Written by: Jason McKinley, CMT
Neuromuscular therapy is a technique used by massage therapists to reorganize and reset muscle fibers and muscle proprioceptors to help a muscle regain its proper function.
What exactly is a muscle proprioceptor? There are certain sensory nerves located within the belly of a muscle and at the junction between a muscle and a tendon that relay messages to the brain about how a muscle is performing. Muscle spindle cells, found in the belly of a muscle, are responsible for monitoring the length of a muscle and controlling the smoothness of that muscle’s contraction. Golgi tendon organs, found at the junction between a muscle and a tendon, are responsible for monitoring muscle tension and help protect muscles from injury.
During a Neuromuscular technique, the therapist will apply a more than average amount of pressure to the inhibited muscle while a client performs a movement of that particular muscle through its full range of motion. This therapy helps to reestablish the relationship between the muscle spindle cells and golgi tendon organs causing a more optimal contraction within that muscle. Neuromuscular therapy is a great way to help clients rehabilitate from injuries by helping a muscle regain its optimal contraction and alleviate any areas that may have been compensating for the imbalanced muscle, creating a better balance in the body.