What is Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT)?
In layman terms, neuromuscular therapy is a type of massage best for chronic issues. It’s meant for continuous sessions so your nervous system can create better posture habits. Step by step, you’ll feel an overall change in the way you walk, sit, move, and stand.
Ready to dive in? Read on! If you want a more technical explanation, you can get more at the end of this article.
Principles of Neuromuscular Therapy
Your posture can end up distorted when there’s an imbalance of the musculoskeletal system resulting in movement of the body off the coronal, midsagittal, or horizontal planes. The body tries to compensate in an effort to maintain structural balance. But the results are muscle contraction, body distortion – and pain.
Just like any other part of life, we can develop bad habits in our muscles.Our body creates adaptive movement patterns that need to be corrected. Some examples of these bad habits are:
- Poor posture
- Poor upper/lower back support
- Abuse of muscles
- Repetitive movement overload
This results from pressure on a nerve by connective or soft tissue. Both myofascial trigger point syndrome and peripheral nerve entrapments are very common.
Ischemia is a deficiency of blood in a body part. It could be due to a functional constriction or actual obstruction of a blood vessel. Neuromuscular therapy relieves muscle spasms and frees constricted blood vessels. This allows normal blood flow to carry nutrients and oxygen to the muscles.
Disturbance of motor functions caused by trigger points include hypertonicity (basically, really high tension) of other muscles, weakness of involved muscle function, loss of coordination by involved muscles, and decreased work tolerance of the involved muscle.
Five Stages of Neuromuscular Therapy Rehabilitation
Long-term muscle recovery depends on adherence to the sequence of each treatment stage and completion of each stage before going to the next.
1. Therapy to eliminate muscle pain
Trigger Point Pressure Release slowly increases non-painful pressure over a trigger point until a barrier of resistance is encountered. Contact is then maintained until the tissue barrier releases, and pressure is increased to reach a new barrier to eliminate the trigger point tension.
2. Correction of structural problems to restore proper biomechanics
Your body structure can end up distorted due to specific injury, disease process, or stress to an area from another cause. The NMT therapist performs a structural evaluation of the horizontal planes to determine how and where the forces of torque are disrupting your body.
3. Restoration of flexibility and re-education of neurological pathways
By way of passive and active stretch techniques, NMT increases flexibility and re-educates neuromuscular structure.
4. Restoration of strength
After the first three stages, the muscle group is ready for strengthening through extensive exercise routines to restructure its proper form.
5. Building endurance
Endurance means being able to repeat an exercise. This is done through less intense weight but done more. This helps prevent re-injury of the muscle group, helps muscle tone, and creates proper posture.
What Neuromuscular Therapy Does
Really, NMT can be traced all the way back to Hippocrates, just that he referred to it as “friction”. Neuromuscular therapy incorporates different treatment methods to restore balance between the musculoskeletal system and the central nervous system, relieving myofascial pain. You can find out a lot more about myofascial pain and therapy, too. Neuromuscular therapy corrects this feedback mechanism by deactivating the trigger points and thus relieves pain, tenderness, autonomic phenomena, and associated dysfunction.