• Stuart Houston

Golf ball on shoulder?

Do you have “golf balls”?


Muscles knots are hard, sensitive areas of muscles that tighten and contract even when the muscle is at rest. These tense muscle fibres can lead to pain in other parts of the body when touched. They’re also known as trigger points and can be caused by lifestyle, overusing or injuring your muscles, poor posture, dehydration, unhealthy eating habits, stress and anxiety may also contribute to muscle knots.


Muscle knots can occur anywhere in the body, but they’re usually found in your back, shoulders, and neck. Muscles knots can cause aching sensations and pain in your muscles and joints. When you touch a muscle knot, it may feel swollen, tense, or bumpy. It could also feel tight and contracted, even when you’re trying to relax, and they’re often sensitive to the touch. The affected area may even become inflamed or swollen.


Muscle knots can cause symptoms in areas outside of the muscles, including:

Headaches, toothaches and ear ache as well as, stress related issues, mood and sleep deprivation.


The most popular area where knots develop is the neck shoulder area, just like a “golf ball”!

A simple classification related to the angulus superior (neck and shoulder or the inside top of shoulder blade area)

First stage is related to neck and shoulder pain that restricts movement and can provide headaches and well as effect sleep. Normal head movement should provide side of chin at 90 degrees to horizontal, chin touching chest and face parallel with ceiling.

Lack of movement can be through trauma eg. Whiplash, scrumming, gymnastics,, cycling, posture as well as poor pillow support.


Stage two will also affect range of movement and may include headaches but the movement should be improved with fingers feeling the perimeter of the angulus superior. There may be smaller “pebble-effect” facia around this area and can be broken down against the muscle fibre direction.


Stage three is where the neck and shoulder resolve back to optimum movement and the muscles should be free and “dough-like” texture around the neck and shoulder area with no pain during side, extension and flexion movements.


The upper trapezius, levator scapulae and supraspinatus are the key muscles, but don’t ignore scalene, rhomboids and sterno cleido mastoid muscles to ensure the scapula glides freely. Check the erector spinous process movement to ensure they are free and free of pain/tension using mobilisations and massage before verifying that the thoracic area is relaxed and flat.


Check your shoulders today!!!



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© 2019 by Stuart Houston / Therapy4u.