Clinical Myotherapists are highly trained manual therapists which focus on the assessment, treatment and management of musculoskeletal conditions causing dysfunction and pain. Myotherapy utilises many therapeutic modalities within their treatments such as soft tissue massage, trigger point therapy, dry needling, stretching, TENS, corrective exercises and postural advice.
Myotherapy is a branch of manual medicine aimed to prevent, correct and rehabilitate sporting and occupational injuries to restore and maintain normal functioning of the body. Techniques are aimed to restore and maintain the normal integrity of the soft tissue structures including muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia. A Myotherapy involves a physical evaluation, a thorough history taking, followed by various muscle, joint and nerve testing. Find out more at Myotherapy Association Australia
Clinical Myotherapists primarily use Massage as their main tool however have also got the skills and knowledge to apply wide variety of other techniques when necessary to further assist you back to optimal health. Some of the other techniques used by Myotherapists along side massage are:
Dry Needling or trigger point therapy– when pressure or a needle is applied to a ‘knot’ in the muscle. This aids in the release of these trigger points reducing pain and increasing ROM. Even though the same needles are used dry needling is used for different purposes to acupuncture.
Spinal mobilisation- another technique that works well with massage. Spinal mobilisation uses a ballistic type action on joints of the spine, which increases the movement between each joint. Often the joints in the neck become stiff and can contribute to nerve impingements and muscle guarding which causes tension headaches/ migraines.
What to Expect from Your First Myotherapy Session?
Myotherapy is typically quite manual or 'hands-on' treatment which identifies the cause of pain often resulting from either improper posture, poor biomechanics and injury. Myotherapy treatment approach is holistic taking into account all aspects of health and wellness. This means looking not only at a person's physical but psychological and occupational stresses for effective and long lasting results. If an injury is involved physical assessment is done to determine what structures are involved, range of motion and associated muscle guarding.
What is Fascia You Ask?
Fascia is a thick connective tissue that surrounds all your muscles and bones. Fascia runs from your head to your toes, hence damage in one area can affect other areas distant from the cause of the problem. Myofascia when in a healthy state is relaxed and soft, it has the ability to move and be stretched without restriction. When healthy it helps to maintain good posture, range of motion and flexibility. Myofascial Release is an very effective technique when applied with massage. Myofascial release aims to release the fascia that surrounds all muscles.
What Modalities Does Myotherapy Use?
Does Heat therapy: Heat is used to increase blood flow to an area by opening up the blood vessels. Heat offers a similar effect to massage in that it helps to promote blood flow and lymph flow which brings healthy nutrients and oxygen to the injured site and assists in the removal of wastes and toxins in the blood.
This helps reduce pain and muscle spasm. Applying superficial heat to the body can increase the soft tissues flexibilities.
Cryotherapy: Can be used in inflammation or acute injuries when massage may be contraindicated. Cold does the opposite to heat and slows down the blood flow to an injured site, which helps reduce pain, spasm and inflammation. Hence it is very effective for areas that are swollen or bruised.
TENS therapy and electro-needling: TENS is the abbreviation for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. Which is when Pads or needles are inserted onto or into muscles. It works by sending a current through the body to help reduce pain. It is useful with acute and chronic conditions.
Cupping: Cups are placed onto the skin either via heat or a suction gun. The cups, like massage increase the blood flow to the area aiding in healing the tissues. Cupping is also used for a range of other medical conditions by other health professionals.
Corrective exercises: Exercises that may be given to you to stretch or strengthen muscles and soft tissue- a vital element to the recovery of a lot of conditions.
To learn more about Myotherapy and Remedial Massage read the blog post.