What is Neuromuscular Therapy?
Neuromuscular therapy (NMT) is a specialized form of deep tissue massage that affects the muscular and nervous systems, making it extremely effective in treating acute or chronic pain in the body. The American Academy of Pain Management recognizes neuromuscular therapy as an effective treatment for low back pain caused by soft tissue injury. Neuromuscular therapy is a soft tissue manipulation that addresses muscles, tendons and connective tissue such as fascia, which has a major role in soft tissue dysfunction.
There are two major areas that our Miami neuromuscular therapy focuses on for treatment. The first area of focus is trigger points. A trigger point is a hypersensitive spot in a taut band of muscle tissue. Trigger points are associated with a palpable nodule or contracted knot that may produce pain locally or at an entirely different location (known as “referred pain”). Trigger points obstruct blood flow to the muscle. This obstruction of blood flow contributes to a lack of proper blood and oxygen to nourish the muscle and in turn leads to further imbalances and increased pain.
Trigger points are formed for a variety of different reasons. Some of the more common ones are repetitive use injury or strain, trauma, muscle shortening or lengthening (overstretching), myofascial restrictions, postural imbalances, poor posture, improper body mechanics and weak muscles. It is important not only to treat the trigger point, but to address the reasons why the trigger point was formed. For example, many trigger points can form in a lengthened or overstretched muscle, and therefore we must address the muscles that are opposing it and contributing to the overstretching. In fact, it is very common that when people feel pain, they want to stretch the painful area. Unfortunately, in the case of an overstretched muscle, stretching it will only cause more problems.
Some patients will seek out physical therapy, which can be beneficial once trigger points, myofascial restrictions and their initial causes have been addressed. Dr. Donald Eisenman has many years of experience with neuromuscular therapy in Miami and working with muscle and joint pain. He finds that usually there are multiple factors contributing to the issue. These important contributing factors can include lifestyle, diet, nutrition absorption, body mechanics, postural imbalances and activities.
The second major area that neuromuscular massage therapy addresses is fascia and myofascial restrictions. Fascia is a sheet or band of connective tissue which surrounds muscles and organs and helps to stabilize, separate and enclose these parts of the body. When the fascia is healthy, it is pliable and supple, but it can become hardened and stiff due to things such as injury, repetitive use, lack of nourishment, stress, age, postural imbalances and even improper sleeping or work habits.
Myofascial restrictions can affect areas in an entirely different part of the body in a similar way that trigger points can refer pain to different areas. For this reason, it is extremely important to have knowledge of both myofascial restrictions and trigger points to treat pain effectively. If medical professionals rely only on imaging such as MRI, CT scans and x-rays, these important factors will not be detected. It is important to make sure that the practitioner has excellent palpation skills in order to detect and treat trigger points and myofascial restrictions, since these are not likely to be picked up on imaging studies.
Neuromuscular Massage Therapy For Trigger Points
Although acupuncture can address trigger points, the treatment of trigger points can be accomplished even more effectively with the addition of manual release plus static pressure because of how the trigger point is designed. Fascia can be affected by acupuncture in a specific way, as fascia is a conduit for electrical energy (or “qi”) as it moves through the body. This is why a combination of acupuncture and neuromuscular therapy is often the most effective treatment for painful conditions, and why the majority of patients that see us for Neuromuscular Therapy in Miami experience amazing results.
In addition to receiving effective treatments, our patients are also educated on proper body mechanics, correct body posture, and how to identify and correct contributing factors. Patients may be given exercises that can help correct muscular imbalances and taught how their current exercise routine could be contributing to the imbalance. For example, a patient may be experiencing pain in the lower back on the left side. This pain could be caused by an opposite muscle on the right side or anterior (front of the body) that has shortened. This shortened muscle could be causing the muscle on the left to become overstretched, which in turn can cause trigger points and myofascial restrictions. By addressing the opposite muscles that have become shortened, we can take the tension out of the lengthened muscle and help it to return to its normal resting state and begin to promote healing.
It is also common for people to present with a leg length difference in that one leg is a bit shorter. This is not usually because of an anatomical imbalance from shorter bones, but usually due to a functional imbalance which relates to soft tissue. The longer leg will be tight because of gravity and more weight being applied to that leg, which causes more stress and tension. The shorter leg will have the muscles shortened and this can cause pain as well. This type of leg length imbalance can easily be addressed by properly diagnosing and using neuromuscular therapy as part of the treatment program.
Looking For The Best Neuromuscular Therapy in Miami FL?
If you’re looking for a more natural and holistic approach to health concerns, It’s our mission to restore balance to your body through targeted holistic practices, like neuromuscular massage therapy in Miami! We first determine your unique constitution, and then design a treatment plan just for you. Contact us today to set up your next neuromuscular therapy appointment.