Myotherapy is a form of physical therapy that is used to treat or prevent soft tissue pain and restricted joint movement caused by muscle or myofascia dysfunction. The thin, fibrous sheets of tissue that surround and separate muscles are called myofascia. The ligaments and tendons of our body are comprised of bundled myofascia.
What Are the Symptoms of Soft Tissue Pain?
A pain that is caused by muscle tissue or muscle fascia (myofascia) is called myofascial pain. The symptoms of myofascial pain can include:
- Deep and constant aching
- Tightness of muscle
- Myofascial trigger points (sore spots in the muscle)
- Reduced joint mobility
- Stiff joints
- Regular tingling and itching sensation
Myotherapy can be used to treat the following range of disorders such as:
- Tennis elbow injury or shin splints
- Some types of sports injuries
- Headache caused due to tension
- Pain caused due to poor posture
- Types of chronic back pain
- Few types of joint pain like shoulder impingement syndrome
- Muscle sprains
What to Expect at Your First Myotherapy Appointment?
In your first myotherapy appointment, take any medical test results, such as x-ray films that relate to your condition. The myotherapist can ask many questions to know the details of your symptoms. Give them complete details of your medical history, including medical history and surgery details. Provide them a complete list of all the medicines you are currently taking. This information is kept in total confidence and is used by the therapist to help in pointing the cause of your symptoms.
The myotherapist will examine and manipulate the affected joints and associated muscles and also test your reflexes. This initial examination is comprehensive and helps the myotherapist to find out if the symptoms are of myofascial or not. The myotherapist may further refer you to other healthcare professionals for diagnosis or treatment, depending on the intensity your medical condition.
Techniques of Myotherapy
Treatment of myotherapy depends on its timely diagnosis. The treatment utilises a variety of techniques including:
- massage which include sports and remedial techniques
- moving the patient’s affected body part smoothly through its range of motion (passive stretching)
- hot therapy or cold therapy
- acupressure (trigger point therapy) etc.
Majority of people having myofascial dysfunction will have pain relief within one to three sessions. Generally, each session lasts for about an hour.
What do the Myotherapists Treat?
The myotherapists provide treatment for a variety of conditions which include:
- Back pain
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Sports injuries
- Rotator cuff problems
- Work-related injuries
- Different types of ankle injuries
- Jaw pain
- Fibromyalgia along with other chronic pain
- Tennis elbow
You can visit a myotherapist even if you do not feel pain but the symptoms indicate that you are suffering from myofascial ailment. Also, you do not require a referral from a doctor to make an appointment with a myotherapist. Once the doctor understands the symptoms, the treatment may focus on restoration of optimal activity (rehabilitation), reducing the likelihood of further injury and keeping you moving and performing at your best.
Self Help Suggestions
The myotherapist will give a detailed explanation of your condition. Dietary changes could also be recommended. The myotherapist may advise some treatments to be used at home such as:
- Specific stretches and exercises that suit your condition
- Massage administered by self
- Heat packs
- Ice packs
- Techniques of relaxation including meditation
So, get the treatment on time to avoid any future complication. Most of the myotherapists treat in private practice. Myotherapy may be in standalone practices or may also be integrated into multidisciplinary settings.