Muscles in the front of your body can cause pain in your neck and back?  It’s true!

Sometimes pain in your back is caused simply because tight muscles in the front of your body are pulling and causing stress in your back muscles.  Sometimes the muscles in front have trigger points.  Trigger points are crabby areas of muscle that cause pain elsewhere.

By massaging, rubbing or pinching the following muscles you can help the muscles relax.  You might also be able to knock out any trigger points that are causing your back pain.  🙂

Chest muscles can cause back pain.

This link will take you to an article with more information about stretching your chest muscles.  It even has an illustration!

Rib muscles can cause back pain.

The good thing about the rib muscles in the front and sides is that you can reach them yourself to rub and massage them.  Pinch them if you can and lift them.  Roll tender areas between your fingers.

Abdominal muscles can also cause back pain.

You can also massage, pinch, lift and roll the muscles on the upper abdomen.  You want to pick up muscle, not just skin.  If you lean forward a bit it will be easier to pinch the muscles. This is much easier to do if you don’t carry too much weight in your abdomen.

When you find tender areas, those are the muscles and tissue to focus on.  Spend more time massaging tender areas than places that don’t have discomfort.

You may discover some very, very uncomfortable tissues in the front of your body.  And if you pay attention you may also find that your back feels a bit looser and more happy after you treat and relax the muscles in the front of your body.

You could also notice the next day that you feel a little tender or bruised where you were treating.  That’s a perfectly normal reaction that happens when tight tissues are manipulated.  Drinking extra water (and lots of it!) can help prevent a lot of the tenderness following ‘deep tissue massage.’

We want to have long, relaxed front muscles.  By helping the muscles in the front of your body relax you will prevent muscle strain in your back.


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Kathryn Merrow on August 18th, 2012

Would you like to get rid of the miserable knots in your back?  Here’s a great idea:  Request the free report Five Steps To Get Rid Of Those Miserable Knots In Your Upper Back.  

The little report will tell you:

  • Why your muscles are complaining
  • What causes knots in your back
  • How to relieve them naturally with steps you can take NOW
  • What trigger points are and how they cause knots
  • and more.

Chris emailed me after he got the free report and this is what he said:

I have gotten rid of my knots. It’s first time I haven’t had back pain in awhile. I couldn’t have done it without your expertise! Thank you so much. ~ Chris

Imagine!  He got enough information in that report to get rid of his knots.  But I have to tell you:  It’s because he took action.

He got the report, read the report and took action.  That’s the best way to get better.

Sometimes you just need a little bit of help to get rid of knotted up muscles in your upper back.

And there are lots of articles right here at Simple Back Pain Relief, too, that will help get you on the road to understanding WHY you have muscle knots and the steps you can take to get rid of them just like Chris did.


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The Trapezius muscles in the upper back can be painful.

Do you have a muscle spasm in your trapezius muscle?  Here’s some background:

Muscle spasm is a contraction.  Your muscle has tightened up and doesn’t feel good.  Muscle contraction in the upper back is very often caused by over-stretching the muscles.  Read more to discover why.

In this picture the trapezius muscle is shown on the right side of the back.  There is one that matches on the left side but it is cut away.

You can see the shoulder blades and where the muscles attach.  All muscles attach to bones and that is how we are able to move.

The muscle that goes from the shoulder blade to the spine on the left side of the back is the rhomboid.  You have a matching one on the other side of the back hidden by the trapezius muscle.

Rhomboids get blamed for upper back muscle spasm all the time.  But they are not usually the problem.

Tennis Ball Therapy, heat or cold therapy or massage can often get rid of the muscle spasm (“knots”) in your trapezius.

But not always.

Sometimes you have to Read the rest of this entry »


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Kathryn Merrow on August 10th, 2012

Here’s a good question I received about muscle knots in your upper back:

I am a student and find my self working in forward head posture every day.  My goal is to get rid of my knots and once I get rid of them I was wondering what i can do to keep them at bay? I don’t have the option of changing what I do or my future career.

Many careers involve forward head positions and working with hands stretched out in front of your body.

Once the knots are gone here’s what you can do now and forever to keep them from coming back:

Strengthen your back muscles.  It doesn’t have to be a hard workout; it just has to help you get a stronger back.  Actually you need to strengthen ALL the muscles from your knees to your skull on the back side of your body.

When the muscles in back are strong, they can ‘hold their own’ against daily working postures.

There’s a bunch of articles for you at that link to help you get a strong back easily.  Of course, you could hit the gym…or you can just hit your bed.  🙂   The articles will tell you how to get a strong back in bed!

  • Take lots of breaks to stretch up and back, up and back.
  • Lift your breastbone and the crown of your head to the sky.
  • Eat healthy foods to support your muscles.  Well-nourished muscles function better.
  • Drink plenty of water.  Muscles that are well-hydrated function much better.

Having a strong back helps a TON and stretching the muscles in the fronts of your arms and chest and abdomen also helps keep the muscles knots in your back from coming back.


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Kathryn Merrow on August 6th, 2012

Here’s an article that will help you get rid of the pain on the lower half of your shoulder blade naturally.  It explains about muscles and how they cause pain and how you can do your own therapy!  (This link will take you to another of my natural pain relief websites.)

Is your pain on the bottom half of the shoulder blade and on the outer side of the shoulder blade near the armpit? Then this article is for you.

If doing a movement with your arm in front of your body makes it the pain in your back worse, this article is for you.

Just click on the link and you will understand why you have pain on the lower outer edge of your shoulder blade and how to get rid of it naturally.


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Kathryn Merrow on August 3rd, 2012

Here are Ten Simple Pain Relief “Secrets” for Pain In Your Back:

1.  Be responsible for your own wellness.  No one cares about your pain as much as you do.  You might have to do your own research and make decisions to take action or change behaviors.

2.  Take good care of your body:  feed it wholesome foods and avoid fake foods and additives.  Highly processed food has all of the nutrition stripped away.  Sure, sometimes some stuff is added back in but don’t be fooled–most of the good stuff is gone.  Also, chemicals are added which bodies do NOT like.  Muscles need minerals to function well so consider taking a multi-vitamin/mineral supplement.

3.  Reduce your stress.  Yoga, meditation, deep breathing, walking or other exercise can all help.

4.  Improve your posture.  One of the videos in the Knots In Your Back program will help you do that.

5.  Stretch in the correct directions.  Usually the muscles that need stretching are in the front of your body and the ones that complain are in the back.

6.  Breathe deeply.  Breathing deeply moves your ribs and muscles are attached to your ribs so it helps them relax.

7.  Get enough sleep.  And sleep in a position that doesn’t aggravate your back.

8.  Drink sufficient water.  When your muscles are well-hydrated they will function better.

9.  Become knowledgeable about your body and the causes of your pain and know this:  Back pain symptoms lie all the time.  Just because it hurts ‘there’ doesn’t mean the problem is ‘there.’

10.Do what you need to do to become pain-free, naturally.  Educate yourself and take action.

There you have it:  Ten “secrets” for getting rid of your back pain naturally.  🙂


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Kathryn Merrow on July 31st, 2012

Do you have pain in the middle of your back?  Does it feel kind of like a wide band of pain below your shoulder blades?

Or do you have a wide band of pain across your lower back?

Wide Band Of Pain In Your Back

You know how I’m always telling you that muscles are the largest cause of pain?  Well, this may come as a surprise.  It’s still muscles but if your pain that looks like the red areas in this picture, the muscle to blame is in the front of your body!

The abdominal muscles right next to the midline of your body (rectus abdominis) can cause referred pain into your back.  This happens when the muscle develops trigger points.  Trigger points cause referred pain.

Sometimes only one side of the rectus abdominis has a trigger point but it still causes pain on both sides of the back.

How can you get rid of the trigger points that cause your back pain?

You could have someone rub on your back until the cows come home but it won’t help if your back pain is caused by muscles in front of your body.  You have to relax the trigger points in that abdominal muscle to relieve your pain.

See the X‘s on the abdominal muscle?  Those indicate the locations of trigger points.  Those are the areas to treat.

The easiest way to treat those Read the rest of this entry »


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Kathryn Merrow on July 19th, 2012

Here is the response I got from Louise when I asked her if she had success getting rid of the muscle knots in her upper back.  You will discover the age of this vibrant woman in the last sentence of her message.  🙂

Yes,  I am much improved and I did it myself through massage and exercise. I have found lifting the rib cage when I take my mile walk helpful.

I do a 15 minute weight program using 4 lb. weights 4 times a week.  Every morning before getting out of bed I do a stretch routine I take a baby aspirin at bedtime and no more than twice a week I take one not two Aleves.

I am very careful about medication.  I entertain a great deal and play golf, bridge and I am in a book club but I am finding I am having to rest more.

The doctor tells me it could be because I am 87 year old.  Thanks for checking on me.  Louise

Here’s what I wrote back to Louise:

Good job!  I wish more people would be as proactive as you are.  🙂

Lifting the rib cage is always helpful.  I do it all day long.  Gravity sure does like to pull on us!

I am happy to hear you are so active.  That’s what’s keeping you young.

If you are not taking a good vitamin-mineral supplement you might consider doing that.  Some folks say we can get all we need from a good diet but the description of ‘good diet’ varies widely.

Louise, I am going to turn your email into an article to show people how they can take care of themselves because  I love sharing good healing stories like yours. 🙂

Keep taking good care of you,

The Pain Relief Coach


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Kathryn Merrow on July 15th, 2012

Trapezius Muscle Trigger PointsDo you have burning pain on both sides of your spine?  Does it look like the red pain pattern on the right side of the picture?  It may be the trapezius muscle.  As you see, there is one on each half of your body.

The trapezius muscles can cause pain on the tops of the shoulders, near the spine, on the inner side of the shoulder blade toward the spine and even on the back of your skull!

This picture shows trigger points.  The trigger points are the X‘s.  Those are the places to apply pressure (approximately) in order to get rid of the red areas.  The red areas indicate painful areas.

If your shoulder pain pattern is approximately where any of the the red is in the picture, applying pressure to the appropriate X may help get rid of the pain between your spine and shoulder blade!

Here are directions Read the rest of this entry »


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Kathryn Merrow on July 7th, 2012

Shoulder Muscle Causes Pain In Upper Back And Neck

Muscles are the most common cause of pain in the upper back and neck.

The levator scapulae muscle is also called the ‘shoulder hiker.’ It lifts or hikes your shoulder blade.

Trigger Points Cause Upper Back and Neck Pain

Shoulder Hiker Muscle

Trigger points are hyperirritable areas of muscle that cause pain elsewhere, sometimes at a great distance from the trigger point.  Trigger points can be in the shoulder hiker muscle and when they are they cause pain around the upper back and shoulder blade.

In this picture, you can see the shoulder hiker muscle.  You are looking at the back side of a body.  The muscle attaches to the bones of your neck.  It also attaches to your shoulder blade on the innermost top part.

If trigger points develop in this muscle it will cause pain where the muscle is.

It will also cause pain along the spine side of your shoulder blade down to the bottom of the shoulder blade.

And it can cause pain at the back of your shoulder on the top of your arm.

If it always feels like your shoulders are creeping up to your ears, this guy is the culprit.  It has become shortened because you held your shoulders hiked and the muscle got used to being in that position.  It may also have developed trigger points that need to be released.  If you do not release the trigger points you will continue to have pain in your upper back and neck.

What can you do to help this muscle relax?

1.  You can use a pressure tool or finger to press into the levator scapulae muscle.  Press at the crook of your neck where your neck meets your shoulder.  Look for very tender areas.  That is where you want to apply pressure.  Also press where the muscle meets the top of the shoulder blade.  Those are the two areas where trigger points are.

2.  You can go to a professional massage therapist who can warm and relax the muscle (and others around it) with manual pressure and massage.  He or she will work the length of the muscle to help it stretch and settle it down.  A trigger point therapist can get rid of the triggers that are causing the pain in your neck and upper back.

3.  You can lift your shoulders to your ears.  Hike them way up and hold for twenty seconds or so.  This will tire the shoulder hiker muscle so it will start to relax.  You can do this several times.  (But use sense.  Too many times can make the muscles ache from overuse just as any new exercise program can.)

What Activities Cause Pain In Upper Back And Neck?

The stress of poor, collapsed posture will cause the shoulder hiker muscle to complain.  So can Read the rest of this entry »


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