For this month’s ‘Ask an Expert’ feature, we spoke to Emily Pryor, Myotherapist from MJN Clinical Myotherapy, about common causes of aches and pains, treatments, the importance of stretching and more. Thanks to everyone who took the time to submit a question for Emily to answer – we know you’ll find her responses beneficial!
What do myotherapists treat?
Put simply, myotherapists treat everything related to muscles, joints and nerves. From postural misalignments and associated muscle pain, to sporting injuries, acute and chronic pain and repetitive injuries. Patients range from children going through growing pains, to the elderly with joint-related restrictions.
Is a myotherapist like a physiotherapist?
A myotherapist is similar to a physiotherapist – we both hold qualifications in Health Science and we both assess and diagnose musculoskeletal conditions within the body. The main difference is that a myotherapist will usually be a bit more hands-on in their approach to treatment than a physiotherapist. We also employ a range of other specialist treatments such as cupping, fascial release, dry needling and electro-needling to offload tissue.
What does Myotherapy treatment involve?
Myotherapy treatment typically begins with discussion about your pain or area of concern, followed by an assessment using orthopedic testing, postural examination and a movement examination. We discuss our findings and provide a treatment plan to the patient. Significant time is then spent with conducting physical treatment, using a combination of soft tissue release, fascial release, cupping (active and dynamic), dry needling and electroneedling. The session will conclude with advice about managing your injury, helpful stretches and strengthening exercises for you to do between treatments.
What are the at-home treatments?
Myotherapists love to teach you about your body and understand how and why your injury occurred. In order for us to prevent the injury from reoccurring, and to speed up results, we give you stretching and strengthening exercises to perform between sessions. Most importantly, we teach you how to listen to your body and educate you about how you can help offload your areas of tension. Investing in a foam roller and spikey ball is absolutely essential for everyone for these exercises. Of course, we would teach you how to use them correctly so it’s just like having a mini Myo with you all the time!
Do you a need a referral from a GP to visit a myotherapist?
No, you don’t need a referral from your GP. Myotherapy is also covered by most private health insurance policies, so you just pay your gap at the end of the treatment
Do you ever work in conjunction with other healthcare professionals such as PTs and GPs?
We sure do! We work with all healthcare professionals including PTs, GPs, Osteopaths and Chiropractors. Of course, in order to achieve the best results for the patient, it is important that all healthcare practitioners are on the same page about their patient’s health – multiple minds collaborating are always better!
What is the best thing to wear to a myotherapy appointment?
There is no need to wear anything special to your appointment. Before we start treating, we leave the room and allow you to take off whatever clothing is required, and we have towels for you to drape over yourself.
I often get a stiff neck and occasional headaches. What is the best thing I can do?
Treatment, treatment, treatment! The question I will always ask is why do you think you get headaches? Is it postural related? For example, if your shoulders are rounded, it will add tension which will then and force you to stick your head forward. Or perhaps it is a repeated poor movement pattern you do every day? Through assessment and diagnosis, a myotherapist will fully understand why your headaches are occurring. Besides treatment, the best thing you can do to prevent headaches is stretching your shoulders, allowing you to have full range of motion in your spine, shoulders and neck. It also helps to strengthen the areas in your upper body in order to prevent poor posture occurring.
Is myotherapy only for athletes?
Everyone can benefit! We treat anyone, from young children to the elderly. We use our body every day, and everybody needs a little maintenance from time to time.
If you could give people one piece of advice, what would it be?
Never stop moving, be active every day and make sure to stretch!