Frequently Asked Questions
What is Myotherapy?
Myotherapy is a non-invasive therapeutic technique used to relieve muscular pain. It works by eliminating trigger points. [See Tabers Medical Dictionary definition]
What is a trigger point?
A trigger point is an irritable spot in the muscle. They get into a muscle when the muscle is injured, or insulted.
What causes trigger points in muscles?
Injury from accidents will put down trigger points. Repetitive motion such as from sports and occupations can "insult" the muscle and also lay down trigger points. Disease processes and even birth can lay down trigger points. And, once they are in the muscle they are likely to remain.
What happens to the muscle once affected by trigger points?
Trigger points in a muscle can create all kinds of problems. They can be quiet for long periods of time looking for an excuse to go into spasm. That "excuse" is physical and/or emotional stress, and is often accompanied by a precipitating factor (such as a sneeze, or reaching for something).
Why use Myotherapy to treat trigger points in muscles?
There are a variety of ways to relieve the pain of muscle spasm. Whether it be massage, or pain-killers (which hides the pain), the muscle eventually lets go and the sufferer supposes the problem solved. The trigger points are still there however, and simply await another excuse to go into spasm.
How do trigger points affect health?
Long term results of trigger point involvement are shortened, knotted muscles, which in time pull on neighboring muscles and cause large areas of involvement. Shortened knotted muscles can reek havoc with the body, not only in the form of pain, but also, fatigue, limited range of motion, pinched nerves, decreased circulation, and many other discomforts.
How does Myotherapy help?
Myotherapy works by eliminating trigger points. Trigger points are located by applying gentle pressure to the muscle and finding spots of extreme tenderness. Pressure is then held on the muscle for 5-7 seconds. The amount of pressure used is determined by the person receiving treatment. Applying pressure to the trigger points hurts! But the resulting relief is worth the momentary discomfort.
Is treatment the same for everyone?
Every person is different, every area on the person can feel different, and every trigger point can have varying levels of severity. Therefore, the amount of pressure used will vary from person to person, area to area and often trigger point by trigger point.
How do you know what areas to cover with Myotherapy?
There are basic patterns to be followed, which are covered in Bonnie Prudden's books. "Pain Erasure the Bonnie Prudden Way," and more books are listed in Resources.
Why is a grid inadequate for all trigger point therapy?
Along with learning the specific lines there are several things to consider when performing Myotherapy on someone. Each person's unique history directs where muscle work is needed. A person with shoulder pain who has been a typist for over 20 years will have a different pattern of pain than the person with shoulder pain who has been lifting 5 gallon water jugs over their shoulder for that same twenty years.
Why is an interview including detailed history a part of Myotherapy?
The history of a person's pain will help direct the work. Pain in a back twisted in a fall will need different areas covered than a person who started with a sprained ankle. The ankle pain may have referred to the knee, then the hip and resulted several years later in back pain. This reveals that muscles communicate! Muscles surrounding the area of pain and/or initial injury need attention or pain is likely to return.
I'm out of shape. Will I be able to do the exercises?
The exercises are gentle range of motion movements. They are safe, easy to do, and are to be done without causing pain.
How long must I continue the exercises?
Once a muscle is free from pain, the exercises should be continued with some strengthening exercises as a preventative tool against future problems.
What should a person wear to a Myotherapy session?
Loose comfortable clothing. A Myotherapist is trained to be able to feel the muscles and to work through clothing. However, heavy thick clothing such as jeans, Khakis, etc. is not advised, nor are nylons. Appropriate clothing such as gym shorts, t-shirts, leggings, etc. are preferable.