Most of the things we know about myotherapy come from our concept of massage. I also had a lot of misconceptions about this type of therapy. It is a good thing that I now have friends from a Melbourne myotherapy clinic who have given me a better understanding of myotherapy. Here are 4 things you may not know about myotherapy:
1. Myotherapy is NOT the Same as Massage
This is perhaps the most common misconception that people have about myotherapy. I really cannot blame them. After all, the words “myo” and “therapy” do suggest to therapies involving the muscles. And this is what massage is all about.
Massage involves the manual or physical manipulation of the body’s soft tissues. These can include the muscles, ligaments, and tendons. The main purpose of massage therapy is to enhance overall health and wellbeing.
On the other hand, myotherapy is more focused in the management of musculoskeletal pain as well as other associated conditions. A myotherapist can use massage therapy as one of the modalities of treatment. There are other treatment techniques that a myotherapist can use. Here is the most interesting part. These techniques are backed by scientific evidence.
2. Myotherapy is a Complete Healthcare Profession
This is one of the most surprising things I learned about myotherapy. A myotherapist functions more like a doctor, a physical therapist, or any other member of the healthcare profession. They have an extensive knowledge of musculoskeletal dysfunction, especially pain.
A myotherapist uses only evidence-based techniques in the assessment of soft tissue problems. This gives him a clear idea of the most appropriate diagnosis. He can then formulate a plan of care that includes goal-directed treatments.
Myotherapists are not only concerned about your musculoskeletal pain experience. They also want you to recover. And if ever there is a loss of function in one of your body parts, they will also help you in the rehabilitation of those body parts.
3. There are Many Myotherapy Treatment Techniques
I already mentioned that massage is one of the treatments that a myotherapist can provide. There are others as well. For example, there is dry needling. For the uninitiated, you might think that this is a fancy term for Chinese acupuncture. While they may be similar, dry needling has a more scientific basis for its application. You will never hear a myotherapist talk about Chi and energy flows. What you will hear are nerves.
There are also electrotherapies. These can include transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation and muscle stimulation. These therapies deliver very precise electric currents to the muscles. They may sound dangerous. However, they do work, especially in the management of pain.
Myotherapists also rely on thermal therapies. They use hot packs to relieve muscle stiffness and pain. When it comes to acute pain with swelling and inflammation, they turn to ice packs. This may seem easy enough. However, one has to understand the importance of timing. Only a myotherapist will know when to use either cold packs or hot compresses and when not to use them.
4. Myotherapy is a Good Adjunct to Conventional Treatments
I have to emphasise this. Myotherapy can never replace contemporary medicine. However, it can be a wonderful complement to other therapies. I would like you to understand that pain can be brought about by different health conditions.
A myotherapist can only help you in terms of musculoskeletal pain and associated disorders. Unfortunately, when we are in pain, other organ systems get affected, too. That is why a myotherapist will always collaborate with other healthcare professionals. This is the only way they can help the patient. They have to work as a team and work within the confines of their areas of expertise.
In general, myotherapy can help in the management of headaches, back pain, neck pain, hip pain, shoulder pain, and knee pain. It can also help in the treatment of fibromyalgia, tension, and stress.
I hope I have enlightened you somehow about what myotherapy is. I would recommend trying this therapy if you have musculoskeletal pain. It is the only way you can appreciate what it truly is.