How To Relieve Knots In Neck After An Accident? Do These!

Are you in pain after an accident? Do you feel like there is a tight band around your neck that won’t go away? Here’s the good news—you don’t have to let knots in your neck after an accident stay with you forever. 

Neck pain after an accident may be caused by the impact, jolts, jerks, and twists that may result in some strain on the neck muscles. Fortunately, some ways can help release the tension that has built up in your neck. In this article, we explain what muscle knots are, how to relieve knots in the neck at home, and other treatment options to consider.

What Are Knots In Your Neck?

Knots in your neck are also called muscle spasms or trigger points. These are small areas of your muscle that become very stiff and contracted. Knots or spasms in your neck may feel like a tight band forming around your neck, or like a very hard, almost immovable lump. A muscle knot in your neck may look and feel like a small stone that is sensitive and may radiate pain towards the head or down into the shoulders. 

You might have difficulty turning, moving your head, or bending down because of muscle knots in your neck. Aside from the loss of mobility, other symptoms include:

What causes knots in your neck?

Knots are often the result of muscle inflammation. When one of the muscles in your neck becomes injured and swollen, it can put pressure on other nearby muscles, causing them to become inflamed as well. Knots in the neck after an accident may be caused by the following: 

  • Muscle inflammation – If you have an injury or inflammation in your neck, it can cause you to experience knots in your neck. 
  • Stress – Stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues can cause you to experience muscle knots. 
  • Injury – If you have recently sustained an injury to your neck, it can cause muscle knots in your neck.

Aside from the side effects of an accident, you may have muscle knots as a result of: 

  • Sleeping disorders – If you have sleeping disorders, such as sleep apnea, they can cause you to have poor posture and tense up while sleeping, leading to knots in your neck. 
  • Repetitive Motion – Repeating the same motions, such as bending forward at work, can put stress on your neck muscles. 
  • Overuse –  Such as working a specific muscle every day in your job or in a sport you do regularly.
  • Arthritis – Arthritis can cause inflammation in your joints, including in your neck joints, which can lead to knots in your neck. 
  • Poor PostureBad posture affects your whole body, including your neck. If you tend to hunch your shoulders, lean forward, or sit with poor posture for long periods, you can put extra strain on your neck muscles, resulting in knot formations. 
  • Medical conditions – If you suffer from a medical condition, such as an autoimmune or neurological disorder, it can increase your risk for knots in your neck.

Will muscle knots go away on their own?

Most of the time muscle knots in the neck go away on their own. It can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the severity of the injury. It is also a good idea to get some rest until the pain and stiffness go away. Avoid moving your neck too much as this may make the pain worse. However, it is essential to see a doctor if the pain lasts longer than a few days or if you feel like the pain is getting worse.

When to see a doctor for muscle knots?

If your muscle knots in your neck have lasted for a week or more, it’s a good idea to talk to a doctor or chiropractor. If you are experiencing muscle knots in your neck after an accident, you should see a doctor to rule out any serious injuries like a whiplash that may have caused the muscle knots in the neck. 

It is best to get checked immediately when experiencing symptoms of neck pain together with fever, nausea or vomiting, troubled breathing or swallowing, inability to move hands/neck or inability to touch the head or chest. 

At-Home Treatment For Knots In Neck

There are some things you can do to relieve pain in the neck while waiting for an appointment with your general practitioner or chiropractic care. Remember that these home treatments work best when paired with light physical activity or other prescribed treatments. 

  • Use heat and cold therapy: Applying heat or cold therapy can help reduce inflammation and ease your pain. You can place ice as soon as you feel the knots forming at around 20-30 minutes. After this,  apply heat to relax the muscle fibers and improve blood circulation in the affected area.
  • Use a massage ball or foam roller: A massage ball or a foam roller can be used to gently massage and relieve tight neck muscles. 
  • Try self-massage: A trigger point massage involves putting pressure on the knot to help relax the muscles. Apply pressure for 5-10 seconds, release it, and repeat for 3-5 minutes up to 6 times a day. 
  • NSAIDs: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen are available over the counter and may help relieve pain and swelling. 
What Stretches Can You Do To Relieve Muscle Knots

What Stretches Can You Do To Relieve Muscle Knots?

Stretching is a great way to reduce muscle tension and improve flexibility, but it can also help to keep your muscles from knotting up. In other words, stretching can help to relieve neck muscle knots by loosening tight muscles and increasing the range of motion. Neck stretches can be done in several ways: 

  • Neck rolls: Roll your head gently from one side to the other as if you were turning a doorknob. Repeat this 5 times on each side.
  • Nuchal stretch: This involves placing your hands on the back of your head with fingers pointing downward. Gently pull your chin up toward the ceiling while relaxing your neck muscles, then slowly let go. Repeat 10 times on each side.
  • Neck circles: Twist and turn your head in small clockwise circles while looking up at the ceiling. Repeat 10 times on each side.
  • Shoulder shrugs: Sit straight, inhale, and bring your shoulders up towards your ears. Pause for a bit and exhale while dropping your shoulders back to your original position. Do up to 3 sets of 10 repetitions. 
  • Cobra pose: Lie down on your stomach and place your palms down on the ground beneath your shoulders. After that, lift your chest by straightening your arms. Look up while keeping your abdominals engaged. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat. 

How Chiropractic Care Can Help Get Rid Of Knots In Neck

If you’re wondering about how to get rid of knots in the neck, chiropractors offer relief through treatment options that may not involve medication or surgery. 

The first thing chiropractors do is to evaluate your neck through physical and neurological exams. If needed, chiropractors may also perform additional tests such as X-Rays, CT scans, or MRIs for a more holistic picture of your condition.

Next is creating a comprehensive treatment plan based on your condition, which may include physical therapy and correcting your misaligned joints through adjustments. These adjustments or manipulations target specific areas of your neck where pressure is applied. This way, chiropractic care can restore the proper function of muscles and nerves to improve the mobility of the neck and spine. 

Our team at Affordable Chiropractic In Killeen, Texas is ready to help you start your neck pain healing through safe and effective chiropractic treatments. Book an appointment today