Why Would You Need a Neuromuscular Massage?

Anyone can have sore muscles occasionally. Exertion from exercise or work often results in common aches and pains. A massage treatment can be helpful at times like these, but when muscular pain is more serious, a different approach may be necessary. In cases of severe or ongoing pain, neuromuscular massage may be in order.

Also called Trigger Point Myotherapy, the American Academy of Pain Management acknowledges this massage method as an efficient way to treat back pain that is caused by soft tissue injury. The word ‘neuro’ meaning nerve-related, and the word ‘muscular’ pertaining to muscles, incorporates these two systems in the term, neuromuscular massage.

One specific situation where neuromuscular massage would be needed is after hip replacement surgery. Muscles and tendons that were cut are working to reconnect and scar tissue can get in the way during that process. Physical therapy that incorporates neuromuscular massage is not only beneficial at that time but is needed for optimal healing.

Injuries sustained from a car accident, workplace accident, or sports related incident are other examples that can be severe and qualify for neuromuscular massage. However, something as simple as twisting an ankle by tripping on a curb could also cause an injury that would warrant neuromuscular massage. Any situation that results in compromised muscle and joint connection is a candidate.

The American Institute of Alternative Medicine (AIAM) offers a list of many issues that neuromuscular massage would be an appropriate treatment for including: low back pain, upper back pain, carpal tunnel-like symptoms, sciatica-like symptoms, calf cramps, plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, knee pain, jaw pain, Tempomandibular Joint Pain (TMJ disorders), hip pain, headaches, and iliotibial band friction syndrome.

Neuromuscular massage (also called NMT massage) is not comfortable or relaxing. This specialized type of manual massage therapy involves applying pressure either digitally or with the fingers, knuckles, or elbow to release areas of strain in a muscle, also called trigger points.  Some people have described the experience as “good pain”.

Sessions are performed by a Certified Massage Therapist (CMT) or a Certified Neuromuscular Massage Therapist (CNMT) and are intended to be ongoing until pain and/or dysfunction are diminished or eliminated. This is different than deep tissue massage which can be performed in one session.

back pain
A woman awakes with back pain

The range of causes for a person to need neuromuscular massage is wide. According to the NeuroMuscular Therapy American Version, any soft tissue that needs relief from strain or pressure such as muscles, ligaments, and tendons will be improved with NMT. Scar tissue acquired from an injury or surgery as well as facial adhesions or restrictions will benefit by being broken up and lengthened with NMT, increasing mobility. NMT may correct poor posture and gait problems, allergies, emotional well-being, and a host of other ailments pertaining to the muscular and nervous systems.

According to WEBMD it is defined as: "… a form of soft tissue manipulation that aims to treat underlying causes of chronic pain involving the muscular and nervous systems." So, when someone has been suffering from serious muscle pain and wants to heal and feel better, that is a good reason to have neuromuscular massage.

If you’re in Snohomish county and looking for expert, technical and compassionate care, visit Everett Spine & Rehab. We specialize in the treatment conditions suffered after and auto or workplace injury through chiropractic, physical therapy and massage therapy. Dr. Gill is here to answer any of your questions, so please call us to setup an appointment: 425-347-8614 or visit our office at 927 128th St SW Ste B, Everett, WA 98204.

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