Neuromuscular Therapy is a comprehensive program of soft tissue manipulation techniques that balance the central nervous system (brain, spinal column and nerves) with the structure and form of the musculoskeletal system. NMT is based on neurological laws that explain how the central nervous system maintains homeostatic balance. These same laws dictate how the central nervous system initiates pain response.
There are five principles to Neuromuscular Therapy:
Postural Distortion or muscular contraction occurs when there is an imbalance of the musculoskeletal system resulting from movement of the body off the coronal, midsagital or horizontal planes. When the body tries to compensate in an effort maintain structural balance, muscle contraction, body distortion, and pain result. For example, lower limb-length inequality can cause a tilted pelvis, which usually results in a compensatory scoliosis that is maintained by sustained muscular effort.
Biomechanical Dysfunction is an imbalance of the musculoskeletal system resulting in faulty movement patterns. Repetitive strain of certain soft tissue result in adapted movement patterns that become muscular “habits” and must be reeducated.
Trigger Points occur when nerves fire impulses at a rapid speed into an area of the body other than that which has been traumatized. Because of trigger points, the cause of serious pain may often be far from the actual site of the pain. This, in turn, inhibits proper blood flow, which causes ischemia an often leads to more pain and discomfort.
Nerve Compression/Entrapment is pressure on a nerve by bone, cartilage or soft tissue. The role of the soft tissues in nerve compression is vital. Failure to treat the associated soft tissue often treats the symptom without eliminating the cause of the pain. Nerve entrapment is the most common type of pain and always causes ischemia. Ignored, it can produce associated trigger points.
Ischemia is a lack of blood supply to the soft tissues, which causes them to be very sensitive touch.
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Neurosomatic Therapy (NMT) is an integrative form of manual therapy that identifies and corrects structural and biomechanical patterns in the body that are known to cause conditions such as chronic pain, muscular, skeletal and neurological dysfunction and certain associated diseases.
NMT uses careful analysis of dysfunctional postural and movement patterns to create a comprehensive therapy program that includes the five stages of rehabilitation:
Restore Proper Biomechanics
Increase Muscular Endurance
Eliminate Muscle Spasms
Increase Muscle Strength
Additionally, the purpose of NMT is to not
only to eliminate the pain, but educate
the patient on ways to prevent
recurrence of the injury.
NMT is highly effective for clients who present with chronic pain and is often successful in reducing or eliminating even longstanding painful conditions. Some of the techniques can also be applied to acute injuries and for post-surgical care; many help to improve performance in sport or dance and to prevent injuries due to these activities.
In addition, NMT considers perpetuating factors that may be associated with the client’s complaints. For example, when a client presents with shoulder pain, the upper extremity protocol will be used as the primary examination. In addition to the muscles directly crossing the shoulder joint, muscles that attach the shoulder girdle to the torso would be included along with steps to help insure mobility of the scapula. Dysfunctions within the arm, forearm and hand often produce compensation patterns in shoulder movement, so examination of those regions should be included. Since innervation to the shoulder exits the spine at the cervical region, mobility and muscles of the neck will be considered; compression or entrapment of the nerves serving the shoulder should be ruled out.