Neuromuscular Massage Therapy is defined as the re-education of a muscle’s normal function. The concept behind this massage therapy is when muscles spasm, which can be caused by a number if different direct or indirect stimuli, the spasm takes place in a very localized part of the muscle, not the whole muscle. Treatment of that spasm is the process of neuromuscular massage therapy.
That localized spasm is called a trigger point. They are called trigger points mainly because the localized area triggers pain in another area. Trigger points can be classified in a couple of different ways. One way is myofascial. Muscles are covered by a sheath of connective tissue called fascia. (Imagine the clear membrane on skinless chicken breast) With over use or injury, this fascia can become kinked or wrinkled causing pain and discomfort. Satellite is another way to classify them. Satellite trigger points send referred pain to a more distant area of the body which sometimes causes a misrepresentation of the cause of that pain.
When a muscle (or trigger point) spasms in the body, blood flow to that area is severely decreased, sometimes ceasing altogether. When the blood flow is diminished, oxygen necessary for the muscle to work properly is also decreased, causing a buildup of lactic acid. This causes a sensation similar to the one felt after a long extreme muscle soreness.
Treatment options include digital compression, ( finger pressure) spray and stretch which includes a skin refrigerant ethyl chloride. PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation) which is the practice of stretching a muscle with resistance until the muscle is fatigued and stretches back to it’s normal function.