Neuromuscular Therapy is founded on the study of human physiology, client assessment and a detailed understanding of kinesiology and body mechanics. Its global popularity has everything to do with a practitioner's ability to assess a patient's pain pattern and effectively treat. A detailed soft tissue assessment using regionally oriented protocols and the use of hands on techniques that have been used and proven over the last 50 years.
Neuromuscular therapy addresses ischemia or reduced blood flow to the skeletal muscle tissue due to taut bands of muscle cells. NMT focuses on hypersensitive points within the taut bands of skeletal muscle cells, which often gives rise to a referral sensation phenomena that may include pain. These hypersensitive points have been called noxious nodes in the past and are currently known as myofascial trigger points or simply trigger points.
Active and passive ROM testing is utilized to establish regions of myofascial dysfunction and to help establish the presence of neural entrapment or compression. Neural entrapment is pressure on nerve structures by muscle tissue and other soft tissues. Neural compression is the pressure on nerve structures by osseous or bone tissues, as well as cartilage or intervertebral discs.
Postural assessment is performed prior to each and every treatment session to establish a baseline of the structural orientation of the major joints of the body as a whole. In addition to postural assessment an NMT practitioner will perform a gait assessment. They look for any myofascial dysfunctions in gait while the individual is walking toward them and away from them.
In addition to postural assessment and gait assessment an NMT practitioner will utilize a wellness questionnaire that will discuss such issues as hydration, nutrition, breathing patterns and stress. Neuromuscular therapy is an intense form of bodywork designed to alleviate tension that extends from a 'trigger point' into an entire muscle using intense, concentrated pressure on that area. When a muscle (or trigger point) spasms in the body, blood flow to that area is severely decreased, sometimes ceasing altogether. When the blood flow is diminished, oxygen necessary for the muscle to work properly is also decreased causing inflammation, soreness and pain.
This effect is exacerbated when a muscle spasm places pressure on a nerve or a complex of nerves resulting in numbness, immobility and tingling. This is the true nature of many physical injuries, aches and pains. Pain is relieved when the spasm is neutralized and blood flow is restored to the area.
Neuromuscular Therapy is an effective treatment for muscular aches and pains. In addition, it is an outstanding therapy for individuals who have experienced a specific injury due to recreational activity, sports, work or auto accident. NMT can help those who have had neck trauma resulting in whiplash, acute or chronic headaches, seat belt injury (shoulder pain), as well as elbow, wrist, back pain, knee, ankle pain or plantar fasciitis.
Everyday aches and pains are often the result of soft tissue injury. NMT can find the source of these micro tissue imbalances and effectively correct them improving overall mobility and reducing pain. Finding the source of sciatica, shoulder pain, hip pain and headaches is the goal of every NMT practitioner.
TMJ is a condition that is commonly treated by therapists trained in NMT. A dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint is often a source of head and neck pain. Neck and Shoulder imbalances can play a dominate role in carpal tunnel syndrome. A trained therapist has the skill set to analyze postural relationships, define current anatomical relationship dysfunctions and create a treatment plan that will result in reduced pain and improved mobility.
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