Myotherapy is a hands-on treatment that involves applying active pressure on the trigger points of muscles in order to relieve pain. Trigger points are concentrated points in certain areas of muscles and soft tissues that patients may be aware of are painful when pressed on. Many experts believe that emotional stress, muscle strains, or injury can cause tightness in certain muscles, with concentrations of tightness in certain sections of the muscle that we identify as trigger points. When these trigger points are stressed, we may feel pain in that location as well as pain in another location of the body. These trigger points can be eliminated with myotherapy, which involves releasing the tension in these tight spots in the muscles and soft tissues. The tightness and tension in these areas can be released by pressing on them and kneading them out, using the fingers, knuckles and elbows. Though the mechanism by which this manual treatment works is still in the process of being understood, many therapists and their patients believe in their benefits.
back pain is the number one reason why people have myotherapy. Your original myotherapy treatments should be done by a certified myotherapist. However, after the first few visits and you have gained a better understanding of trigger point treatments and the locations of specific trigger points on your body that affect your back pain, you may be able to self-treat after that. Once you have a full understanding of the locations of trigger points on your body, you may be able to do them on your own, or train a friend or partner to perform the treatments.
Trigger points are concentrated areas of injured muscles or muscles that frequently go into spasm. Myotherapists think that they can relax the muscles that frequently go into spasm by applying alternating levels of pressure on these trigger points to loosen the whole muscle and prohibit from future spasm or tightness. To alleviate tightness in these concentrated areas of tightness in the muscles that trigger muscle spasms, the therapist applies pressure in 10 to 30 second intervals to accelerate the healing process. This therapy is thought to heal the muscle by breaking up scar tissue and relaxing the muscle in order to release stored lactic acid. The active loosening of the muscle promotes improved blood circulation to the muscle to bring nutrients to it, increase the supply of oxygen, and prevent the production and buildup of more lactic acid (lactic acid is produced as to supply muscle cells with energy in the absence of a highly oxygenated environment). The pressure applied to extremely tight sections of the muscle may feel uncomfortable or sore initially, as hard concentrated areas of muscle are loosened up, and high concentrations of lactic acid flows into neighboring muscles and tissues. But this initial soreness should give way to less tightness in the muscle and that section of the body, reduced stiffness, and less low back pain.
Myotherapy is designed to reduce muscle pain and myofascial pain. Myofascial pain is pain that arises from the muscles and surrounding connective tissues.