We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Neuromuscular Therapy?

By Simone Lawson
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Neuromuscular therapy is a form of massage used to treat and prevent tissue injuries and chronic pain. These massage techniques manipulate muscles, tendons and connective tissues to heal and balance the central nervous system. Injury and various traumas may cause pain and interfere with nerve transmitters; neuromuscular therapy works to stabilize neurological activity and repair soft tissue function.

Developed by chiropractors Stanley Lief and Boris Chaitow, neuromuscular therapy emerged in Europe during the 1930’s. Neuromuscular therapy became a common method of treating sports injuries and pain, and as the method grew in popularity, it began to emerge in the United States. Eventually, a detailed system called the five point technique was developed in the 1980’s by Dr. Janet Travell, M.D. and Dr. David Simmons, M.D. The method created a detailed approach to neuromuscular therapy by addressing trigger points in the myofascial tissue and drawing an outline of five basic elements that cause physical pain. The breakthroughs with neuromuscular massage began to widely impact therapeutic communities, and the five point technique became the modern version of neuromuscular therapy.

The first element identified as a pain source is ischemia. Ischemia refers to a lack of blood flow to the soft tissues which results in a hypersensitivity to touch. Those suffering with ischemia may experience frequent bruising, temperature sensitivities and a consistent underlying feeling of pain in the skin and bones.

The second element addresses trigger points: highly irritated areas in the muscles that result in pain throughout other areas in the body. This often develops as a tight, knotty area in a muscle that places added tension on the rest of the muscle. Hard, tense spots in the muscles tend to require intense, concentrated pressure applied directly to the tough spot on the muscle and may take several sessions to completely release.

The third element of pain deals with nerve compression or entrapment. Nerve compression occurs when soft tissue or cartilage places pressure on a nerve. This may occur as the result of disc degeneration or bone loss caused by osteoporosis.

Postural distortion is the fourth source of pain and is caused by harsh or jarring body movements. The muscular system often becomes imbalanced due to the body moving unnaturally off of the horizontal and longitudinal planes. Car accidents tend to be the most common cause of postural distortion.

The fifth element results from biomechanical dysfunction. Biomechanical dysfunction occurs as the result of faulty movement habits, such as typing or an ergonomically incorrect golf swing. These repeated movements eventually may cause an imbalance in the musculoskeletal system.

The five physiological factors that may be causing pain are addressed by implementing a recovery program that utilizes specific massage therapy, builds flexibility and balances the nervous system. Neuromuscular therapy uses massage to focus directly on detailed areas that may be causing pain. The techniques used in this type of therapy focus on massaging tendons, ligaments and connective tissues in detail. The thumbs and fingertips are often used to release tight muscle fibers or hidden areas that often go unnoticed with other forms of massage.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.