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What is Neuromuscular Therapy?

Neuromuscular therapy (NMT) is a comprehensive system of soft-tissue manipulation techniques which balance the central nervous system with the structure and form of the musculoskeletal system.

Within the human body each individual cell performs an activity that contributes to the body’s overall function. Nerve impulses transmit information to maintain a balanced internal environment called homeostasis.
Every day life situations that cause physical traumas and emotional stress undermine homeostasis. This leads to aches and pains which left untreated may result in physical dysfunction.

NMT is based on neurological laws that explain how the central nervous system maintains homeostatic balance. Through the application of NMT, homeostasis is restored between the nervous and musculoskeletal systems. NMT enhances the function of joints, muscles, and the biomechanics of the body, and speeds healing by facilitating the release of the body’s natural painkillers, endorphins. In many cases, NMT eliminates the cause of a person’s acute to chronic myofacial pain and dysfunction.

How is Neuromuscular Therapy performed?

A Neuromuscular therapist develops a treatment plan by assessing gait patterns and measuring certain anatomical landmarks of the body. These measurements provide reference points that indicate areas of soft tissue dysfunction that need to be addressed.
The therapist then palpates the soft tissue in the areas, the tone of both somatic (body covering) and visceral (internal organ) tissue improves. This also helps to balance the central nervous system.

Age, fitness, general health, posture as well as the extent of any trauma and toxicity levels of the tissue will determine the appropriate pressure to use during treatment.
Pressure is applied for 8 to 12 seconds to each are being treated, promoting a therapeutic response in the tissue. Optimal response of the tissue is achieved by applying pressure to trigger points or ischemic areas 3 times for 8 to 12 seconds during an appointment. The therapist’s goal is to interrupt the pain reflex.

How does Neuromuscular Therapy help you?

NMT can help individuals experiencing structural distortion, biomechanical dysfunction and the accompanying pain that is often a symptom of the underlying problem. It is used to locate and release spasms and hypercontraction in the tissue; eliminate trigger points that cause referred pain; restore postural alignment, proper biomechanics and flexibility to tissues and assist venous and lymphatic flow. NMT is an effective and economically feasible method of treatment.

How many treatments does a patient need?

This question varies with each individual, depending upon the severity of their condition, nutrition and emotional health, age, fitness, and the skill of the therapist. One person may need only one session, while another may need 25 sessions. Generally after about 10 sessions the patient feels a great improvement in their health. Once the problem is eliminated, the patient should have a treatment every few months to maintain their health and help prevent future imbalances from occurring.

Neuromuscular therapists believe the healing process should also be an educational process, and they educate the patient about their health and how to improve and maintain it on their own. A good therapist is not after “lifetime memberships” or clients “annuities,” their goal is to relieve their client’s pain as efficiently and permanently as possible.

What conditions can neuromuscular therapy help?

NMT can help individuals who have postural distortion, biomechanical dysfunction and the pain and discomfort that come with these conditions. NMT attempts to address the whole body, so while being treated in a specific area for pain, another area of pain and discomfort will being to heal as the body brought into proper alignment.

Some of the conditions NMT is successful with are: Headaches, Migraines, Scoliosis, TMJ, Whiplash, Herniated Disc Syndrome, Back Pain, Neck Pain, Shoulder Pain, Hip Pain, Knee Pain, Foot Pain, Plantar Faciitis, Torticollis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Sciatica, Postural Distortions, Trigeminal Neuralgia, and the list goes on an on..

Most Common Causes of Pain

Ischemia

Is a lack of blood supply to the muscle tissue, which causes them to be very sensitive to touch. Typically, if less than 5 to 10 pounds of pressure causes tenderness, the tissues are in an ischemic state.

Postural Distortion

Gravitational force (33.5lb per square inch) is constantly pulling the body toward Earth. If the structural system is not balanced, gravity causes the body to compensate in an effort to maintain balance. This will cause certain muscles to contract in an attempt to bring the body into an “upright” position. The corrective effort of the muscles will cause them to thicken or harden in response to the load that has been placed on them. Other muscles will respond by lengthening, causing them to become painful and weak. As a result, ischemia, trigger points and nerve compression/entrapment will develop in the soft tissue.

This is called the “righting reflex.” These reflexes respond to signals from the inner ear, eyes, muscles or skin in an attempt to bring the body into equilibrium.

Nerve Compression and Entrapment

When a nerve passes through taut muscle bands or when a nerve lies between taut muscle bands and bone, the constant pressure on the nerve will cause pain, numbness and tingling.

Realigning vertebrae without treating the involved muscles (soft tissue) usually treats the symptom and not the cause. Spinal nerves can become compressed when the vertebrae are misaligned or when spinal disks are herniated.
Treating the surrounding soft tissues that cause or maintain a misalignment of the vertebrae can enhance healing and alleviate pain.

Whiplash can cause nerve entrapment by the soft tissue. The sudden snapping of the neck backward and forward causes tightness and spasms in the muscles in the cervical area. This puts pressure on the nerves and can cause pain, headaches, jaw misalignment, and grinding of the teeth. Nerve entrapment is the most common type of pain. If ignored, it can produce associated trigger points.

Trigger Points

A localized hyperirritable area in muscle tissue, which when compressed is very tender and can refer pain to another area of the body.

Biomechanical Dysfunction

Is an imbalance of the musculoskeletal system resulting in faulty movement patterns. Repetitive strain of certain soft tissue results in adapted movement patterns that become muscular “habits” and must be reeducated.