Can You Use Acupuncture For Shoulder Blade Knots?


You don’t have to be an athlete to develop a shoulder blade knot. Poor posture from driving or sitting at a computer all day can lead to muscle tension, and when your muscles are chronically tense, it’s just a matter of time before you develop a strain, sprain, tear, or knot. If you’re struggling with weakness, pain, and reduced flexibility due to a muscle knot in your shoulder blade, you may be wondering if alternative medicine can help. So, can acupuncture for shoulder blade knots really alleviate your symptoms? 

Acupuncture is an all-natural solution for stubborn muscle knots. A single acupuncture session can eliminate minor shoulder blade knots, and regular follow-up appointments can help alleviate pain and inflammation while restoring your strength and range of motion. 

How does acupuncture treat shoulder blade knots?

Muscle knots are a common complaint among active individuals, athletes, and desk jockeys alike. Although muscle knots can be debilitating, they’re quite treatable, and alternative therapies like acupuncture can be incredibly helpful in correcting them.

Acupuncture is one of the best all-natural therapies for musculoskeletal disorders, including shoulder blade knots. Acupuncture works on several different levels not only to treat pain and inflammation but also to stimulate the body’s ability to heal itself. This is a great alternative treatment for anyone looking to reduce their reliance on over-the-counter and prescription pain medications. 

As each acupuncture needle is inserted, it creates microscopic tears in the muscle fibers physically forcing hyperflexed muscle to relax. This minute injury immediately triggers the nervous system, causing the body to flood the surrounding tissues with blood and oxygen needed to make repairs. This increase in circulation also allows the body to remove pro-inflammatory byproducts to reduce heat, swelling, and pain. 

Can acupuncture prevent shoulder blade knots from developing?

Aside from the physical benefits of acupuncture for shoulder blade knots, there are neurological benefits to be enjoyed as well. Acupuncture is believed to modulate mood-enhancing neurotransmitters, including serotonin. It may also stimulate the release of endorphins, the feel-good chemicals you experience after exercise, eating your favorite foods, or laughing along with your friends.

But how does improving your mood treat shoulder blade knots, you may be asking. Well, because enhancing your mood helps you cope with stress. The better you can handle stress, the less likely you are to develop muscle tension. Reducing muscle tension eases shoulder blade knot pain, and prevents new knots from developing in the future. 

Less muscle tension also makes it easier to maintain good posture and to use your body efficiently, with each muscle group pulling its own weight. All too often when we become stressed, we tense up, and our weak muscles force surrounding muscles to compensate for them. Regular acupuncture sessions keep the musculoskeletal system relaxed so you stay flexible and comfortable, whether you’re hitting the gym, carrying groceries, or just lounging on the couch. 

How fast does acupuncture for shoulder blade knots work?

Shoulder blade knots are tender and painful, and that pain radiates to surrounding areas. A knot in your shoulder can make your back and neck hurt. It may even give you a migraine. So if you’ve got a shoulder blade knot, you want to find relief fast. Acupuncture can help. 

A single acupuncture session can provide you with tremendous relief from your shoulder blade knot pain. As needles are inserted into key points across the area, this stimulates the muscles, causing them to twitch and release tension. Minor knots may be resolved with a single acupuncture session, with the benefits of acupuncture lasting weeks to months

That said, severe knots may require more aggressive treatment. Even patients who have only had minor shoulder blade knots can benefit from ongoing acupuncture sessions to help undo the musculoskeletal dysfunction the knot has caused over time. Acupuncture doesn’t just release the knot and eliminate the source of the pain, but it also eases surrounding muscles and ligaments so you can use your entire body more efficiently. 

During your acupuncture appointment, your acupuncturist may ask you to perform a strength assessment to gauge the severity of your shoulder blade knot. This allows them to choose the best course of action. They may also recommend additional therapies, like electrostimulation and dry needling to make the acupuncture treatments more effective. 

What to expect during your first acupuncture session

As we touched on a minute ago, muscle knot pain often radiates. Sometimes, we may not even be aware that we have a muscle knot in one area because the pain is so much stronger in the surrounding areas. It’s not uncommon for patients to complain of rhomboid pain or back pain when, in fact, they’re dealing with a shoulder blade knot. 

So during your first visit, your acupuncturist will ask you about your symptoms to get a better understanding of what’s going on and to pinpoint the source of your pain. This way, they can locate the true cause of your discomfort, and ease the burden the strain has placed on surrounding muscle groups. 

Once your acupuncturist has determined the best path forward, needles will be inserted into various acupuncture points across your body, where they will be kept in place anywhere from 10 to 40 minutes. Take this opportunity to get nice and relaxed while the needles work their magic. Once your time’s up, the needles will be removed, and you can get back to your busy schedule. 

In some cases, your acupuncturist may recommend you perform a few exercises to enhance the acupuncture’s effects. But, depending on your circumstances, they may decide it would be best if you avoided exercise for a while. Be sure to heed your acupuncturist’s advice after your appointment to avoid further injury. 

Book your appointment now

So, does acupuncture for shoulder blade knots really work? It most certainly does! But, you don’t have to take our word for it. Visit Lycoming Orthopedic & Sports Acupuncture today and find out for yourself. 

Contact our office to learn about the many benefits of acupuncture, and how it can help you combat stress, reduce inflammation, and ease those annoying shoulder blade knots. When you book an appointment at one of our clinics, you can be confident knowing you’ve taken the first step to regaining control of your health and wellness. 

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