Many of my clients complain of knots in their back; those aching, aggravating, tight spots that just never seem to go away. Perhaps you can relate.

Hours of sitting and typing at your desk is an invitation for those little spots of tension take up residence in your neck, shoulder and back. Unfortunately, workouts can do the same.

I encourage my clients to get massages on a regular basis to help relieve muscle tension and to release tight fascia and I recommend you do the same.

I’m also a big supporter of massages for the additional health benefits such as increased circulation, improved lymphatic function, stress relief, injury prevention…this list could go on but I’ll save that for another post.

If you’re stuck with an achey knot in your back and don’t have time for a massage here’s a trick  you can try.

knots in back

Tennis Ball Massage

I use this trick throughout  the week to fight off the bundles of tension that live beneath my shoulder blades (teaching is not always easy on the body and scoliosis doesn’t help).

HOW TO:

1. Lie on the floor and place a tennis ball between your back and the floor (place it under a muscle, not on a bone or your spine).

2. Lean into the ball and roll it up and down along the tight muscle/knot in your back.

3. When you feel a point of pressure (a knot) hold the ball and relax into it until you feel the knot release. Breathe as you do because it might feel quite intense!

You can increase or decrease the depth of the massage by how hard you lean into the ball.

For a less intense version, try leaning against a wall instead of lying on your back.

Travel Tip: Throw a tennis ball in the car on long road trips and use it by placing it between you back and the car seat to release knots while on the road. It works wonders!

I hope this trick brings you some relief. Remember, knots may not go away over night.

If you’re holding tension in your body day-after-day, they will keep coming back. Which means you have all the more reason to embrace a more balanced, stress-free lifestyle.


PS – you may also like 5 foam roller exercises to relieve shoulder tension and the “anti-computer” stretching & upper back series.