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  • Writer's pictureMurray Kovesy

What is the Difference between Myotherapy and Remedial Massage?

Updated: May 3, 2020

While the two modalities of Myotherapy and Massage share some similarities there are distinctive differences that separate what they are and what to expect. The distinction lies in the ability of a Myotherapist to not only massage but asses and manage injuries. A Myotherapit may also use Dry Needling, Joint Mobilisation and Cupping therapy as treatment techniques to help treat pain conditions. Being a Clinical Myotherapist a question our profession gets asked almost on a daily basis is “What is the difference between Myotherapy and Remedial Massage?". The confusion lies in the fact that massage is a technique a Myotherapist will use regularly. A Myotherapist will use massage and myofascial release techniques however it is only one aspect in their toolkit at their disposal to treat chronic pain and dysfunction.

Myotherapists assess, diagnose and treat myofascial pain, injury and dysfunction affecting movement and mobility. Myotherapy is evidence based manual or physical therapy. Myotherapy is clinically applied in the preventative, corrective and rehabilitative phases of therapy to restore and maintain the normal integrity of the soft tissue structure of muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia of the human body.

Being a dynamic soft tissue specialist with the ability to assess a Myotherapist can treat a range of conditions. People will seek Myotherapy treatment for a range of different reasons. What Can Myotherapy Help Treat?

  • back pain and sciatica

  • sporting injuries like shin splints, iliotibial band syndrome

  • occupational injuries, postural issues and dysfunction

  • acute and chronic conditions affecting function and mobility including neck and lower back pain

  • bulging disc

  • facet joint irritation

  • chronic overuse injuries like RSI

  • tennis elbow, carpal tunnel

  • shoulder injuries like shoulder impingement, rotator cuff tendonitis, bicep tendonitis

  • muscles strains and tears

  • tension headaches and migraines

  • rehabilitation from surgery and arthritis related pain and stiffness.

What to Expect from an Initial Myotherapy Consultation

On your first visit your Myotherapist will go through a detailed medical history, explaining imaging reports, asking questions of past injuries, exercise routine and occupational aggravating factors, perform a physical examination, range of motion testing, orthopaedic testing if necessary and a postural assessment to gain an overall picture of the pain presentation. This clinical approach allows the Myotherapist to uncover the underlying issues and identify a treatment program specifically tailored for the client for optimal results and their personal needs.

These clinical skills and approach are similar to other physical therapies like Osteopaths and Physiotherpists and are what distinguish Myotherapy from Remedial Massage Therapists. Having undertaken extensive training at university with a Bachelor of Health Science a Clinical Myotherapist has a deeper understanding of anatomy and physiology which is evidence based to identify what the problem is whilst still being hands on in terms of physical treatment.

What Techniques do Myotherapist Use?

Releasing myofascial trigger points (otherwise known as knots) restores length to the muscle taking pressure of the surrounding joints, allowing for increased mobility, function and a decrease in pain. As well as soft tissue manipulation a Myotherapist uses a range of other therapies to target your specific areas:

  • Dry-Needling

  • PNF stretching

  • Trigger Point Therapy

  • Myofascial cupping

  • Muscle energy techniques (METS)

  • Corrective exercises

  • Joint Mobilisation

  • TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation)

  • Corrective exercises to stretch and strengthen

If you are unsure if Myotherapy can help you or your specific issue give us a call or email. Myotherapy can be used solely or with other therapies. If you have tried other therapies before and wanting to know how Myotherapy can complement with other treatments like Physiotherapy, Osteopathy or Chiropractic we can tailor a treatment program to suit you and help you on your way to pain free mobility and function.

Read out blog post to find more about Dry Needling

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