Back knots. We’ve all had them at one point or another. They are uncomfortable, tender, and hard to get rid of by ourselves. While we’ve all felt the painful wrath of knots on our backs, there is still confusion about what exactly they are and how we can banish them from ever returning. You’ve come to the right place.

Simply put, knots are formations of muscle fibers that stick together due to lack of movement, stress or injury. The human back is full of muscles layered over one another reaching in all directions and giving us the ability to move around, exercise, play sports, dance and pretty much do anything else. But when we have been stationary for long periods of time, at a desk or in a car, muscle movement becomes restricted. And when injury occurs, the surrounding muscles are prevented from moving like normal. Thus, the muscles and fibers stick together and form tense, sometimes painful knots.

Basic stretching, exercise and hydration are easy techniques that will relieve and prevent back tension and knotting. But the best way to say bye-bye to chronic muscle pain in your back is with massage therapy. Not only does massage therapy break apart formed knots, but regular massages can prevent knots from ever forming in the first place. Getting a massage on a regular basis will bring relief to your back, loosen up those knots and increase circulation. Over time you will feel less tense and more mobile.

There are a variety of massage options to choose from, but if you suffer from dense back knotting and muscle tension, deep tissue massages will be your saving grace. Bringing relief to the neck, upper back, lower back and behind the shoulder blades, deep tissue massages will loosen up tense muscles and knots to bring lasting relief.

If you have never had a deep tissue massage before, it is important to note that they do not always feel pleasant during the process. Your massage therapist will apply pressure to your main pressure points to relieve the tension and breakup the knot formations. Talk with your massage therapist beforehand to tell them about your tension areas and how much physical pressure you can handle. Being in pain is not the goal or purpose, so they will be able to accommodate to your needs.

After your massage, you will feel sore. Your muscles have just been through a good workout, so it is important to drink lots of water and apply ice to extra tender areas. After a few days, the soreness will subside and you will feel the full effect of your massage. Weekly to bi-weekly massages are recommended for chronic muscular pain, but this depends on your needs. Consistent massaging will eliminate back knots and tension, and after a few deep tissue massages, you will begin to feel more relaxed and start to enjoy the process.

Although you might feel like you’re being kneaded like pizza dough on a massage chair, deep tissue massaging yields lasting relief in the long run, and your body will thank you. Don’t wait any longer to give your back the attention it needs.