People can often wonder what soft tissue therapy actually is. The term has been around for many years, but often gets confused with Sports Massage, which is a detriment to both disciplines. Here, we try to define what soft tissue therapy is as we see it.
Soft Tissue Therapy involves working with the body’s soft tissues to help reduce pain and dysfunction. A soft tissue therapist looks to “treat all minor and chronic injuries whether caused through sport or any other lifestyle factor, using massage and other more advanced techniques” (Mel Cash ,ISRM).
This might make more sense once we know that the body’s soft tissues include “muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, nerves, fibrous tissues, fat, blood vessels, and synovial membranes” (Sports Medicine Australia) – basically, stuff that isn’t bone!
So – a soft tissue therapist is someone who works on the squishy bits to help them work or feel better, regardless of how the problem has been caused. And the therapist will do this using massage and “more advanced techniques”.
Massage is most strongly associated with Swedish Massage, which has been around for hundreds of years in one form or another. Traditionally associated with relaxation or beauty treatments, it can be highly beneficial for people struggling with stress or just feeling a bit achey as it can promote a sense of wellbeing and relaxation. The “more advanced techniques” mentioned by Mel Cash is where the definition becomes more confusing!
More advanced techniques are those that go beyond Swedish Massage to look at working with or around the muscles and joints with the aim of either reducing pain or improving movement. Examples of these techniques include muscle energy work, post Isometric relaxation and reciprocal inhibition, positional release and myofascial release. At State 11, we also include cupping, kinseology taping, scar work and RAPID in the techniques we have to help clients, but other therapists may use different skills.
A soft tissue therapist can also aim to identify the underlying causes of injury and offer more long-term improvements in physical wellbeing and injury prevention (Mel Cash, ISRM).
Has this article left you wondering if soft tissue therapy can help you? Call us on 07788 287098 or email us at email@example.com – because we could be the solution you’ve been looking for!