In medical terms Myotherapy simply means “muscle-therapy”. The prefix Myo means muscle. The first formal use of the term Myotherapy was used by Bonnie Prudden an exercise and fitness expert who in the 1950’s she began to explore ways to assess and treat her own muscle pain and dysfunction. Using her own knowledge of human form and function along with concepts of Trigger Point pain patterns developed by Janet Travell MD she developed Bonnie Prudden’s Myotherapy. Today the term Myotherapy is used by many manual therapy practitioners to describe forms of treatment using one or more different modalities. At Total Balance Myotherapy the term is used to describe an assessment and treatment model which incorporates Neuromuscular Therapy, Myofascial Release, Trigger point Therapy, Active Release and Positional Release to assess and treat pain, increase range of motion and decrease postural dysfunction due to injury and repetitive strain disorders.
Sports injuries come in about as many different types as do athletes. Everything from a torn rotator cuff of the competitive athlete to the "pulled hammy" of the weekend warrior. Sports injuries can be soft tissue related i.e. muscle, ligament or tendon, or structural i.e. broken bones or dislocated joints. Sports injuries can be Acute meaning severe or critical injury, sudden onset and/or short duration, or Chronic meaning repetitive motion disorders, or old injuries which have not fully healed or have healed improperly.
Myotherapy can be an integral of treatment and the healing process. For Acute injury it is best to consult a Physician before considering Myotherapy, as this type of injury may require a more advanced level of diagnostics and treatment to stabilize the injury. Once it determined that the injury is not acutely severe or critical (no torn soft tissue, broken bones or joint dislocation) and/or you receive medical clearance from a Physician seeking a qualified and experienced Myotherapist could greatly assist the healing process and prevention of chronic conditions. In the case of Chronic conditions or injuries it would be difficult to find an example of when Myotherapy would not be a beneficial from of treatment. This is true because not only does the injury require treatment, but it is not unusual for a chronic injury to effect other parts of the Muscular/Skeletal system which can lead additional dysfunction. Example: improperly healed shoulder or rotator cuff injury can lead to Frozen Shoulder, neck pain or headaches, a "pulled hammy" (hamstring injury) can lead lower back issues Sciatica, calf pain, Plantar fasciitis etc... So if you are serious competitive athlete, a weekend warrior or simply starting an exercise program to get in shape Myotherapy can be an important, non-invasive form of treatment.
Fibromyalgia is a musculoskeletal disorder which can cause widespread or systemic musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, loss of sleep, headaches, depression and difficulty concentrating. Diagnosing Fibromyalgia can be difficult as there is no specific blood test to detect Fibromyalgia. Rather it is typically diagnosed by presenting symptoms which can include chronic “widespread” pain. Usually lasting more than 3 months and affecting both sides and upper and lower sections of the body. Risk factors also play a role in determining Fibromyalgia such as, gender; women are diagnosed more than men, family history and presence of Rheumatic disease.
While there is no known cure for Fibromyalgia there are numerous forms of treatment to manage symptoms. Medications may help decrease pain and inflammation, as well as symptoms of depression and problems with sleep. Studies show exercise and meditation also help decrease symptoms. Total Balance Myotherapy using Myofascial and Trigger Point therapies can also have a significant impact on reducing Fibromyalgia symptoms.
John “Eric” Garcia has been a bodywork practitioner since 2001. A Licensed Massage Therapist (Lic#4612) and certified in Advanced Myoskeletal Alignment. In addition he has completed over 200 additional hours of continuing education Structural and Myofascial integration, Active, Positional and Myofascial Release.