Myotherapy is a form of orthopaedic physical therapy that involves the assessment and physical treatment of myofascial pain, injury and dysfunction affecting movement and mobility. It is applied in the preventative, corrective and rehabilitative phases of therapy and is intended to restore and maintain the normal integrity of the soft tissue structure.
Formal training for a myotherapist requires the completion of a Diploma of Remedial Massage (from the HLT Training Package) and the Advanced Diploma of Myotherapy. The competencies gained from completion of the Diploma of Remedial Massage are, therefore, a requirement for entry to the Advanced Diploma of Myotherapy.
The difference between the Diploma of Remedial Massage and the Advanced Diploma of Myotherapy is not primarily in the treatment techniques, as some of the treatment modalities and techniques that myotherapists use are also employed by other manual therapists. What differentiates myotherapy from other manual therapies available is the specific clinical practice framework and the specialised application of techniques and interventions that form the treatment and management programs used to normalise and promote optimal myofascial function.
You do not need to be in pain to visit a myotherapist. Once symptoms have settled, treatment may focus on restoring optimal activity (rehabilitation), reducing the likelihood of further injury and keeping you moving and performing at your best.
What to expect in a typical session
As a new customer, you must first complete a Patient History Form.
A typical myotherapy session concentrates on a specific part of the body. A treatment form is created for the specific condition to be treated. Before you can be treated, you are required to provide written consent on the form. In certain cases, informed consent is required from a parent, legal guardian or caregiver, who is also required to be present.
As part of the protocol for administering myofascial dry needling, the therapist will inform you of the risks and benefits associated with the technique and require you to sign a Myofascial Dry Needling Consent Form.
The strategy for sports and trauma rehabilitation involves follow-up sessions, to assess, treat and re-assess the same condition for improvement of mobility and/or reduction of pain.
Treating another condition may require booking another initial consultation.
What to wear
Wear loose clothing to allow range of motion tests. The therapist may need to examine the back of your shoulder blades (i.e. scapulae) and the angle of your collar bones (i.e. clavicles) to assess your neck and shoulders. The area to be treated must be exposed for particular treatment modalities. Please review the draping policy and understand your rights to decline treatment based on the draping and positioning methods used.
CORRECTIVE & REHABILITATION EXERCISE
A vital part of sports and trauma rehabilitation is the development of a corrective exercise plan that is appropriate for your body type, and the current pain level. The current scientific research supports the prescription of corrective exercise for conditions such as lateral epicondylalgia, Achilles tendinopathy and adductor tendinopathy.
KINESIOLOGY TAPING (KT)
Based upon years of clinical use, Kinesiology Taping (KT) is specifically applied to the patient based upon their needs after evaluation. KT that can benefit a wide variety of musculoskeletal and sports injuries, plus inflammatory conditions. KT is latex-free, hypoallergenic and wearable for days at a time.
MYOFASCIAL DECOMPRESSION (MFD)
Myofascial Decompression (MFD) involves the use of a pneumatic pump along with plastic vacuum cups that are placed on the skin to improve elasticity and the slide between the fascial planes.
MUSCLE ENERGY TECHNIQUE (MET)
Muscle Energy Technique (MET) involves the introduction of an isometric contraction to the affected muscle producing post isometric relaxation. It is effective for mobilising restricted joints, relaxing hypertonic and spastic muscle as well as facilitating neuromuscular reorganisation. It is an appropriate technique for patient whose symptoms are aggravated by certain posture or bodily position.
MYOFASCIAL TENSION TECHNIQUE (MFTT)
Myofascial Tension Technique (MFTT) aims to treat skeletal muscle immobility and pain, encourage blood and lymphatic circulation, and stimulate the stretch relax in muscles.
Strain-counterstrain (SCS) is a type of passive positional release technique created by Lawrence Jones in 1955 that uses a position of comfort of the body, its appendages, and its tissues to improve the resting tone of the tissue and to resolve somatic dysfunction.
JOINT MOBILISATION (MOB)
Joint mobilisation (MOB) is a technique that is used to restore the small, involuntary movements that assist joints to perform to their optimum. Joint mobilisation involves performing a back and forth oscillation of the joint in order to restore motion. Joint mobilisation is helpful in cases where pain and joint tightness limit motion, as in the case of adhesive capsulitis or frozen shoulder. Joints of the elbow, wrist and hand, where tightness is present, also benefit from this technique. It is also used to relieve low back pain and re-establish accessory motion in the lumbar segments.
MYOFASCIAL DRY NEEDLING (MDN)
Myofascial Dry Needling (MDN) seeks to relieve the pain caused by musculoskeletal dysfunction through relaxing muscle trigger points, which are taut bands that develop within a muscle that can occur in cases of both acute and chronic pain.
Trigger points may develop in a muscle as a result of stresses such as poor posture, repetitive actions, or emotional trauma, and can refer pain and create dysfunction in other parts of the body, including severe headaches.
As part of the protocol for administering MDN, the therapist will inform you of the risks and benefits associated with the technique and require you to sign a Myofascial Dry Needling Consent Form.
The possible risks and adverse reactions to MDN therapy include but are not limited to temporary pain, bleeding, bruising, infection, dizziness, nerve injury, pneumothorax, pregnancy termination, changes to blood pressure, rash, fainting, muscle soreness and fatigue.
The process of MDN involves a solid filament needle being gently inserted into the painful part of the muscle (the trigger point) with the aim of reducing the associated pain and discomfort and restoring the imbalances caused by the muscle feeling taut and contracted.
In MDN, the needles are removed after 10 minutes.
Post treatment soreness normally lasts 24-48 hours. Use heat or ice as preferred.
DERMATOME NEEDLING & ELECTROMECHANICAL STIMULATION
Dermatome needling is used to treat neural pain sensitization (hyperalgesia, neuralgia) due to radiculopathy.
The autonomic nervous system is affected by nerve impingement with increased muscle contraction.
Due to muscle contraction, the flow of proteins, hormones, enzymes, neurotransmitters and electrical input along nerve fibres is blocked, which results in abnormal sensitivity and dysfunction.
The myotherapist may recommend the use of a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) device to manage ongoing hyperalgesia.
Other electromechnical stimulation techniques within the scope of myotherapy practice include interferential technique (IFT), therapeutic ultrasound and low level laser therapy (LLLT).
ONGOING MANAGEMENT WITH MYOTHERAPY
The myotherapist will work with you to identify factors that may be making your condition worse (such as poor posture, scoliosis or overtraining) and help you find ways to avoid or reduce these aggravating factors.
If something cannot be changed (for example, arthritis or age-related changes to spinal discs), the myotherapist will develop a pain management program. This may involve referral to other healthcare professionals.
For acute or persistent joint pain, always see your doctor.