Neuromuscular Physical Therapy

Is a soft tissue manual therapy in which pressure is applied to skeletal muscle.  The main focus is on Myofascial Trigger Points (MTrP’s) and the pain referral patterns which are linked to those MTrP’s.  Using specific techniques (Soft Tissue release, Muscle Energy Technique, and Positional Release) in order to de-activate MTrP’s and relieve pain, increase range of motion within the muscles and joints affected.  This is coupled with Deep Tissue massage to maximize benefits.

 

What is a Myofascial Trigger Point?

These are knots or taut bands in muscles that can contribute to pain, decrease in muscular range of motion function, which are tender with an increase in pressure.
Travell and Simons’ would describe MTrPs as “…hyper irritable spots in skeletal muscle that are associated with a hypersensitive palpable nodule in a taut band.  The spot is tender when pressed, and can give rise to characteristic referred pain, motor dysfunction, and autonomic phenomena..”(Quoted from – Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual Vol. 1).

 

Techniques used:

1. Soft Tissue Release

Can be passive or actively involve the patient.  The therapist applies precise pressure during a specific movement of a muscle.  This can be done multiple times to the muscle in order to release adhered tissue and restore the muscles length and function of the tissue. This method is very powerful and can have immediate effects on the tissue targeted.

Assists in:
  • Restoring functional length and tone to both muscles and fascia
  • Increasing range of motion in muscles and joints
  • Muscular rehabilitation

 

2. Muscle Energy Technique

Is classified as an osteopathic technique targeting the soft tissues within the body, actively involving the patient to resist isometric and/or isotonic muscular contractions.  This helps restore the neuromuscular balance and alignment in the body and assists in the releasing of restrictions in the musculoskeletal system as well as de-activating triggers points.

Assists in:
  • Restoring functional length and tone to both muscles and fascia
  • Increasing range of motion in muscles and joints
  • Muscular rehabilitation
  • De-activation of Myofascial Triggers Points
  • Re-education of neural pathways

 

3. Positional Release

This is a passive technique where the therapist uses pain and their palpation skills as their guide to move the muscle into a ‘position of ease’ where the pain is reduced or eliminated completely, using any direction, compression, distraction, traction or breathing techniques.

Assists in:
  • De-activation of Myofascial Triggers Points
  • Reduction of stiffness and tension
  • Release muscular spasm
  • Helps inflammation and can be used on acute injuries (within first 48 hours)
  • Can be used on post operative patients as non-invasive treatment