What is soft tissue mobilization therapy?
Soft tissue mobilization is a manual therapy where professional and licensed physiotherapists use specific techniques on the fascia, muscles, and ligaments. The treatment aims to break the adhesions in the soft tissues and to improve muscle function. Some of the soft tissue injuries are strains, sprains, contusions, bursitis, and stress injuries. These injuries usually affect the fascia muscles or tendons.
The body also attempts to heal the soft tissue injuries, also called adhesions. However, it is a lengthy process of inflammation that leaves behind long strands of scar tissues. The scar tissue, when pulled against each other, creates the pain points. Mobilizing the soft tissues reduces the adhesions.
A professional physical therapist has the training to use hands-on technique and provide pain relief. Pushing, kneading, and pulling are a few techniques that apply to the nerves, ligaments, tendons, and muscles during soft tissue mobilization. The types of therapy are:
The technique identifies the pain points and holds them in a passive position from anywhere between ninety seconds to three minutes. It helps in relaxing the soft tissues and provides relief from pain and stiffness.
The technique involves a special plastic tool to aid the breakdown of scar tissues and promote the improved function of the muscle and joints. Scar tissues limit flexibility, muscle tension, and the motion range. It is an effective and a proven technique for treating bursitis and tendinitis and reduces inflammation.
Manual traction refers to applying pressure for a few seconds to stretch the spine and relieve the pressure off the lumbar discs. It is an effective therapy used to treat back pain and can be applied as a quick and sudden thrust.
It refers to pushing directly on the restricted tissues and holding.
This is another method of mobilizing the soft tissues using specific manual techniques that target the lymph pathways. The technique allows the fluid to move and improves circulation. It is effective for reducing swelling in the legs.
This manual therapy maintains the mobility inside the soft tissues present in the ligaments, muscles, and tendons. It also prevents the formation of scars. In this method, the therapists apply a deep tissue massage locally and obliquely to the pain location. Cross friction therapy reduces pain and regenerates connective tissues to promote the healing process.
Soft tissue manual therapy treats immobility and chronic muscular pain. The therapy aims to release tightness and tension in the pain areas. It involves a massage known as deep tissue work.
It uses a specialized stainless steel tool to treat scar tissues and promotes quick rehabilitation.
It is a low-risk therapy, but experts may need to confirm whether the patient has nerve damage, has undergone surgery, or has a fracture. The therapist must have significant knowledge of human anatomy and physiology. They must also have training in tissue manipulation and know how it impacts physical function. The strategies of mobilization therapy aim at improving the functional goals.
The benefits of the therapy are:
The mobilization of soft tissues treats the following conditions:
Patients with open wounds on the affected area, those undergoing cancer treatment, pregnant women, and people still recovering from fractures must not undergo mobilization of soft tissues. Certain kidney disorders also prevent patients from taking the therapy.
The physical therapist examines patients and figures out whether they require the therapy. When there is a nagging injury or persistent pain, patients must book slots for the therapy sessions in the clinic of the physiotherapist. The patients can also discuss symptoms and resolve their queries before the therapy begins.
The therapy mobilizes the muscles and breaks scar tissue. It also removes waste products or toxins from the damaged area and promotes healing. Patients may experience tension release in the muscles, greater flexibility, and improved movement.
For a soft tissue injury, the tissue goes for self-repair mechanism but forms scar tissue. When motion is limited, the physical therapists perform scar tissue mobilization. It can be also be used to treat tennis elbow, golf elbow, contracture, Morton’s neuroma, and tear in the quadriceps tendon. Based on the patient’s condition, the therapist may recommend multiple therapy sessions for relief.