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How to Get Rid of a Knot in Your Neck?

Updated: Jul 9

how to get rid of a knot in your neck.

We've all been there—going about our day when suddenly, a sharp, nagging pain seizes up our neck. It feels like a tight ball has lodged itself right under the skin, making it difficult to turn our heads without discomfort. This is the dreaded muscle knot, and if you've experienced one, you know how debilitating it can be. Here, we will explore what these knots are, why they form, and, most importantly, how you can get relief and prevent them in the future. Let’s get started.

What is a Muscle Knot?

A muscle knot in your neck means a contraction in your muscle fiber. It feels like a lump in the neck muscle, which can result from muscle overuse or any minor injury. Knots are commonly found in the neck, lower back, and shoulder blade. If these muscle knots are causing you persistent pain and interfering with your range of motion, it is time to see a massage therapist.

what is a muscle knot.

What are the Causes of Muscle Knots in the Neck?

There are several potential culprits for developing muscle knots in the neck. Some of them are –

Stress and Anxiety

When you are under a lot of pressure and stress, you tend to develop muscle knots. Why this happens because you tend to hold certain postures for a long time under stressed situations. This can end up your neck muscles in spasm.

Muscle Overuse

If you overdid a workout, especially when your body wasn't prepared or did activities like constantly looking down at your phone or working on a computer for long hours without taking breaks, it can make your neck muscles to contract.

Physical Inactivity

Lack of physical exercise and movement is a major contributor towards poor posture. In the current age of sedentary lifestyles where individuals sit for longer hours without even knowing that they have to change their posture in between, it can result in muscle stiffness. And it goes without saying that muscle needs regular movement to be in good shape.

How to Get Relief from a Knot in Your Neck?

Apply Heat/Ice

Apply either heat or ice to the affected area to increase the blood flow. Heat therapy includes applying a warm towel or heating pad to relax the tight muscles. On the other hand, ice packs are used to get rid of the inflammation and lessen the pain. Ice packs are generally used if you have developed the knot due to acute injury.


Neck Stretches

Gentle stretching can increase the blood flow release the muscle tension in the neck muscles and help you to prevent muscle knots. For instance – tilt your head from side to side and bring your ear towards your shoulder. You can use your hand to apply gentle pressure on the side you are stretching your head. Hold this position for 15-30 seconds and repeat it on the other side.

The other exercise is tucking your chin into your throat. Ensure that your head moves straight backward and not upwards and downwards. Hold this position for 2-3 seconds and then repeat. Perform these stretches carefully and slowly to keep away the odds of aggravating the pain.


Target your muscle knots with self-massage to say goodbye to pain. Gently squeeze your muscles using your fingers and massage the tissues in a circular motion. Start with light pressure and gradually increase as the muscle begins to relax. Consult a Registered Massage Therapist.

self massage on na

Dry Needling

In dry needling, an expert in physiotherapy or acupuncture injects a small needle into your knot to loose it up and improve the blood flow to the area. Pairing the dry needling technique with long-term healing techniques like exercise and movement is the ultimate panacea for the problems of muscle knots.

Make Some Changes to Your Workstation

Make some changes to adjust your workstation of desk to reduce the chances of developing a knot. The best way to keep the knots at bay is to keep changing positions during the work hours. Some other methods include placing your screen right in front of you, using a recliner chair among others.


When Should You See a Doctor for a Neck Knot?

The majority of the time, neck pain or knots vanish away when home remedies are tried. But if you have tried doing everything at home, and the pain is persistent, then it is worthwhile to consult a doctor. Some other situations indicating that it's time to consult an expert physiotherapist or a doctor are –


  • Excessive swelling and redness.

  • The pain interferes with your daily activities.

  • You are feeling weakness in your arms or hands.

How Does RMT Movement Help You in Your Neck Knot?

RMT Movement is a multi-disciplinary clinic offering various massage therapies to help you relax your muscles, and stress pain. We believe that nutrition and movement is key to a happy and healthy life. Our expert massage therapists in Brampton provide you with personalized advice on advice on posture, ergonomics, and exercises to prevent future muscle knots. We assess your daily activities and suggest modifications to reduce strain on your neck muscles. So, enhance your quality of life with long-term solutions from RMT Movement.


Muscle knots in the neck are a common and often painful issue, but they don't have to be a permanent part of your life. You can manage and prevent these knots by understanding the causes and implementing effective relief techniques. Remember to listen to your body, take regular breaks, and maintain good posture to keep your neck muscles healthy and knot-free.


Why Won't My Muscle Knots Go Away?

Muscle knots may persist if the underlying causes, such as poor posture, stress, or repetitive strain, are not addressed. Inadequate treatment and not allowing sufficient time for healing can also contribute to their persistence.

How Long Does a Muscle Knot in the Neck Last?

A muscle knot in the neck can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the severity and how effectively it is treated. Consistent treatment and lifestyle adjustments can speed up recovery.

What Causes Excessive Muscle Knots?

Excessive muscle knots can be caused by chronic stress, poor posture, repetitive strain, physical inactivity, and underlying medical conditions such as fibromyalgia or myofascial pain syndrome.

Is It Good to Push on Muscle Knots?

Applying gentle pressure on muscle knots can help relieve tension and pain. However, excessive force can aggravate the muscle and potentially worsen the pain, so it's important to be gentle and consider professional treatment if needed.

Are Neck Knots Permanent?

Neck knots are not usually permanent. With proper treatment, lifestyle changes, and preventative measures, most muscle knots can be resolved. However, if left untreated, they can become chronic and recurrent.


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