Neuromuscular massage therapy (NMT) is a massage modality that is particularly effective for muscle pain. In fact, NMT is recognized by the American Academy of Pain Management as an effective treatment for back pain caused by soft tissue injury (such as a muscle strain). Sometimes referred to as “trigger point myotherapy,” NMT consists of applying firm consistent pressure on areas of the body affected by muscle spasm.
The pain associated with muscle spasms is caused by ischemic muscle tissue, which means the muscle is not getting enough blood flow, typically because of the muscle spasm itself. Because the muscle isn’t receiving enough blood, it doesn’t get enough oxygen, which causes the muscle to produce lactic acid, and thereby muscle soreness.
Neuromuscular massage therapy applies concentrated pressure at the area of the muscle spasm to relax the muscle and help it release its lactic acid. Once the lactic acid is released, blood and oxygen can properly enter the muscle, reducing the muscle soreness.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Neuromuscular massage therapy utilizes alternating levels of concentrated pressure directly on the muscle spasm. Pressure is applied to the body using fingers, knuckles, and elbows.
The pressure from NMT can feel painful at first, but it typically will alleviate the muscle spasm. Once the spasm has been alleviated, it is important to communicate with your massage therapist about the level of pressure. NMT pressure should never be overly painful, but should be able to be classified as a “good hurt.”
IS NEUROMUSCULAR MASSAGE THERAPY RIGHT FOR ME?
We recommend NMT for people who are experiencing pain associated with:
- Lower back pain
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
- Carpal tunnel
- Plantar fasciitis
- Other similar muscular pains