Myotherapy as a Treatment for Fibromyalgia
Copyright (c) 2008 Hailey Harris
Myotherapy is a treatment that relives pain; it involves applying pressure at trigger points that are situated all over the body. Trigger points are hypersensitive locations that are responsible for pain when the individual is under undue stress; emotional stress, physical stress, disease, or injuries caused by accidents. Trigger points are generally located away from the location of the pain however rarely they may be located at the pain site.
Myotherapy is based on the principle that the release of tension in the muscle followed by restoring new vigor to the muscle by exercise and stretching helps healing and reduces the tendency of the concerned muscle and nerve to cause pain.
Dr Janet Travell, MD (1901-1997) developed a method of pain relief called as the trigger point massage. Today physical therapists and physicians all over the world use this technique. Dr Travell was the white house physician during the Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson administrations. Earlier she had successfully treated President Kennedy for myofascial pain that had almost threatened his political career.
Bonnie Prudden a fitness expert investigated the parallels between injecting pain relievers in the locations as in trigger point therapy to relieve pain. Pressure applied on specific trigger point’s relieved pain. Bonnie Prudden after experimenting and investigating for four years developed a new pain relief therapy and named it myotherapy. “Myo” in Greek means muscle and therapy means treatment or curative process. Today, certified schools offer training programs in myotherapy.
Almost 95% of the physical pain can be eliminated by myotherapy. Muscular discomfort is also reduced significantly. Myotherapy has proved successful in patients suffering from chronic pain in the head neck and back. Patients suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis and fibromyalgia have reported significant relief after myotherapy. The swelling associated with multiple sclerosis is reported to have significantly reduced after myotherapy.
Pressure is applied on trigger points or nerve locations to eliminate pain and swelling. The patient is given no injectables or oral medicine. Myotherapy is the only technique to relieve muscle spasms without administration of internal or topical medication.
Myotherapy treatment involves a two-step process. The therapist first locates the trigger point of pain and relieves pain by applying pressure. The pressure applied relieves the pain and relaxes the muscles, if the muscles are in a spasm, the spasm is relieved. While the therapy is going on, the patient is instructed to undergo a series of exercises to stretch the relaxed muscles. It takes about ten sessions for a patient to realize the full benefits of myotherapy. The patient’s age is considered in determining the pressure points; as a person gets older a number of trigger points accumulate resulting in increased number of trigger points in older patients.
Patients suffering from fibromyalgia are benefited immensely after undergoing myotherapy. Tender spots are formed in various parts of the body in fibromyalgia. These are hypersensitive to touch, and cause pain. A myotherapist will identify the roots of muscular pain. Half the battle is won if the root that is responsible for the pain and limited muscle movement is identified. Pressure is then applied on the trigger points to relieve the pain. The patient is instructed to perform certain exercises to stretch and stimulate the muscle. Exercises produce certain chemicals in our muscle fibers that increase our pain threshold. The myotherapist passively stretches the affected muscles. The muscles are reeducated to return to their normal state. The exercises are patient specific.
Myotherapy is a noninvasive technique that reduces or eliminates pain totally in patients suffering fibromyalgia.
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