Neuromuscular Therapy

Neuromuscular therapy is a specialized form of deep tissue massage that involves applying deep pressure to strained areas of soft tissue. These areas of strain are referred to as tender or trigger points and are often the cause of muscular pain symptoms. Trigger points are areas of hypersensitivity in a muscle caused by overstrain.  These are small areas of the muscle in which there is a contracture of muscular tissue (think of a tiny snag in a knit sweater).  Blood and nutrients are lacking in that part of the muscle and therefore the muscle spindle is unable to relax. Trigger points can cause pain, fatigue and weakness in the muscle.  Trigger points can also cause a phenomenon called referral pain. Referral pain is a phenomenon in which areas far from the tender or trigger point suffer from sensations of pain, tingling, or numbness.  Examples of referral pain include: sciatica like symptoms, carpal tunnel like symptoms, and headaches. Neuromuscular therapy is used to treat many different soft tissue problems such as: lower back pain, upper back pain, carpal tunnel like symptoms, sciatica like symptoms, hip pain, headaches, plantar fasciitis, calf cramps, tendonitis, knee pain, iliotibial band friction syndrome, jaw pain, & temporomandibular joint pain (TMJ disorders). Neuromuscular therapy is for anyone with muscular pain. Soft tissue pain that feels like ‘knots’ in the muscle are very common, but can be treated by neuromuscular therapy.  Areas of muscle that are overly tense, are painful when stretched out. Our bodies accommodate this tension and try to relieve it by keeping the tense muscle in a shortened state. This becomes our new ‘normal’. The nervous system makes sure that these muscles stay shortened in order to avoid pain. Neuromuscular therapy disrupts this cycle by subjecting the shortened muscle to deep sustained pressure, providing feedback to the nervous system to lengthen. Neuromuscular Therapy can produce results where other approaches have failed. It can be small part of a comprehensive treatment program, or it may be part of a targeted approach designed to focus on specific areas of pain. General benefits of Neuromuscular therapy include: Reduction or elimination of pain, greater flexibility and strength, increased ease and efficiency of movement, balanced musculoskeletal and nervous systems, improved posture, increased circulation, decreased body toxins, and increased energy and vitality. Neuromuscular therapy is one of many tools in my toolbox. I use these techniques to help release tight muscles and when addressing the cause referral pain. Find the symptom, look elsewhere for the cause. Often, where our pain is, and the root of that pain, are in different locations.
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