Spinal and joint motion segments have an incredible number of nerves that go into them. These nerves are in muscle fibres, tendons, ligaments, joint capsules, bone tissue… everywhere.
Nerves continuously transmit messages from the brain, telling the body what to do and conversely shoot messages back up to the brain telling it what’s happening.
The most important thing to remember is that the brain perceives and reacts to your environment based upon what the nerves are telling it.
So if you sit hunched over a computer keyboard all day, the joints, tendons and ligaments in your neck, shoulders and upper back are under constant load and stretch. The brain correctly tells the muscles around these areas to tighten up to try to correct this load.
The longer you stay hunched over, the more the joints stretch into that position, and the harder the muscles contract to help.
This is just one scenario out of thousands in your day that involves the brain, nerves, muscles and joints working together to adapt to your environment. Over sustained time, this adaptation can become “normal”, so the nerves and muscles are constantly firing or switched on.
A Myotherapist role is to help restore function or motion back into the joint segments to help release or reduce the nerve irritation. Sometimes an adjustment can be enough to release the joint position and affect the nerves that feed up to the brain and create a better “normal”.
Sometimes remedial massage work into the muscle, tendon, ligaments and joint capsule will release the tissue enough to help reduce the nerve irritation and create a better “normal”.
Sometimes your body needs a combined approach of both therapies to create enough change to interrupt the nerve patterns and bring you back to “normal.” Finding therapists with common thinking and open philosophies to your health and results will better serve you in the long term.
Of course, one of the greatest helpers along the way is also changing your environment to best support or create a better you. Identify your areas of most common physical, chemical and emotional stress as these will cause your brain and body to adapt the most. Start creating small changes regularly to gradually put yourself into a better space.
So just like the chicken and the egg scenario: Which came first? It doesn’t really matter. What’s most important is you respond to what your body is telling you. Take proactive steps for yourself and seek assistance from passionate, well-experienced therapists who will get you moving in the right direction.