Knots Between the Shoulder Blades

Salty_PhilSalty_Phil Member
edited May 2012 in General Discussion
Over the past couple of years I've been getting muscle knots in my upper back, specifically between my right shoulder blade and my spine. Do any of you guys experience this? I had a knot that persisted for 6months and in the end I resorted to getting it injected with cortisone which kept it at bay for the past 10months but it has come back last week:(
I'm not sure if this is coming from swimming or bad posture or what. If anyone knows any tips on how to get rid of these it would be much appreciated.




  • GordsGords Salt Lake City, UTCharter Member
    Hey Phil. I know exactly what you're talking about. You might consider getting a massage tool to help work those knots out. I've seen massage therapists, and one visit just doesn't cut it. You may need consistent work on that area, and it can get too pricey to get a professional massage.
    Here's the massaging tool I use. It's awesome because its small enough to really get in that groove around your shoulder blades.

    Keep those knots at bay!
  • loneswimmerloneswimmer IrelandCharter Member
    I get these pretty regularly. If you are not already doing it is get a massage about once a month to maintain muscle health. I think if you are going regularly many masseurs will offer discounts. And finding the right masseur for you is important also.

    Second is to use a tennis ball in some old tights or netting, which you can position exactly, lean against a wall and roll the ball over the knot. You can also lie on the tennis ball for a few minutes while in bed.

    I've looked at this which looks insane initially, but seems like it might be great (apart from shipping cost to the EU for me).

    Gords, do you have a link for that magic wand thing? I get results for Harry Potter...

  • GordsGords Salt Lake City, UTCharter Member
    I was afraid someone was gonna ask that. If you google it, you can find it. Be warned however, it has multiple uses :) Keep it clean people!
  • BakBalls are good!
  • mmeadmmead Charter Member
    For about $1 you can go to the sporting goods store and pick up a three-pack of tennis balls. Then, place the tennis ball between your back and the wall and roll over your knots. When you find an especially painful area, lean into it hard and hold for awhile before releasing. Repeat like a gazillion times and you are golden.
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited April 2012
    Gords wrote:
    I was afraid someone was gonna ask that. If you google it, you can find it. Be warned however, it has multiple uses :) Keep it clean people!
    Classic! Gords' secret weapon...

    The product features are mighty persuasive.
  • bobswimsbobswims Santa Barbara CACharter Member
    edited April 2012
  • SharkoSharko Tomales BayGuest
    This was a common problem for me when deep into training and massage really only scratched the surface so to speak...but I think with the roller tube (horizontal and vertical) and particularly putting the ol tennis ball in a sock and pushing it deeply into the knot you can work it out..took me a while to figure out a rather simple to a rehab trainer in a club or gym for help...

    "I never met a shark I didn't like"

  • Thanks guys - I'm gonna give the tennis ball trick a try and get a massage every month over the season. I would love the magic wand but I live in a small village in the west of Ireland and the postman knows everyone - tongues would be wagging :-SS
    I seem to get this combined with elbow pain on the same side - just above the elbow where the tricep tendon attaches. Gonna start inculding more backstroke at the end of pool sessions aswell.
  • njoynjoy Member
    I have this same problem. I've had success with acupuncture and regular deep tissue massage. I'll have to try the tennis ball trick too.
  • jendutjendut Charter Member
    Don't forget to loosen your pecs (stretch them GENTLY)- they are the opposing muscle group to those muscles in your upper back and once they constrict (with swimming or everyday life) they pull everything else forward. I also totally agree with posters touting tennis balls, foam rollers, and deep tissue massage- make sure the MT gets your pecs!
    I am an MT and swimmer and coach btw...
  • loneswimmerloneswimmer IrelandCharter Member
    edited April 2012
    @evmo I particularly like the reviews. The first few were of no use determining its efficacy for back pain. %%-

  • Are the knots always on the same side? You might have a slight movement imbalance. Have someone look at your stroke to see if you're overusing one side. A good physical therapist can help with that.

  • KarenTKarenT Charter Member

    I have the Body Back Buddy that @loneswimmer mentioned - it looks ridiculous and is hard to explain to visitors (although not like @Gords gadget!). But it works a treat - you can really get some force behind it and dig in to the knots in your back. But it's supplementary to regular sessions with a massage therapist rather than a replacement in my experience.

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