What is Neuromuscular Massage?
Neuromuscular massage is a specific approach to treating musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction. The foundation of the treatment is taking a thorough history of the complaint and observing the range of motion of the affected areas to assess the amount of restriction present.
How it works
- Sometimes the pain is produced from an area other than the one where it is experienced. This can be caused by the phenomenon commonly called a “trigger point”.
- A trigger point is a hyperirritable spot in skeletal muscle that is associated with a hypersensitive palpable nodule in a taut band of muscle fiber.
- This trigger point is painful on compression, and causes a referral to the area where the pain is experienced.
- A trigger point may also cause other autonomic phenomena such as tingling, loss of feeling or motor dysfunction. The mechanism of this referral is not understood, in spite of extensive study. However, the successful treatment of a trigger point can restore normal function and feeling in the affected area.
- The location of trigger points is well documented, so having a working knowledge of their location and their common referrals can help pinpoint the area to explore. Ultimately though, it is the client who alone can identify this point and give feedback.
- A trigger point is small- about the size of a grain of rice- so successful treatment hinges on putting pressure on the precise location- not on the use of a lot of pressure.
- Additionally, a session will include other methods, such as passive stretching to re-educate the muscles to a greater range of motion, and other therapeutic massage techniques.
- Sessions should be comfortable and relaxing, without excessive pressure that causes a client to contract the muscles in a defensive posture.
What it can help
- Neuromuscular therapy is used to address a wide range of complaints, including low back and neck pain, frozen shoulder, carpal tunnel, TMJ dysfunction and headache.