Myotherapy: What You Need To Know

min read


The Sports Injury Clinic

Stuart Rogers

August 27, 2019


Myotherapy Definition

Myotherapy is the assessment, treatment, and management of musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction. This means that you can expect a history to be taken, an assessment of the primary complaint and associated areas, followed by a primarily hands on approach with a few take home exercises to assist at home and give you some power over your pain. Myotherapy started off as just "trigger-point therapy" but has grown to include many other facets and techniques, such as dry needling, fascial cupping and other varied hands on techniques.

What does a Myotherapist treat?

Myotherapy specialises in soft tissue treatment with respect to other structures. We focus primarily on muscles tendons and fascia, and our goal is to allow proper movement and function of these tissues to improve your function and decrease pain. We work on aches and pains, assist in recovery and are often used preventatively when there are recurring conditions and high loads, such as in sports or demanding jobs. Myotherapists are trained manual therapy professionals in the field of myofascial pain and dysfunction, however we consider all aspects of health and wellness to treat patients - this includes not only physical, but psychological and occupational aspects of the individual. We are equipped with means to identify other factors and will happily refer to the appropriate therapist if required and will do our best to help you understand along the way.

What is the difference between Myotherapy and Remedial Massage?

Myotherapists don't just do massage. In fact we usually have a completely different outlook. Rather than massage the site of discomfort, we will also take into consideration other possible causes. Myotherapists have a higher level of education focusing more on anatomy and physiology, clinical pathology and assessment as well as other specialised techniques such as dry needling and cupping. This means we are better equipped to not only help with the symptoms you are feeling, but to find and treat the cause which may be coming from an otherwise unknown area/dysfunction.

Benefits of Myotherapy

A study released by the Institute of Registered Myotherapists of Australia, describes the positive effects that myotherapy can produce for patients. The core focus of myotherapy is proper musculoskeletal tension. Strengthening body parts where there is a lack of tension, and loosening where there is an excess of bodily tension.

The benefits are not limited to the ones on this list, but are the most commonly seen in patients undergoing therapy.

  • Pain reduction. Patients who have complained about regular pain in a specific area of their body have approached myotherapists for help in treating or managing the pain. Myotherapy analysis revealed these to be due to incorrect musculoskeletal tension, causing improper limb movement and usage. Subsequent therapy sessions have helped improve these bodily functions and in effect alleviated pain. This is especially true for patients experiencing chronic lower back pain.
  • Increased flexibility and mobility. Myotherapy has also been found to improve the pliability of the muscles, and skeletal system. This is due to the core philosophy of myotherapy to have properly balanced musculoskeletal tension.
  • Improved performance in sports and competition. Athletes requiring peak competitive levels also saw benefits in taking myotherapy sessions because of general musculoskeletal improvement and well-being. Especially in relation to Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness (DOMS). Most athletes suffer DOMS, which is attributed to microscopic muscle tears, due to aggressive training and high levels of performance, and myotherapy have greatly improved their way of life on and off their specific sporting arena. Athletes feel they can exert more power during their performance without worrying about pain and injury.
  • Lowering stress and anxiety. It was found that stress and anxiety can be directly related to body pain because of faulty musculoskeletal function, and tension in the muscles arising from the improper movement of the body. Treating these disorders greatly improved the management of stress and anxiety in patients. A pleasant side effect due to lower stress is improved sleep quality.
  • Injury rehabilitation and prevention. Injury is a common occurrence in both the general population and competitive athletes. Consistent improper use of the musculoskeletal system generally leads to injury. Myotherapy helps  prevent injury by reverting the body back to its natural balance. Regular sessions improve stability and strengthens the body core, especially in the pelvis and lumbar area, associated with lower back pain. Patients who undergo rehabilitation using myotherapy have also seen positive results in returning to their body's correct function and strength prior to their injury.

What is the difference between a Myotherapist and a Physiotherapist?

The best way to answer this is to simplify both; Physiotherapist is a functional therapist who will assess and treat functionally, usually with a small localised area of hands on treatment as well as corrective exercises to improve function, decrease pain and get you back to where you want to be. Physios are also highly trained in specific rehab strategies and are/can be involved in hospitals. 

A Myotherapist is a tension therapist; we believe if the tension is wrong then it cannot function, if a muscle/fascia is dysfunctional then proper movement cannot be achieved, and this will alter biomechanics and create excess wear and tear as well as pain. In short, if its tight we will loosen it, if it's loose then we need to strengthen it; this is where our use of corrective exercises comes in and is an integral part of myotherapy.

When should you see one over the other?

At TSIC Physiotherapists are best suited for direct sports or work injuries; they are better equipped to get you functioning and back to sport and work as fast and as strong as possible. Myotherapists are best for the long-standing aches and pains that you get from your sport and or work (that niggling pain you should do something about before it gets worse). We have longer appointment times and can work on more areas of the body. We also treat and help prevent sports injuries and often work side by side with the Physiotherapists, they provide the best rehab strategies and exercises for you and the Myotherapists will keep things moving and prevent compensation until your back in action. There is a bit of overlap between Physiotherapists and Myotherapists, so if you're not sure who to see, pick one and if we think you will benefit from the other, then we will let you know and refer you to an appropriate therapist.

To learn more about our Myotherapists or to book an appointment, call us on 9783 9990 or book online.


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