What Is Neuromuscular Therapy?
Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT) is a very specialized form of manual therapy. A therapist trained in NMT is educated in the physiology of the nervous system and its effect on the muscular and skeletal systems. The Neuromuscular Therapist also is educated in kinesiology and biomechanics and how to work in a clinical or medical environment.
By definition, Neuromuscular Therapy is the utilization of static pressure on specific myofascial points to relieve pain. This technique manipulates the soft tissue of the body (muscles, tendons and connective tissue) to balance the central nervous system. In a healthy individual, nerves transmit impulses (which are responsible for every movement, function and thought) to the body very slowly. Injury, trauma, postural distortion or stress cause nerves to speed up their transmission, inhibiting equilibrium and making the body vulnerable to pain and dysfunction. It is therefore necessary to stabilize low levels of neurological activity to maintain normal function and overall health.
Neuromuscular Therapy will be used to address five elements that cause pain:
- Ischemia: Lack of blood supply to soft tissues which causes hypersensitivity to touch
- Trigger Points: Highly irritated points in muscles which refer pain to other parts of the body
- Nerve Compression or Entrapment: Pressure on a nerve by soft tissue, cartilage or bone
- Postural Distortion: Imbalance of the muscular system resulting from the movement of the body off the longitudinal and horizontal planes
- Biomechanical Dysfunction: Imbalance of the musculoskeletal system resulting in faulty movement patterns (i.e., poor lifting habits, bad mechanics in a golf swing of tennis stroke, computer keyboarding)
NMT is a thorough program of recovery from acute and chronic pain syndromes which utilizes specific massage therapy, flexibility stretching, and home care to eliminate the causes of most neuromuscular pain patterns. This specific and scientific approach to muscular pain relief will help to bring about balance between the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system. NMT enhances the function of joints, muscles and biomechanics (movement) and it releases endorphins, the body’s own natural pain killers. It can be part of a comprehensive program, complementing all other health care modalities.