If I had a dollar for every time someone asked what the difference was between a Myotherapist and a Physiotherapist then I wouldn’t need to work. With each profession there is not one that is better than the other. However, like all things, there are preferences. If you’re struggling to figure out whether to see a Myotherapist, Physiotherapist, Chiropractor or Osteopath then read on.
(myo = muscle)
- Soft tissue, musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, manual therapy, exercise rehabilitation
- Come to us when you have muscular aches and pain or movement limitations/dysfunction
- We treat a huge range of symptoms and disorders, a lot of which can be found here
- Consult times range from 1.5 hours to 30 mins.
- Not suitable for acute injuries such as broken bones etc
- Best value for money (I may be biased)
- We can’t diagnose or prescribe medications
(Physio = physical)
- Treat a large range of disorders and symptoms similar to Myotherapists
- More suitable for acute trauma injuries/rehabilitation
- Can diagnose
- Consult times range from 1 hour to 15 mins
- Overlaps both Myotherapy (soft tissue) and Chiropractic (manipulation) in treatment style
(Chiro = joint)
- Treats neural and joint issues associated most commonly with the spine
- Style of treatment is complete opposite to Myotherapy (involves sudden movements to manipulate the joint)
- Consult times range from 1 hour to 10 mins
- Can be suitable for acute trauma/rehabilitation
(Osteo = bone)
- Very similar to chiropractic in that they can treat neuropathies and joint issues
- Can be a gentler approach (soft tissue work)
- Consult times similar to chiropractic
- Can diagnose
- Larger emphasis on soft tissue treatments than chiropractic
A tendinopathy is essentially a disorder of the tendons. A commonly used term is tendonitis/tendinosis but I’m going to save you the anatomy and physiology lecture and show you what you need to know.
What you feel
- You can pin point the exact location of the pain at the tendon either by pointing to it or by pinching the area.
- It doesn’t refer. It will be sore in the exact area you feel it and only there.
- It will be sore during rest and ease off when you are moving (warming up).
- It will hurt to sit on hard surfaces (proximal hamstring tendinopathy) or lay on your side (glute medius tendinopathy).
- You will most likely have morning stiffness or pain 24 hours after the activity.
- It will hurt to do explosive movements (jumping, running, hopping etc).
- It will be a sharp pain.
- There will be pain while stretching or compressing the tendon against the bone.
- There will have been a sudden increase in activity (boot camps).
- You may have a history of insulin resistance diabetes.
- Men who are more at risk have central adiposity (fat).
- Women who are more at risk will be post menopausal.
What you need to know
- Once a tendon always a tendon: meaning the tendon will stay the same structurally whether or not there is pain.
- Isometric contractions, where you are contracting the muscle without moving the limbs, will decrease the pain more effectively than Panadol will as well as strengthen the tendon.
- Tendons hate being compressed against bone. If you’re unsure of compression, it’s similar to stretch.
- Massage doesn’t Well what’s the point of me then? We treat the limitations that may be caused by or are causing the tendinopathy.
- Movement is the best medicine.
- Avoid surgery and cortisone! Surgery doesn’t help and cortisone makes it worse.
- It will get better. Patience is key, as tendons hate change, so progressions with exercise may be slow.
- Scans are inconclusive. An ultrasound will tell me there are signs of tendinitis in an otherwise perfectly healthy supraspinatus (one of the rotator cuff muscles).
- The time it takes to heal a tendon is dependant on each individual. Muscle and bone both take up to 12 weeks to recover after injury so why should a tendon miraculously get better in a day.
A good therapist will know all this and treat the pain. A great therapist will treat both sides just as equally.