Even more important than getting the knots out is not getting the knots in the first place. Move more all day long. Loosen up and stretch at the first sign of a “knot” forming. Take your breaks and move/stretch more than just sit and eat/do nothing. Etc., etc., etc.
When you get the knots, loosen them gently. Being aggressive can work, but it takes time and practice to learn how to aggressively remedy tight muscles and connective tissue adhesions. I would recommend seeing a Physical Therapist, Personal Trainer, your Dr., and get some clearance and advice locally.
The foam roller is an amazing tool to use to break up those knots/ trigger points. The foam roller is a self-myofascial release.
Self- Myofascial Release: Injuries, repetitive motion, or even prolonged inactivity can degrade the function of your muscles and fascia (the network of connective tissue that surrounds and supports your muscles this results in localized areas with compromised function. Commonly referred to as knots or trigger points. Trigger points are usually hypertonic and tender to the touch, and restrict movement of the surrounding muscles.
The health of this dysfunctional tissue can often be restored through deep-tissue massage/ myofascial release. Applying firm pressure to a trigger point for several seconds helps release its tension and encourages recovery. A massage therapist is an expert at this type of therapy, however the Foam Roller or Rumble Roller provides you with a very convenient and economical means of self-treatment.
Another great tool is tennis or lacrosse balls. They work in the same way but dig in a little further. You could use them against a wall or on the ground.
Have fun rolling away your pain!
You got some great responses and ideas there, but maybe we should try to take it a step farther and really investigate WHAT you should be foam rolling and stretching. A lot of times the areas that you feel “pain” are not the reasons for the pain rather they are the areas that are picking up the slack for some where that isn’t doing its job.
Lets just start off with the time in which when you feel the pains?
Our musco-skeletal system is set up such that would should be able to stand for hours upon hours without any kind of struggle or pain. Most of that cant do that for a matter of minutes. My point is, that most of us have muscular imbalances that pull our bodies into uneven postures. Now, I don’t know what type of work that you do but my point is that it could very well be the ergonomics of your work station or the structural integrity of your body.
Do this quick assessment and see just what you feel;
Stand against a wall with heels sacrum (butt bone) shoulder blades, and back of head all touching. Take 10 seconds and survey how you feel. Do you feel like you are falling forward? Is it hard to get all those points against the wall? Can you take your hand and reach it clear across to the other side? Does it feel like your knees are caving in or your shoulders pop up?
If so, you are like most of us who have muscle-tension relationships that are not ideal.
This type of information is key in trying to help you feel better. You probably don’t have two hours each to foam roll, stretch and strength train you whole body and believe me, you want to if you did. It doesn’t make sense to start rolling and stretching without knowing where and what to roll.
Do yourself a favor, assess….assess……assess and free yourself of just guessing.
hope this helps