Neuromuscular Massage Therapy (NMT) is a unique approach to soft tissue manual therapy utilized by the Sheppard Spine and Sports Clinic, where quasi-static pressure is expertly applied to soft tissue to stimulate the body’s striated muscle. It is regarded as the most effective massage therapy for pain anywhere in your body, and is one of the most specialized forms of manual massage therapy.
Your NMT therapist has been thoroughly educated in nervous system physiology and how it affects the skeletal and muscular systems. The therapist also receives a thorough education in biomechanics, kinesiology and human nervous system functionality.
The American Academy of Pain Management recognizes NMT as one of the most effective treatments for body pain that is caused by soft tissue injuries.
NMT is a precise and complete examination and treatment of the soft tissues of the body using precise protocols that are taught to your practitioner through a comprehensive, step by step process. These are time-tested and hands-on techniques that are based upon a scientific foundation and are guided through clinical evidence.
An NMT examination performed by your therapist will consist of these factors in most cases:
- Ischemia: Tight tissues with inadequate blood flow
- Myofascial trigger points: Sensitive areas in the muscles that cause pain
- Neural entrapment: Pressure on soft tissues and nerves, as well as nerve compression
- Postural assessment: Assessment of the entire body
- Dysfunctional gait patterns: Manner of movement when hyou walk
NMT, also known as trigger point myotherapy, features alternating levels of pressure on the areas of your body that is having muscle spasms. The therapy pressure is usually applied by the therapist with the knuckles, elbow or fingers. When it is applied to a muscle spasm, it will typically be applied for 10-30 seconds.
Conditions Treated with NMT
NMT can be used to treat many soft tissue issues. Some of the most common health problems that Sheppard Spine and Sports Clinic therapists treat with this specialized form of massage therapy include:
- Lower back pain
- Upper back pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Hip pain
- Plantar fasciitis
- Calf cramps
- Knee pain
- Jaw pain
If you are suffering from muscle and/or soft tissue pain that affects your life, you could be a good candidate for NMT. Soft tissue pain often feels like knots in the muscle tissue. Many people feel muscle pain in some part of the body from time to time, and NMT can help to relieve it.
How Neuromuscular Massage Therapy Reduces Muscle Pain
Muscles that are spasming are painful to the touch. The pain is due to ischemic muscle tissue that lacks sufficient blood flow, usually because of the spasm. This as a result creates the following processes that are undesirable for good health:
- The muscle is not receiving sufficient blood flow, which means it is not receiving enough oxygen
- The insufficient oxygen makes the muscle produce lactic acid
- Lactic acid makes the muscle feel sore after physical activity
When the muscle is relaxed through NMT, lactic acid is released into the body from the muscle. At that point, the muscle should begin to receive sufficient blood and oxygen to encourage healing and recovery. This therapy may feel uncomfortable initially, but the pressure used during massage should reduce muscle spasms. It is important during this process to communicate with your Sheppard NMT specialist about the level of pressure being used. Your therapist will listen and will adjust the pressure used accordingly.
After your NMT sessions, any soreness that you experience should fade within 24-36 hours. Muscles that were tight before should be more relaxed for 4-14 days. This will depend upon your stress, activity level, and severity of pain before initiating massage therapy.
- NMT Description. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://nmtcenter.com/description/
- Neuromuscular Massage Therapy. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.spine-health.com/wellness/massage-therapy/neuromuscular-massage-therapy