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Lower Back Muscle Knots Can Be Broken Down With Chiropractic

Lower Back Muscle Knots Can Be Broken Down With Chiropractic

Muscle knots are common and can occur anywhere on the body. They can cause aching and pain in the muscles and joints. When examining a muscle knot also known as myofascial trigger points, it can feel swollen, tense, or like a bump. A particular area where these knots present is in the low back. This happens from excessive wear-and-tear on the lower spine from work, school, daily tasks, and chores. This causes the muscle fibers to tear, and with restricted or no time to rest the area and let it heal properly leads to the fibers bunching/clumping together forming a painful knot.11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Lower Back Muscle Knots Can Be Broken Down With Chiropractic

Muscle Knots In The Lower Back

A muscle knot in the lower back causes aching, soreness, and full-on pain. They tighten and contract even when the muscle is resting. The affected area often becomes inflamed or swollen causing pain and aches to radiate/spread to the gluteal muscles, as well.


These knots develop when the tissue fibers pull apart and bunch up together. They start to stick together and with time the area becomes thicker. This results in the muscle knot. They can be caused by:

  • Stress
  • Tension
  • Poor posture
  • Muscle overuse
  • Muscle strain
  • Sedentary habits

Body dehydration and an unhealthy diet can also contribute to muscle knots. They look like a small bump under the skin. The bump can be red and is usually tender/sore when touched. However, not all muscle knots are visible, but when touched there is soreness and/or pain.

Do They Go Away?

They can go away on their own, but this comes from proper rest and recovery time. However, muscle knots should not be ignored, as even the smallest knot can compress surrounding nerves and muscle tissues. This can cause irritation and weakness. Larger muscle knots could cause movement/mobility issues.



Stretching will help stretch out and release tight muscle knots. Stretching loosens the muscle fibers and prevents them from becoming attached. Stretches to release a muscle knot include:

Start with these simple stretches/exercises and slowly work up to more vigorous ones.

Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care can break down muscle knots through various adjustments. They are experts on the musculoskeletal system and understand where the problem is occurring along with the connected muscles.

  • A chiropractor will palpate the spot where the most pain presents and the surrounding area.
  • They will begin with a soft massage. This warms up the area getting the blood circulating. The blood circulation helps prevent pain making the adjustment/s far more effective.
  • Then pressing on nearby joints that the muscle knot is connected to breaks up the tight fibers.
  • Then the section/area is stretched out. This extends the fibers and prevents them from winding back into a knot.
  • They will recommend stretches and exercises

Therapeutic Massage

A massage helps to release tension and encourages muscle knots to loosen up and break down. A massage therapist will perform a deep tissue massage or a Swedish massage. Massage helps to release endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkiller. These calm the body and reduce pain. They will also recommend simple massages at home. These can include:

  • Rolling a massage ball/roller on the muscle knot
  • Self-massage using the fingers in circular motions on the affected area

Heat and Ice

Hot and cold therapy can calm and prevent inflammation. Heating pads are best if the area has stiffness or is painful. The heat relaxes tight muscles and increases blood flow. Cold therapy stops the swelling. If the muscle knot gets bigger or begins turning red, icing the area is recommended. Alternating between the two can eliminate symptoms and assist with quicker healing.

Body Composition

Building Functional Strength

There are exercises to improve functional strength. Functional training targets specific areas:

These types of exercises should be incorporated into a workout routine. One exercise is:

Pushup to Arm and Hip Raise

The muscles worked include:

  • Pectoralis major/minor
  • Rectus abdominus
  • Obliques
  • Deep abdominals
  • Hip abductors and rotators
  • Scapula stabilizers

To do the exercise

  • Start with doing a normal pushup.
  • When the top of the movement is reached
  • Lift one arm up, turn the shoulder, and reach up
  • Then lift the outside leg up as high as possible and hold for 10 seconds
  • Repeat on the other side
  • Do 6-10 repetitions on each side

This exercise builds shoulder, arm, and hip strength. It engages the core and abdominal muscles and improves flexibility in the shoulders, back, and hips.


The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the musculoskeletal system’s injuries or disorders. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, CTG*
phone: 915-850-0900
Licensed in Texas & New Mexico


Cramer, Holger et al. “Postural awareness and its relation to pain: validation of an innovative instrument measuring awareness of body posture in patients with chronic pain.” BMC musculoskeletal disorders vol. 19,1 109. 6 Apr. 2018, doi:10.1186/s12891-018-2031-9

Malanga, Gerard A et al. “Mechanisms and efficacy of heat and cold therapies for musculoskeletal injury.” Postgraduate medicine vol. 127,1 (2015): 57-65. doi:10.1080/00325481.2015.992719

Receptors, Brainstem Pathways And Spinal Cord Tracts | El Paso, TX. | Part II

Receptors, Brainstem Pathways And Spinal Cord Tracts | El Paso, TX. | Part II

El Paso, TX. Chiropractor, Dr. Alexander Jimenez continues the discussion on the anatomy of nerve fibers, receptors, spinal tracts and brain pathway/s. As the spinal nerve nears the spinal cord, it splits into the dorsal and ventral roots. The dorsal root only contains the axons of sensory neurons. While the ventral roots contain only the axons of motor neurons. Some of the branches synapse with local neurons in the dorsal root ganglion, posterior (dorsal) horn, and even the anterior (ventral) horn, at the spine where they enter.

Other branches travel short distances up or down the spine to interact with neurons at other levels of the spinal cord. A branch can also turn into the posterior (dorsal) column white matter to connect with the brain. Spinal nerve systems that connect to the brain are contralateral, in that the right side of the body is connected to the left side of the brain and the left side of the body is connected to the right side of the brain.

Cranial nerves convey specific sense information from the head and neck directly to the brain. Whereas spinal information is contralateral, cranial nerve systems are for the most part�ipsilateral, meaning that a cranial nerve on the right side of the head is connected to the right side of the brain. Some cranial nerves contain only sensory axons. Other cranial nerves have both sensory and motor axons, including the trigeminal, facial and glossopharyngeal. General senses of somatosensation for the face travel through the trigeminal system.




  • pathway el paso tx.The term posterior column refers to the entire contents of a posterior funiculus, exclusive of its share of the propriospinal tract. The posterior columns consist mainly of ascending collaterals of large myelinated primary afferents carrying impulses from various kinds of mechanoreceptors (although substantial numbers of second-order fibers and unmyelinated fibers are also included). This has traditionally been considered the major pathway by which information from low-threshold cutaneous, joint, and muscle receptors reaches the cerebral cortex.





pathway el paso tx.


2-Minute Neuroscience: Touch & The Dorsal Columns-Medial Lemniscus


�As might be expected from the types of afferents contained in the posterior columns, this pathway carries information important for the conscious appreciation of touch, pressure, and vibration and of joint position and movement. However, because input from cutaneous receptors also reaches the cortex by other routes, damage to the posterior columns causes impairment, but not abolition, of tactile perception. Complex discrimination tasks are more severely affected than is the simple detection of stimuli. Other functions, such as proprioception and kinesthesia, are classically considered to be totally lost after posterior column destruction. The result is a distinctive type of ataxia (incoordination of movement); the brain is unable to direct motor activity properly without sensory feedback about the current position of parts of the body. This ataxia is particularly pronounced when the patient�s eyes are closed, preventing visual compensation.�

Given the role of the posterior column, the patient should be screened for any abnormalities regarding their sense of fine touch, vibration, barognosis, graphesthesia, stereognosis, kinaesthesia, two-point discrimination and conscious proprioception:

  • A common way of testing for fine touch is to ask the patient to recognize common objects placed within a cloth using their touch.
  • Vibration sense can be tested using a low pitched C128 tuning fork placed along a bony prominence of the desired corresponding spinal level(s) to be tested.
  • Barognosis refers to the ability to determine the approximate weight of an object.
  • Graphesthesia refers to the ability to recognize writing on the skin by touch. The practitioner can draw out a letter on the patients skin as a way of testing.
  • Kinaesthesia refers to ones own sense of body motion (excluding equilibrium which is controlled in part by the inner ear) and is commonly tested using the subject�s ability to detect an externally imposed passive movement, or the ability to reposition a joint to a predetermined position.
  • Proprioception is often assessed using the Rombergs test. This examination is based on the notion that a person requires at least two of the three following senses to maintain balance while standing: proprioception; vestibular function and vision. A patient who has a defect within their proprioceptive mechanism can still maintain balance by using vestibular function and vision. In the Romberg test, the patient is stood up and asked to close their eyes. A loss of balance is interpreted as a positive Romberg sign.



pathway el paso tx.

  • pathway el paso tx.Pain is a complex sensation, in that a noxious stimulus leads not only to the perception of where it occurred but also to things such as a rapid increase in level of attention, emotional reactions, autonomic responses, and a greater likelihood that the event and its circumstances will be remembered. Corresponding to this complexity, multiple pathways convey nociceptive information rostrally from the spinal cord. One of them (the spinothalamic tract) is analogous to the posterior column�medial lemniscus pathway.










Two main parts of the Spinothalamic Tract (STT)

  • Lateral Spinothalamic Tract
  • Transmission of pain and temperature
  • Anterior Spinothalamic Tract
  • Transmission of crude touch and firm pressure

pathway el paso tx.



Given the role of the spinothalamic tract, the patient should be screened for any abnormalities regarding their sense of touch, pain, temperature, and pressure sensation.

Screening for such abnormalities is commonly done using gentle pin pricks and cotton wool, to contrast between sharp and soft, following cutaneous sensory nerve root distributions. Hot and cold discrimination can be ascertained using the cold metal arm of a tuning fork, and a warm palm or heated object.

2 Minute Neuroscience: Pain & The Anterolateral System


pathway el paso tx.

  • �Pain processing and its modulation: Activation of peripheral pain receptors (also called nociceptors) by noxious stimuli generates signals that travel to the dorsal horn of the spinal cord via the dorsal root ganglion. From the dorsal horn, the signals are carried along the ascending pain pathway or the spinothalamic tract to the thalamus and the cortex. Pain can be controlled by nociception- inhibiting and nociception-facilitating neurons. Descending signals originating in the supraspinal centers can modulate activity in the dorsal horn by controlling spinal pain transmission. CNS, central nervous system.�

pathway el paso tx.


The spinal cord is an important source of information used by the cerebellum in the coordination of movement. This information reaches the cerebellar cortex and nuclei both directly, by way of spinocerebellar tracts, and indirectly, by way of relays in brainstem nuclei. A number of spinocerebellar tracts have been described, some representing the upper extremity and others the lower extremity. Only three have been well characterized.

Ascending Tracts | Spinocerebellar Tract

pathway el paso tx.

pathway el paso tx.

pathway el paso tx.


pathway el paso tx.

pathway el paso tx.

pathway el paso tx.