In a nutshell, soft tissue therapy is remedial manual therapy on steroids. It is targeted clinical treatment. It is hands-on bodywork that can get you out of many kinds of painful episodes.
Soft tissue therapy reduces tensile and compressive stress on your body and dramatically speeds up the healing process.
‘Soft tissue’ refers to the type of body structures that are targeted in a treatment session.
These Soft Tissue structures include:
- Muscles, tendon, and ligaments,
- Fascia (superficial and deep)
- Fluids such as blood, lymph, interstitial fluid (between cells)
- Arteries, veins, lymph nodes, and channels.
- Nerves and motor programs (brain maps that direct movement/ dysfunctional patterns)
Soft Tissue Therapy is not “just massage.”
Unfortunately, our society currently labels any form of manual therapy as “massage.” The word ‘massage’ does not encapsulate the full scope of knowledge and treatment techniques used by fully qualified Soft Tissue Therapists.
The goal of massage is relaxation. Specifically it is targeted to relax the central nervous system (which is the brain). This is great for systematic recovery, but it is not soft tissue treatment.
Soft tissue therapy is a precise treatment done for a specific reason to specific tissue. The result is observable, measurable, and repeatable.
An example is myofascial release work done on adhesive capsulitis in the Shoulder. The technique does not use a lubricant, requires a specifically trained skill with the hand, and breaks a stuck joint capsule that can be observed on ultrasound and measured by goniometry.
A fully trained Soft tissue therapist has many tools to draw from to help get you out of pain and back on with your life. Examples include:
- Manual therapy
- Remedial massage and sports massage techniques
- Trigger point therapy
- Nerve pain release techniques
- Cupping (done with intent, not just slapping them all over)
- Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM, a.k.a. Graston or scraping)
- Myofascial Dry needling for trigger points
- Deep Ischemic release techniques
- Myofascial release techniques
- Passive tissue tensioning techniques
- Muscle energy techniques
- PNF pain elimination techniques
- Active release technique
- Positional release technique
- Postural taping techniques
- First stage exercise rehabilitation
- Breathing retraining.
- Swedish massage techniques
- All stretching techniques
- Joint mobilizations
- Modalities like Piezowave, ultrasound, e-stim, and more
A Soft tissue therapy session always involves:
A concise history of the problem area: Body reading (postural assessment) to determine the degree of compensation throughout other areas of the body. The body is highly interconnected.
A movement and orthopedic assessment to identify which kind of soft tissue may be involved: Treatment may be done in a lying face up or face down position, lying on your side, or sitting or standing. The position depends upon which tissues are being treated.
Potent results in a single session
One of the most vital aspects of Soft tissue therapy is improving symptoms in the first treatment. Clinically we see this 95% of the time.
What conditions do we treat with Soft Tissue Therapy?
Conditions that respond exceptionally well to Soft tissue therapy include but are not limited too:
- Random muscle aches and pain that move around the body
- Neck and lumbar spine disc bulges.
- Poor posture- rounded shoulders and sway backs
- Functional and structural scoliosis of the spine
- Growing pains in children and adolescents
- Thoracic outlet syndrome
- Muscle tears
- Tendinitis and bursitis conditions
- The need to increase range of motion for various sports, e.g., Shoulder and thoracic spine flexibility for snatch in Olympic weight lifting.
- Computer posture and repetitive strain injuries
- Tennis and golfers elbow
- Plantar fasciitis
- Many kinds of nerve conditions in the neck, lumbar spine, arms, and legs
- Tension headaches and some migraines.
- Erasing Compensation patterns post-injury and post-surgery.
- Post joint surgeries (once Surgeon/physio approval has been given)
- Adrenal fatigue and central fatigue (nervous system burnout)
- Unusually rigid tight muscles throughout the body.
- Also, most conditions being overseen by a physiotherapist, podiatrist, Chiropractor, or Osteopath.
How many are Soft-Tissue Therapy sessions needed?
Soft Tissue Therapy’s significant strength is its ability to make an instant difference in pain levels and body comfort in the first session. This occurs 95% of the time. Further treatments continue the release process. A considerable change occurs in many problems within 3-4 treatments.
Depending upon the severity of the condition, treatment may need to be twice weekly, initially for one to two weeks. However, once weekly is enough until the condition stabilizes, and therapy can be pushed once every two to three weeks.
Many clients find Soft Tissue Therapy so beneficial to their life that regular monthly sessions are booked.
Soft Tissue therapy work holds anywhere from 3 days to three weeks. Exercise maintains and makes the passive release work stay even longer.
When an injury is viewed from a financial perspective, most problem areas require a minimum of $400- 1000 to fix.
Doing the prescribed rehabilitation exercises until the area stabilizes, getting regular Soft Tissue Therapy to aid in pain elimination and movement management bears excellent results.
This combination provides the best value for time and money outlaid per session. Your Soft Tissue Therapist wants to see you succeed and fully recover. It’s why we started learning this powerful healing modality in the first place!
If you need the benefits of soft tissue treatment then you are at the right place. Book your next session here.