Chronic pain originating from musculoskeletal dysfunctions/disorder (injuries that affect movement and mobility) is the leading source of disability in Australia. Musculoskeletal pain (such as headaches, back pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, arthritis, and foot pain) often has no cure and individuals who suffer from these dysfunctions are among the most affected by disability in our community. One of the most effective way to manage and treat musculoskeletal pain is myotherapy. So, what is myotherapy and why is it considered one of the best solutions for treating and/or managing musculoskeletal pain?
What is Myotherapy?
Myotherapy is a component of the multi-skilled manual therapies group used to prevent or treat myofascial pain and restricted joint movement caused by muscle or myofascia (thin, fibrous sheets of tissues that surround and separate muscles). The formal industry body definition of Myotherapy is as follows:
“Myotherapy is a branch of manual therapy that involves evidence-based assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation of ‘myofascial’ pain, injury, and dysfunction.”
Myotherapists are required to complete an advanced diploma (AdvDip) in Myotherapy before they are able to start their practice. This enables them to have a greater understanding of the musculoskeletal system of the human body and to perform various clinical assessments in an effective way. Myotherapists are also highly trained in performing a wide range of hands-on massage techniques such as myofascial release, trigger point therapy, soft tissue massage, joint mobilisation, and dry needling.
A clinical Myotherapist can successfully treat a number of injuries or conditions that result from muscular imbalances, incorrect ergonomics, strains, postural or occupational stresses, faulty biomechanics, traumatic or overuse injuries, as well as various chronic musculoskeletal disorders or illnesses. In addition to this, Myotherapists can also help those who have undergone surgery or remained inactive for an extended period to recover and return to regular activity. Here is a list of some common conditions that you may seek myotherapy treatment for:
- headaches and migraines
- back pain (upper and lower)
- hip pain
- knee pain
- shoulder pain
- stress and tension
- DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness)
- frozen shoulder
- shin splints
- carpal tunnel syndrome
Myotherapists also provide much-needed support and care to pregnant women through all stage of pregnancy in the form of prenatal and postnatal care.
Treatment Techniques Used
Myotherapists use many hands-on techniques including – remedial massage, myofascial release, and joint mobilisation; these techniques are very useful in treating conditions which involve muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia. However, they may employ other soft tissue manipulation techniques together with various corrective and rehabilitative exercises to treat an injury, relieve pain, improve mobility and increase performance.
- trigger point therapy
- dry needling
- muscle energy technique
- neuro-dynamic mobilisation
- myofascial decompression
- positional release therapy
- joint mobilisation and controlled articular rotation
Depending on the presenting issue, a Myotherapist may also use or recommend some specific general range of motion exercises, self-administered stretching exercises, relaxation techniques, as well as nutritional advice to prevent future complications or re-occurrence of symptoms.
Myotherapy treatment is often used in the preventive, corrective, and rehabilitative phase of therapy with an aim to restore and maintain the normal integrity of soft tissue structures (such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia) of the body.
Melbourne Natural Therapies