. But if there are several trigger points involved, the pain is called myofascial pain syndrome or MPS. There are various causes of this pain. It can be the result of a muscle injury or an intervertebral disc injury. But myofascial pain can also be caused by another medical problem such as a heart attack, by extended periods of inactivity, or by excessive strain on the muscle due to repetitive motion.
The pain may be located in the area of the trigger point or occur in other areas of the body. The latter situation is known as referred pain and is quite common in MPS. The trigger points can cause direct pain as well as complicate other injuries. MPS is difficult to diagnose because trigger points often appear as something else. MPS can also cause other conditions such as depression and fatigue.
Muscle knots pain affects the quality of life of almost every patient, some more severely than others. Consequently, they seek care from a variety of health care providers including doctors, physical therapists, chiropractors, and massage therapists. Some may be fortunate to find immediate relief; while others suffer for years. Muscle knots back pain has been known to disappear as a result of treatment but this is a rare incident.
The medical profession’s current approach to MPS is pain management. Massage therapy is a popular treatment but also a painful one. However, pain is relieved following the treatment but even this is a temporary situation and the pain generally returns.
Hot and cold packs have also been applied to the knots to aid in relaxation and relieve pain. Some patients have tried ultrasound treatments and find them effective. Others opt for electrical stimulation devices. Many people self treat their muscle knots using various types of procedures. Most people need to experiment with a variety of treatments in order to find the one that works best for them.
The one factor that all patients who have MPS must deal with is the pain. If you can imagine a permanent charley horse or a never ending migraine headache you have an idea of what people with muscle knots back pain experience on a daily basis and will continue to do so until science finds some means of eliminating the muscle knots.