Myotherapy is occasionally confused with other health modalities. This is understandable, as Myotherapists often work alongside Physiotherapists, Podiatrists, Osteopaths and Chiropractors to treat muscle and joint pain.
While superficially similar, it plays a unique role in helping the body recover from musculoskeletal and neuromuscular disorders. Here are some of the major differences between Myotherapy and the treatments it is sometimes mistaken for.
Myotherapy began as an extension of Remedial Massage. It emerged to treat more complex conditions than Remedial Therapy can address alone.
Remedial Massage therapy focuses on manipulating the superficial and deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue. Its primary goals are to enhance function, release muscular tension, aid healing, and promote relaxation.
Myotherapy expands beyond massage, using a wide range of treatments to aid muscle and joint recovery. It also incorporates a deeper understanding of the human body, anatomy and physiology into its massage techniques, along with a host of other manual therapy interventions.
Myotherapy and Physiotherapy share many techniques, including soft tissue techniques, exercise and mobilisation. However, there are a few crucial differences.
Physiotherapists often work in the hospital setting and their training has a large focus on physical rehabilitation, pre and post-surgical management and exercise prescription. Myotherapists do not typically work in hospitals. Instead, they work primarily in private practice and have more of a hands-on approach to treating pain presentations.
Osteopathy is largely focussed on joints and influencing their positioning and function. While joint dysfunction can be an aspect of myotherapy, its major focus is on the soft tissues and nerves.
According to experts, Myotherapy can help prevent and treat a range of acute and chronic musculoskeletal pain and disorders. These include:
Myotherapists are qualified to assess and treat muscles, joints and nerves using a variety of treatment modalities, including:
On your first visit, your Myotherapist’s goal is to gain a deep and complete picture of your symptoms and health. This will allow them to design a treatment plan tailored to what will benefit you most.
Your appointment will typically last for an hour. Your Myotherapist will want to know about your current physical and mental health, medical history and health goals. To help your Myotherapist pinpoint the cause of your symptoms and provide the best care possible, it is important to answer honestly. Any information disclosed will be kept in strictest confidence.
Here are some things your practitioner may ask about:
Your Myotherapist will perform a thorough physical assessment. By asking the right questions and observing your ability to perform clinical tests, your Myotherapist will be able to which tissues and mechanisms are involved in your pain. Depending on your physical complaint, this assessment may involve:
Once your Myotherapist has identified the right treatment or pain management plan, you will receive your first myotherapy treatment.
Your Myotherapist may provide advice on self-care strategies and exercises to utilise at home, as well as adjustments you can make to your daily routine to reduce your symptoms.
No, pain is not necessary to produce a therapeutic outcome. At all times, you are in control of your treatment and can accept or reject any manual therapy intervention. Some techniques have the potential to produce some discomfort, but at no point should you experience unmanageable pain.
This largely depends on your presentation. However, you should expect to see some improvement after one or two consultations.