If you have a knot in the middle of your back that you can’t stretch or massage, this is move #1 you should do instead.

IIf you’ve ever had a muscle knot in the middle of your back between your shoulder blades, you know it’s the worse. And in some cases, no amount of stretching, pounding, or massaging seems to create relief. Well, according to Katie Clare, DC, the solution isn’t to try to get rid of the knot by stretching or massaging. It is to strengthen the region.

“People often associate that ‘knotted’ feeling with an area of ​​tightness that needs to be pressed on, but for many people I see in my practice, it can actually indicate an area that lacks stability, especially in case stretching. [and] massage didn’t help,” says Dr Clare. “If an area lacks stability or strength, the body will try to provide that false stability by ‘tightening’ things up in the area – it’s protective of a some way.” In other words, the more you try to stretch and massage the knot, the worse it gets. To break this cycle, Dr. Clare recommends strengthening the mid-back area, which will help decrease tightness and make “knots” magically disappear.

So How? ‘Or’ What are you developing mid-back strength? Below, Dr. Clare walks us through the movement she recommends adding to your routine.

The #1 movement to do to get rid of knots in the middle of the back

First, let’s explore what causes those fake middle back knots. Dr. Clare notes that repetitive motions, injury to the area, and prolonged static postures (i.e., slouching or standing for long periods of time) can all contribute to mid-back discomfort.

This exercise works the scapula stabilizers, which provide stability through the scapula. It also targets the rotator cuff, which supports the arm bone in the shoulder socket, keeping it stable during movement. And this move also helps improve chest mobility, which Dr. Clare says refers to your mobility in the middle of your back, or how far you can move by leaning forward and back or leaning forward. twisting in the middle of the back.

Again, the goal is to strengthen the middle of the back. “We’re trying to provide extra stability to the area, so the body doesn’t hold on reactively,” says Dr. Clare. You will need a foam roller for this exercise. Dr. Clare suggests an 18-inch high-density roller, which has a lot of versatility, but really, any roller will do. Here’s how:

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  1. Kneel on the ground.
  2. Place a foam roller in front of you horizontally.
  3. Place your forearms on the foam roller. Keep your palms open and facing each other, and your thumbs up.
  4. Apply light pressure to the foam roller with your forearms and gently roll your arms outward. Make sure the rest of your body stays in place, your back is flat, and your head is parallel to the ground, looking down. Move only your arms for this movement.
  5. Once your arms are straight and fully extended in front of you, lift one arm 1-2 inches from the foam roller. Use your mid-back muscles and the back of your shoulder blade to do this. Keep your neck relaxed. Avoid shrugging your shoulders up into your ear.
  6. Return the forearm to the roller, then repeat with the other arm.
  7. Maintain pressure on the foam roller and use your mid-back muscles to return to your starting point.

Dr. Clare recommends doing 30 reps three or four times a week. As with most things, consistency is key to getting results. Typically, she says, after three to four weeks you should begin to notice changes in functionality or discomfort.

If kneeling is a problem, you can also do this move standing with the foam roller against a wall. Dr Clare says you can also lie on the floor face down and slide your hands on the floor in front of you, no foam rollers required.

Finally, Dr. Clare encourages you to listen to your body and consult an expert if something is wrong. A sore mid back can also be pain originating in your neck (which is why working with the mid back does not help) or the result of nerve damage or other non-musculoskeletal conditions or diseases. Better to be safe and secure before going ahead.

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