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. Students are taught an integrative approach to treatment, to discover and treat the cause of a clients’ pain, and to also identify and address any contributing factors.
Throughout the three-year degree, students are taught to identify the signs and symptoms of conditions which may be contributing to your pain, to best understand you, your health history and your needs. Additionally, identifying if you could benefit from treatment by students of other modalities, providing a holistic approach to client care and treatment. Students learn a wide range of assessment and treatment techniques in order to deliver accurate and effective treatment to all clients. Applying more hands-on techniques such as myofascial release/cupping, joint mobilisations, nerve manipulation, trigger point therapy, and dry needling or electrotherapeutic dry needling. They also have a strong focus on corrective/rehabilitative exercise prescription and education to ensure you as the client have an understanding of the mechanisms behind your presenting condition, and can work on preventing any future injuries.
Myotherapists treat many conditions such as:
Headaches and migraines
Back, neck, and shoulder pain
Hip, knee, and ankle pain
Muscle strains and sprains
Nerve pain and associated symptoms
Acute to chronic conditions
Jaw clicking and associated pain
A Myotherapy consultation and treatment at the Endeavour Wellnation Clinic runs for 60 minutes, with the exception of seated massage which is 30 minutes. The ratio of assessment to treatment time is greater for Myotherapy, as a thorough assessment leads to more effective, accurate and efficient treatment. Each consultation will begin with a comprehensive health history screening and a detailed postural, joint, movement and pain assessment, where applicable. From here, relevant special tests may be carried out and also functional tests to assess the impact your pain/condition has on the physical demands of your daily living and functional needs. Once enough information has been gathered the student then consults with their supervisor on what they have determined is the issue and form a treatment plan in line with their level of knowledge:
Level 1 - Relaxation & Seated: Student practitioners are in the first semester of their second year of study, and this is their first experience in a clinic setting. Seated massage is usually limited to the back, neck, and arms. Clients are seated in a supportive massage chair and remain fully clothed. Relaxation focuses on soft tissue techniques such as massage, lymphatic drainage, myofascial release, and stretching.
Level 2 - Remedial: Student practitioners are in the second semester of their second year of study. This is the point where the students are given the opportunity to advance in their skill set from soft tissue techniques into more specialised Myotherapy techniques. Targeting the relief of discomfort and muscular tension, and treatment of minor musculoskeletal conditions. Techniques include myofascial release, trigger point therapy, stretching, cupping, spray and stretch and taping.
Level 3 - Comprehensive: Student practitioners are in their final year of study. Ideal for the treatment of complex musculoskeletal conditions, injuries and pain. They offer all treatment techniques with the exception of dry needling, which will be offered from week 8 during the first semester, and electrotherapeutic dry needling, which is offered in the final semester of their degree.
The aim of your initial appointment will be to alleviate pain and identify the structures or movement dysfunction needing to be addressed in order to restore the body back to optimal function. From here student practitioners will develop an on-going treatment plan which typically consists of corrective exercises to assist in preventing re-occurrence of injury. Follow-up sessions may be requested where the student practitioner can further monitor your progress and adjust any exercises that have been prescribed.
To book in for a Myotherapy appointment at our Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne or Sydney clinics visit wellnationclinics.com.au or call 1300 859 785 or click here to find out more.
If you're interested in studying a Bachelor of Health Science (Myotherapy) visit our course page to learn more.
About Carly McDougal
Carly McDougal is an Endeavour Alumni, having recently completed her Bachelor of Health Science (Myotherapy). She has seven years of experience in the health and wellness sector through running her own personal training business, as well as teaching fitness classes. Carly now brings her knowledge and passion for educating others into her role as a Clinic Services Coordinator in the Endeavour Wellnation Clinics.
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.