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Massage/Knot in my chest.


I have a knot in my chest, my movement is limited because of it.
Just wondering what I can do to fix it, I'm always down the gym.
It's not  something I've done in the gym, I woke up today with the pain.
Any thoughts would be helpful cheers Dan

Hi Daniel,

People don't usually complain of a knot in the chest but it could happen.  The good news is that it's easy for you to reach yourself, unlike a knot in the back.  It sounds like you 'slept crooked.'

Since you woke with it and it just came on, I will assume, like you, that it's a muscle knot.

Here's what to do:  Using your finger tips, press into the 'knot'.  Keep the pressure at about 7 out of 10--uncomfortable but not terribly.  If you hold the pressure for several seconds, you should feel that the pressure is getting less.  That means the muscle is relaxing.

Now, you are feeling the tightness in your chest and it may only be there.  However, also check the muscles on the side of your ribs.  It's possible muscles are tight on the outer edge of the shoulder blade and are pulling on the rib muscles in front causing the knot.  If the side muscles or any muscles around the shoulder blade seem tight, too, they need some pressure to help them relax, too.  If you cannot reach an area, a tool like a tennis ball can help you apply pressure.

Back to your chest:  Explore the whole knotty area, looking for tender areas in and around and holding pressure on each for several seconds.  As the tight areas start relaxing, your range of motion will start to return.  In the meantime, gentle stretching will also help by getting the muscles moving.  GENTLE stretching.  :)  The goal is to warm the area with subtle movement because right now, it's not capable of normal stretches.

You can also use cold packs to reduce the discomfort.  But don't stretch or massage when the muscles are cold.

I expect the knot in your chest will be gone shortly and that it will stay gone.  :)  Off the top of my head, by your description, it seems to be muscular and muscles are easily treatable.

Thank you for writing.  Take care.



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Kathryn Merrow


I can respond to questions about migraines and headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, hand-wrist-arm pain, upper back pain, and other assorted and miscellaneous pain symptoms. I can also respond to general questions about massage and how to select a massage therapist.


I have been a massage therapist since 1992 specializing primarily in pain relief techniques. I utilize the St. John Method of Neuromuscular Massage Therapy (NMT) and other bodywork modalities. I'm The Pain Relief Coach online.

Professional Member of American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) Nationally Certified in Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCTMB)


My initial training in massage was at Health Enrichment Center in Lapeer, Michigan. I have had advanced training or workshops with Kurashova Institute for Studies in Physical Medicine, St. John Neuromuscular Institute of Pain Relief, Center for Self-Healing and many others. I now share my education and experience as a Massage Instructor and Pain Relief Coach.

Awards and Honors
The highest honor I receive is when someone tells me that they finally understand why they had pain, that they took action and that their pain is either less or is totally gone.

Past/Present Clients
I have done well over 20,000 therapeutic massage sessions, primarily with clients with various types of pain or painful syndromes.

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