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This technique is a unique injury therapy that combines compression, extension, movement and breath to give the therapist a tool to provide, in many cases, relief from pain in one treatment. With the MRT technique scar tissue is broken up, the muscle is lengthened, muscle memory is restored and relief from pain starts immediately.
Do You Have Painful Trigger Points? Have you ever had an injury that just would not go away? Or perhaps you "over did it" one weekend working out at the gym or on the softball field. Every since then you've had a "bad back or shoulder." Have you ever heard of muscle memory? Did you know the same muscular memories you develop for performing exercises such as lifting a weight or riding a bike also could be developed in the creation of an injury? Here is how it works.
Let us look at a case study involving "Troy". Troy recently developed a chronic case of shoulder tendonitis from his workouts at the gym. He is in his late thirties and has spent 4-5 days week training in the gym since college. He was a college athlete and is very competent in his athletic abilities.
Troy has had some incredible chest workouts lately which have left him a little tight and sore. After his lunch time workout he would return to work and typically spent most of his day at his laptop computer and talking on the phone. Because he types information during his phone conversations, he holds the phone with his shoulder, effectively shortening his neck and shoulder muscles (pectorals major and minor, anterior deltoid and trapeziums and muscles of the cervical spine). He also held his neck and shoulder slightly forward because he looks down at his monitor. Troy unknowingly created an abnormal muscle memory that over time has caused a subtle but effective muscle imbalance in his shoulder. This memory has created enough stress on the muscles of his shoulder joint to cause him to develop knots called "trigger points". When Troy held his shoulder and neck in this slightly abnormal posture he was actually firing up the nerve fibers of these muscles at a higher rate than normal. This causes the muscle to tighten and creates undo stress in his shoulder joint that resulted in case of tendonitis.
These knots are actually areas of high neurological activity that cause the fibers to tighten and slow down the metabolism of the area limiting it's ability to recover and perform. Metabolic waste deposits increase, exciting the pain nerve endings, oxygen is decreased resulting in a vicious cycle of spasm, trigger points, joint imbalance and inflammation. This is a common problem and causes can also include strain, overuse, poor posture, trauma or subtle biomechanical discrepancies, I routinely have clients come in complaining of reoccurring pain in a muscle or joint without a history of a specific injury.
Often times they will go to their family doctor for medication or take long periods of time off from the gym with little or no results. This is because the trigger points are a neurological memory that can remain in a muscle indefinitely. If these imbalances remain, they can result in nerve pain, numbness, tendonitis, strains and premature joint degeneration or any number of soft tissue and biomechanical dysfunction. Pain is the key to assessment. Healthy soft tissue will function without pain or weakness. These trigger points are most effectively addressed through manual manipulation. In my office, we use a scientific massage protocol called Neuromuscular (NMT) Massage Therapy. Through NMT techniques we look for the subtle muscular imbalances and manually manipulate the trigger points. Manual manipulation of these points, fires up the nerve fibers to an even higher rate of neurological activity, which results in a circuit breaker like result and allows the nerve fibers to resonate back down to a normal level. The knots in the muscles then relax and loosen allowing an increase of blood flow, taking oxygen and nutrients into the area, and thereby removing waste products and reducing the effects of the pain inducing chemicals within the spasmed muscles. The relaxed muscle decreases the stress on the joint and allows the area to heal. Then allowing proper function, exercise and reconditioning of the area to full health.
Let's now return to our friend Troy with the shoulder tendonitis. The funny thing is about muscle memory and neurological pathways is that the more frequent and longer these nerve fibers are fired the more established the pattern is. This is why Troy's injury could reoccur for years. The muscles, nerves, and connective tissue must reestablish a proper pattern of health and proper nerve resonance. The most effective way to do this is by NMT massage in conjunction with traditional allopathic treatment. This is why top athletes routinely use manual therapies for the treatment of sports injuries and optimal performance. So if you've tried the traditional treatments of rest and medication for injuries with no avail, it may be time to look for a qualified NMT therapist to manually work out those persistent muscle memories.