St. John Neuromuscular therapy (SJNMT) is a system of manual therapy that works on
the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the body to release painful contractions and
restore normal health and function to the affected tissues.
During an initial visit, an SJNMT therapist normally:
Takes a medical history and asks about the current condition in question.
Performs a postural evaluation and (if relevant) observes gait patterns.
Conducts a palpatory examination of relevant soft tissues to locate ischemic, tender
Tests the involved muscles for relative strength, as needed.
Checks for referred pain patterns from other muscles which may not currently be painful.
Applies specific therapeutic techniques to the affected tissues to restore normal
Uses movement therapy (biomechanical re-education) as necessary to help restore proper
movement and full range of motion.
Having gathered this information, an SJNMT therapist develops a treatment plan that
will treat the root cause of your pain problem, rather than just its effects. The
SJNMT protocol for rehabilitation is as follows:
Eliminate spasm and hypercontraction in the tissues (manual therapy).
Experience has shown that if steps in this protocol are skipped during rehabilitation,
re-injury or setbacks usually occur. For example, if resistance exercise or weight
training is started before the hypercontraction has been removed from the injured
muscles, the muscles are likely to re-spasm and pain will recur along the original
facilitated neurological pathways.
SJNMT is an effective therapy for relief of muscular pain without the side effects
of drugs or the complications and expense of surgery; in fact, many patients have
been able to discontinue medications or even avoid surgery as a result of receiving
SJNMT. It must be stressed, however, that any decision to discontinue medications
or avoid surgery must be made only with the advice and consent of your supervising
physician or other licensed health care provider.
Neuromuscular Therapy (SJNMT) is a very effective treatment for a wide range of musculoskeletal
conditions. Although of course there is no "magic bullet" that will resolve all pain
conditions, SJNMT has a remarkable record of being able to help or resolve a wide
range of conditions in many people. Some of the more common conditions that have
been helped include:
SJNMT achieves its results through five primary means: 1) Relieving ischemia (lack
of blood flow) and spasm in muscle tissue; 2) Releasing trigger points (localized
areas in muscles that refer pain elsewhere in the body); 3) Relieving nerve entrapment
in soft tissues; 4) Relieving postural distortions that cause muscle pain; and 5)
Correcting faulty movement patterns that create and perpetuate pain.
No. While it is sometimes necessary to take a muscle into 'comfortable discomfort'
- that "hurts so good" feeling - it is never appropriate to cause real pain. After
all, since the goal is to bring about relaxation in the body, if the therapy causes
you to tighten up, either physically or psychologically, it is counter-therapeutic.
You will be asked constantly for feedback about the amount of pressure used and all
work will be done to your level of comfort.
That depends on many factors, including the nature and extent of the problem, how
long the problem has existed, your body's general health and rate of healing, and
how much you participate in the healing process. Simple problems of recent onset
sometimes resolve in minutes, while complex conditions of long standing may take
weeks or months; after all, a pain pattern of 20 years' duration can hardly be expected
to vanish in a week or two. Nevertheless, Advanced Therapeutics does not support
dependency relationships and frowns on unnecessary treatment. The goal is to help
you get well as quickly as possible and to put you back in control of your own health,
and experience has shown that the greater your commitment to participating in the
therapy and getting well, the faster you'll heal.
Clearly, muscle pain from athletic injury or overuse hinders your performance, yet
a more common problem often goes unrecognised. Muscular imbalance, whether as a result
of an old injury, skeletal asymmetry, chronic posture, or muscle overuse, forces
other muscles to compensate, keeps you from performing at your best, and makes you
more subject to injury. Even a "balanced" program of exercise won't help if it's
only equally reinforcing the existing imbalances. Balanced exercise programs only
work for posturally balanced bodies, which are extremely rare. SJNMT looks at muscular
balance and postural distortions, then offers a custom-tailored program to help you
bring your muscles back into balance for better health and peak athletic performance.