Soft Tissue Therapy
What is soft tissue therapy?
Soft tissue therapy combines therapeutic massage with other bodywork and rehabilitation treatments to target microtraumas within the body’s soft tissues. These include the muscles, ligaments, fascia, tendons, and joint capsules.
Microtraumas are microscopic damage or injury to the soft tissues of the body. They can be caused by many of the activities of day-to-day life – even things like exercising or sitting or standing in certain positions for extended periods.
When these microtraumas occur, they create adhesions within the muscles. People with these adhesions may experience a tight or pulling sensation during movement, which can result in subsequent muscular pain.
The intention of soft tissue therapy is to release the tension caused by these adhesions, and lengthen the muscle fibres to improve the function of the affected soft tissues.
Who can benefit from soft tissue therapy?
Soft tissue therapy may be of benefit to anyone who is struggling with the pain or discomfort associated with soft tissue injury.
It is also often used in combination with chiropractic treatment to treat a range of health issues associated with soft tissue soreness, stiffness, or tension.
What does soft tissue therapy involve?
During soft tissue therapy, massage therapies may be combined with other bodywork and rehabilitation treatments.
Depending on your symptoms, the specific techniques used may vary. However, common techniques include:
- Stimulation of trigger points, where pressure is applied to certain trigger points within the body
- Deep tissue massage, where deep strokes are used to apply pressure to and manipulate the muscles and connective tissue
- Myofascial release, where pressure is applied and held to the thick bands of fascia surrounding the muscles, with the intention of stretching them
- Deep friction massage, where deep circular motions are used to massage the area in such a way that the different layers of soft tissues rub against one another
- Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilisation, where specialised tools are used to manipulate the soft tissues
All of these techniques help to release muscle knots, reduce pain and spasms, alleviate tightness and tension, and improve circulation and blood flow
What are the benefits of soft tissue therapy?
If you’re experiencing tightness, stiffness, or soreness, there are a number of benefits that you may be able to get out of soft tissue therapy. These include that it:
- Reduces stiffness, pain, and tension
- Reduces swelling
- Improves muscular strength
- Increases soft tissue mobility, range of motion, and function
- Improves circulation and blood flow
- Improves lymphatic circulation to support the body’s waste removal processes
- Expedites healing and recovery
- Maximises function
- Minimises the risk of future injury or the recurrence of symptoms
How can I get started with soft tissue therapy?
Soft tissue therapy is just one of the modalities we use at Chiro & Integrative Therapies to treat soft tissue injuries. We are based in Mudgeeraba on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia.
To find out more about how soft tissue therapy can help you, give us a call today on (07) 5607 0161.
What medical conditions does soft tissue therapy benefit?
Soft tissue therapy may help several medical conditions, including headaches, sprains, tears, fasciitis, arthritis, disc bulges, tendonitis, bursitis, tennis elbow, repetitive strain injuries, whiplash, abnormal muscle tightness, and neck, back, shoulder, knee, hip, foot, and nerve pain.
Do I have to play sports or be an athlete to benefit from soft tissue therapy?
No. Although this treatment modality has a number of benefits for people who are sporty or athletic, it may also benefit those who live a more sedentary lifestyle.
In fact, many of the microtraumas that soft tissue therapy aims to treat can result from the less active things we do in everyday life – for example, sitting or standing in certain positions for extended periods of time. This means that almost anyone with muscular tightness, stiffness, or soreness may be able to benefit from this type of treatment.
What other treatments might be used to complement soft tissue therapy?
Depending on your symptoms and results you are hoping to achieve, different treatment modalities may sometimes be used to support soft tissue therapy.
These may include other sports or remedial massage techniques, the application of hot or cold packs, electric stimulation, stretching, dry needling, hold/release techniques, postural or kinesiotaping, exercise rehabilitation, and breathing retraining.