Myotherapy is a form of physical therapy focusing on the assessment, treatment and prevention of soft tissue pain and dysfunction. It is aimed at identifying the source of your pain in order to treat the problem, rather than just your symptoms.
The three main goals of Myotherapy are to:
- decrease pain
- increase mobility within the joints of the body
- restore function
These three goals are achieved by the stimulation and deactivation of myofascial trigger points (MTrPs) that are found within dysfunctional muscles. These MTrPs are hyper-irritated points located within a taut band of muscle, often referred to as a ‘knot’.
A Myotherapist has the following tools to offer:
Dry needling is the insertion of fine needles into myofascial trigger points, aimed at deactivating these points to decreased pain and restore muscle function. Dry needling is performed safely by a Myotherapist who has obtained a comprehensive knowledge of anatomy and physiology, and can sometimes involve little to no pain for the patient.
Dry needling is one of many modalities of Myotherapy, and if there is any concern or if you do not wish to receive dry needling, please advise your Myotherapist.
Cupping is a technique which may be incorporated into your treatment, where the Myotherapist will use a vacuum pumped cup to mobilise and stretch the connective tissue which lies between the skin and the muscles of the body. This connective tissue is called “fascia”, which can sometimes become tight and limit the function of certain muscles. The cups may be moved around the site of tightness, or left in one spot.
A joint mobilisation can best be described as a movement performed on a joint by a practitioner which can be controlled by the patient at all times. It is when a practitioner applies a gentle rhythmic force to a particular joint in order to assess the movement within a joint, and to try and increase this level of movement.
Myotherapy can be used to treat a wide variety of conditions, most commonly those which involve pain, a loss of movement and a loss of function. Some of the most common conditions, seen at our centre include:
- Shoulder pain with movement
- Elbow pain (tennis elbow/golfers elbow)
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Lower back pain
- Sciatica (sharp pain running down the legs)
- Hip pain
- Knee pain and instability
- Plantar fasciitis
The type of needles and insertion method of these needles are the same, however the main difference between dry needling and acupuncture is the insertion location. An Acupuncturist will place their needles in pre-determined acupuncture points aimed at aiding the “qi” energy flow, whereas a Myotherapist will target their needles at a myofascial trigger point in a particular muscle.
An initial consultation will involve a history and thorough assessment including posture, mobility, functional movement and orthopaedic testing. This will include explanation of your condition, a management plan going forward, and then treatment including the use of massage, dry needling, cupping, joint mobilisation and finally some exercise prescription and correction.
Subsequent consultations will still involve some assessment to check the progress of your condition, treatment, and then ongoing exercise prescription that will be tailored to you. The great advantage, at Bergamo Chiropractic and Nutrition Centre, is that myotherapy works very closely with our Chiropractors in the centre which helps in the complete management of our patients when co - management is required.