Soft tissue mobilization is a form of manual physical therapy where your practitioner uses hands-on techniques on various parts of your body including your muscles, ligaments, and fascia in order to break adhesions and optimize muscle function, improving mobility, decreasing pain levels, and help return to a pre-injury state.
What are “adhesions”
Adhesions result as a by-product your body’s attempt to heal soft tissue injuries that occur in conjunction with a lengthy, unaddressed inflammation process, this results in long strands of collagenous scar tissue. These new tissues pull against one another resulting in trigger points of pain.
Soft tissue mobilization can be done with a large variety of instruments as well as a practitioner's own hands however the goals remain the same.
- Break down and reduce adhesions
- Improve range of motion
- Lengthen muscles and tendons
- Reduce swelling and edema
- Decrease pain
- Restore functionality
Different techniques are also utilized in the “breakage” of these trigger points/adhesions.
- Sustained pressure: involves pushing directly on the restricted tissue and holding
- Unlocking spiral: pushing on restricted tissue and alternating between clockwise and counterclockwise rotating motions
- Perpendicular mobilization: involves pushing of the myofascial tissue at right angles in order to relieve tension
Soft tissue mobilization can be achieved in the use of many different techniques but can also be achieved with many different instruments.
Commonly used tools include:
- Graston Tools
- Foam Rollers
- Massage Guns
- Lacrosse/Tennis/Golf Balls
- Body Tempering Tools