Welcome to Nichola Starkey Myotherapy
Nichola specialises in Dry Needling, Trigger Point Therapy, Myofascial Release, Stretching techniques TENS machine application, joint mobilisation, and specialised taping techniques. She uses these techniques with a variety of evidence-based clinical approaches to address many different injuries and conditions in combination to provide an individualised program for each presenting case. While also providing a prescription of strengthening and stretching advice for her patients to take home to continue treatment and reinforce progress for the presenting condition.
Nichola has treated many conditions, especially in the management of soft-tissue pain and dysfunction, autoimmune disorders, TMJ dysfunction, lower back pain from Facet Joint inflammation, as well as the common tension headache, to bad posture and stress. Nichola has had the privilege to treat many professional athletes in sports from the players of West Coast Fever, the players of the Western Force, the players of Perth Glory, individual AFL players in both Victorian and Western Australian teams, she has also treated Olympic professionals in swimming and triathlon.
Nichola has a personal interest in nutrition and keeping fit through running and free weights at the Gym. She is happy to provide advice on nutritional requirements for training of events such as fun runs and marathons. More recently she is committed to pursuing knowledge in the fitness industry and compete in natural body building competitions. In 2016 Nichola managed to achieve first place at the ICN WA State Titles in the Bikini category. Nichola’s favourite quote is, “if you don’t have your health, you can’t achieve anything”.
What is Myotherapy?
Myotherapy is a specialist therapy that treats myofascial pain and dysfunction. ‘Myo’ means muscle and fascia is a type of connective tissue that separates bundles of fibres (muscle cells) within muscles, forms the muscle sheaths (wraps around the muscle) and divides muscles into functional groups. Therefore myofasciae are the muscles and all associated connective tissues.
The clinical entity responsible for myofascial pain and dysfunction is the myofascial trigger point (MTrP). It is a localised, small section of complete contracture of some muscle fibres within a muscle. Myofascial trigger points occur at the nerve-muscle junction and have strong inputs into the central nervous system (CNS), as well as being affected by outputs from the CNS. Therefore, it is more accurate to say MTrPs are neuromuscular lesions that can affect more than muscle function alone.
Myotherapists assess, treat and provide the rehabilitation of pain associated with the fascia, joints and muscles that may have been caused by associated functional repetitive movement (biomechanics), or long and short term conditions of stress, injury or illness. Myotherapy plays a role in manual medicine as a single mode of treatment, or is used in conjunction with treatment provided by both medical and other allied-health practitioners such as physiotherapy, podiatry, chiropractic, osteopathy, remedial massage and acupuncture/TCM.
Myotherapists take into account all aspects of health and wellness to treat patients - this includes not only physical, but psychological, nutritional and occupational aspects of the individual.
History of Myotherapy
Myotherapy originated in the USA by a lady named Bonnie Prudden. In 1979, she opened the Bonnie Prudden School of Physical Fitness and Myotherapy. Throughout the years, Bonnie networked with thousands of doctors that Myotherapy is a new and viable way of treating pain caused by muscle spasms, short of continual medication, available to relieve the intense pain caused by muscle spasm. Bonnie produced a book named Pain Erasure: The Bonnie Prudden Way, published in 1980, she carefully outlined how Myotherapy could successfully eliminate 95 percent of all pain. She followed that book with Bonnie Prudden’s Complete Guide to Pain-Free Living in 1984. She believed that Myotherapy is based on that the individual must not only want to get well, but that he or she must be able to take an important part in their own healing process.
Bonnie has since passed in 2011. But her legacy still lives on in the forge of the modality that is Myotherapy through training in Australia. Mainly located in Melbourne Myotherapy started in the early 1990s through to the current healthcare environment, no other manual therapy profession makes the treatment and management of myofascial pain and dysfunction its primary focus. From its inception in Australia, Myotherapy treatment was based on the early clinical research published in 1983 of eminent American Dr Janet Travell and Dr David Simons. Initially research was to establish the pathophysiology of the myofascial trigger point. As a greater understanding of the nature of myofascial pain is gained, clinical trials to investigate treatment interventions will add to the scientific basis of Myotherapy treatment.
How does Myotherapy differ from Physiotherapy?
Physiotherapists can focus on the presenting condition through rehabilitation and physical treatment of the joint and surrounding tissues as well as provide exercises to improve function and mobility. Treatments are generally 30 minutes. Myotherapists sees the body as a whole structure and that conditions can be connected to the systems of the body. Myotherapists can provide treatment through a range of physical mobilisation of the muscle and surrounding tissue and use equipment such as TENS, Dry Needling to improve function of the muscle.
Some common examples of conditions a Myotherapist treat: