Musculoskeletal therapy, also called Myotherapy, is a manual therapy used to assess and treat muscular, skeletal and nervous system issues on a holistic level. In addition to manual treatment, musculoskeletal therapists prescribe exercise and nutrition plans and give postural advice to treat a client’s condition.
Musculoskeletal therapists differ to chiropractors and physiotherapists as they assess clients in context with a broader range of therapies, taking a more holistic approach to patient care and give equal attention to treating a client’s symptoms and the underlying root causes, which often results in long-term cure.
Musculoskeletal therapist of 22 years and Endeavour College of Natural Health Program Leader Jim Olds said one of his standout clients was Penny Steele (pictured), a successful masters level swimmer with a world ranking in the 50 and 100 backstroke through FINA. In her 60s and suffering from degenerative arthritis affecting her joints, Jim has worked with Penny for ten years to support her preparation leading up to her competition commitments.
“I’ve used musculoskeletal therapy to assist Penny with pre-event anxiety and provide her with greater mobility and pain management support. It has been extremely rewarding to work with Penny’s team of specialists to keep her going at peak level when needed,” said Jim.
Penny said she realised she needed extra support for her swimming and general mobility when she started to get arthritis in her hips which was affecting her alignment due to excessive leaning.
“When I first tried musculoskeletal therapy with Jim I found his support extremely helpful, and quite simply I walked out better,” Penny said.
“I had tried chiropractors and physiotherapists and found I’d be in there several times a week to see a difference and sometimes my arthritis flared up as a result. In contrast, musculoskeletal therapy not only worked but was more cost-effective as I didn’t need to receive treatments as frequently.”
“When I am asked to describe musculoskeletal therapy, I say it is like physio and massage rolled into one. Jim prescribed needling for my pain and did some great realignment work to help extend my range of movement.”
Penny said she came to rely on Jim as part of her team.
“I had my coach for swimming and Jim to keep my movement flowing and my pain at bay. This in turn helped me prevent further injuries, which is so easy to happen when you’re out of alignment.”
“I just want to help get the message out there that there are other options for people suffering from conditions such as arthritis who haven’t seen a result through conventional treatments. I know from experience they can often be helped if they find a good musculoskeletal therapist."
One of the most common questions I was asked while completing my Bachelor of Health Science at Endeavour, was ‘What is Myotherapy?’ Contrary to popular belief, Myotherapy is not a form of massage therapy, though your therapist may use such a technique during the session if it is necessary for the treatment of your presenting condition. Myotherapy is a form of manual therapy which uses evidence-based assessment, treatment and rehabilitation techniques to treat neuromusculoskeletal (nerve, muscle and joint) pain and dysfunction.
When Troy Randall injured his shoulder in his early teens, an appointment with a myotherapist got him back on the courts and led to a fascination with manual therapies as he committed to make a difference to people in the same boat.