The term ‘neuromuscular’ is a combination of two words “neuro” (relating to the nerve) and “muscular” (relating to the muscle). This blog post is all about Neuromuscular Therapy and ways in which soft tissue manipulation helps to improve the nervous system function as well as the functioning of the skeletal system.
Our chemical messengers “neurotransmitters” take messages of brain to the muscles.
This is the disease which affects nerves and causes muscular weakness.
This refers to diseases of the motor neurons (nerve cells that control the muscles). As well as the peripheral nerve fibers and the synapses.
They are responsible for the transmission of signals from stimuli.
In this certain case, neuromuscular therapy is the only treatment that follows hands on techniques supported by medical evidence.
Let’s uncover its causes, symptoms, and treatments.
Some known causes of this disease
Neuromuscular Diseases are rare diseases.
Most are progressive and have a genetic cause. These include congenital myopathies, duchenne muscular dystrophy, spinal muscular atrophy.
And some of them are due to a malfunction of the immune system.
In other cases, its origin is totally unknown.
What are the symptoms of neuromuscular disorders?
Common symptoms (which can be stable or progressive over time and are often present at birth but may not be identified for a long period of time) of neuromuscular disorders include:
- loss of muscle function
- delayed acquisition of motor skills
- muscle spasms
- muscle pain, and other symptoms
- difficulty in walking, moving and grasping objects
When do they appear?
Symptoms can appear at different ages, from birth to adulthood.
They can be severe if the cause is infection or inflammation.
In many cases, for example, in multiple sclerosis, the diagnosis of the disease is done till it becomes acute.
There may be “atrophy” (loss of volume of muscle mass) or “hypertrophy” (increase in muscle volume).
The Diagnosis of A Neuromuscular Disease
Diagnosis begins with the medical history and examination of the patient.
The doctor may order tests such as a blood test, urine test, electromyogram and electroneurogram .
As well as tests of the muscle or nerve biopsy, or imaging tests, such as MRI.
Why is Neuromuscular Therapy important?
Neuromuscular therapy is a massage therapy that focuses on soft tissue of the affected area.
Its function is to repair the balance between nervous system as well as skeletal system.
Neuromuscular therapists use static pressure. This means that the same level of intensity is constantly applied for ten to thirty seconds at the same point.
This static pressure is most effective in areas of the body where the patient experiences ischemia, nerve compression, whiplash, postural distortion, and biomechanical dysfunction.
The therapy will rehabilitate those nerves which are compressed and relief the pain too.
Similarly, it will make sitting posture improved which is another cause of defective movement.
The exercises will depend on the situation of each patient. However the priority activities will be towards strengthening, coordination, stretching and balancing the muscles.
Contraindications of Therapeutic Massage
Although it is a wonderful technique, it is important to know when they cannot be applied to the patient. So as not to harm or worsen the patient’s health in cases of:
- Acute illness
- Acute inflammation
- Acute period of trauma, sprains, contusions, joint effusions
- Onset of phlebitis and vascular fragility
- Open wounds
- Skin infections
Treatment that works
This type of disease has no cure and the treatments aim to improve the quality of life of these patients. This is by avoiding pain, or balancing their postures.
Although it can manifest at any age, more than half of the cases appear during childhood.
Here, we will provide you a few treatments:
There are communication devices that allow moving the muscles necessary for speech, computer applications and software.
These allow people with limited movements to write, special utensils such as cups to eat food, foam rubber cylinders to hold pens and pencils.
As well as walkers, wheelchairs and leg and ankle braces are put onto good usage.
For the moment existing treatments aim at controlling symptoms and improving quality of life.
Treatment consists of the administration of corticosteroids, immunosuppressants (to counteract antibodies), missing enzymes, or even gene therapy.
Physiotherapy and nutritional care:
In most cases, a rehabilitative treatment is necessary to maintain an acceptable posture . It also aims to create stable motor function for as long as possible, as well as avoid contractures and deformities.
It is also necessary to take care of respiratory function and nutritional status.
The idea is to maintain motor functions for as long as possible, as well as to strengthen the muscles. It is also recommended that you look into your vitamin and minerals intake. Having a Vitamin D Deficiency can also play a major role in your motor abilities.
Lack of exercise can make a patient inactive.
That results in weight gain and other issues (retractions, vertebral deformities).
That is why exercise is essential for anyone with a muscle disorder.
But make sure your doctors recommend you exercises. These should be safe and not involve heavy movement or contraindicated exercise that could be harmful.
How exercises help
According to expert’s opinion, exercises should be individualized and treatment goals must be achievable. The overtraining will cause a decrease in physical performance and an increase in muscle injuries and the need to focus on muscle tissue.
The neuro-rehabilitation physiotherapist helps you to reduce the complaints that are experienced as a result of the neuromuscular disorder.
Under supervision, we work on improving or maintaining your independence, safety and well-being during exercise.
Depending on the experienced problems, a personal treatment plan is drawn up.
What does a treatment look like?
During the treatment, the muscles are central, as they are the ones that work less.
Maintaining strength will be a big part of treatment.
In addition, you can work on walking, balance, posture, endurance, etc.
It is a non-invasive technique that aims to restore mobility and activation of muscles and reduce pain, while aiming for deep tissue massage.
In the Physical Rehabilitation Centre, we have trained professionals who effectively perform these procedures.
During the required treatment, the physical therapist will apply firm and direct pressure to manipulate the soft tissues of the arms, legs, back and other affected areas.
The most frequent cases are due to chronic sports injuries.
But they can also occur due to various medical or neurological conditions.
Electrical Stimulation Can Be More Than You Think
Many people buy an electrostimulation device because their physiotherapist might have been using it and they find it effective in recovery.
Electrical stimulation devices can be used for many different purposes, so it is often seen that different people in the same household (despite their different needs) can benefit from the same device.
Benefits of the new generation of electrical stimulators:
- Easy to take with you
- Easy to use
Below I give an overview of what an electrical stimulation device can normally do:
Recovery, Massage and Well-Being
– Muscle relaxing massage – helps sore, tired and overloaded muscles.
– Increases blood circulation – get rid of slag products faster.
– Faster ready to train again.
– Helps against the feeling of heavy legs.
– Can relieve all forms of muscle, tendon and joint pain.
– Blocks the body’s pain signals – completely without side effects.
– Can break pain circles and make it possible to perform rehab exercises
– Improves muscle strength.
– Train specific muscle fibres – fast vs. slow.
– Improve muscle endurance and / or explosiveness.
– Perform heavy strength training – without hard joint load.
– Extremely effective training – also time efficient.
Is Electric Stimulation Not Difficult to Use?
Although Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (and its many synonyms) sounds very complicated, the use of the device itself is the exact opposite.
It is very easy and very user friendly+! The muscle stimulator consists of a stimulation device, cables, self-adhesive electrodes and an app for your smartphone.
The muscle stimulator is through Bluetooth to the app on your smartphone, which quickly and easily guides you through the entire installation.
In fact, you just have to download the app, create a user, and the app tells you exactly what to do – step-by-step.
When the installation is complete, it is the app you use to select the program and to turn up and down the intensity of the individual program.
The control is through an app.
Once you have chosen whether you want to recover, have a massage, strength training or pain relief, you select the desired body part, and then your smartphone shows with the help of pictures how to place the electrodes on the skin.
It is very user-friendly, easy to perform, and it takes something extra for you to make a mistake!
How does your balance work?
Would you like to try that out? Stand on one leg, close your eyes and lift your other knee.
Chances are that you will falter. In order not to fall over, you need balance.
This is the coordinating ability that allows you to control the center of gravity of your body and to compensate for imbalances.
Room for improvement of strength training
Flywheel training was originally designed as a training method for astronauts to maintain their muscle mass and bone density in space.
In a weightless environment, barbells, dumbbells or bodyweight training is of no use to you.
So, there was a need for a training method that works independently of gravity.
Flywheel training was the solution and is effective that it has now been embraced in the rehabilitation and (top) sports setting.
Therapists and trainers use it as part of the treatment of a condition, for injury prevention and / or to improve (sports) performance.
It is ideal for physiotherapy practices and fitness centres.
We hope we extensively covered the topic in hand. If you still have questions, you can reach out to our team to know more about the condition and effective treatment.