What is Soft Tissue?
Soft tissues make 70% of the body. They include muscles, the connective tissue between various tissues, fascia, tendons, ligaments, nerves, and the joints. Soft tissue therapy is designed to help alleviate soft tissue issues, its effect on surrounding structures, which is responsible for discomfort associated with everyday and occupational stresses, muscle over-use, and many chronic pain conditions.
Our physiotherapist may use a combination of various soft tissue therapy techniques and tools during treatment:
Fascia is the white strong bands of connective tissue that covers, holds and supports all structures in the body including bones, nerves, muscles, tendons and organs. Myofascia is the fascia surrounding the muscles. The fascia can become tight and restricted following poor posture over a long time, or after an injury and this may cause pain or reduced movement. In the myofascial release, we apply pressure and hold this pressure to areas of tight myofascia to stretch the fascia and release any pain, tension and movement problem.
Trigger point therapy
Trigger points are localised areas of a tight, tender and irritable muscle caused by small ‘knots’ in the muscles. Trigger points are made by muscle overactivity for a long time with insufficient recovery which is deprived of oxygen and nutrients. They may be felt as a lump in the muscle and cause pain, tenderness and tightness in the muscle or in the surrounding area. Referred pain from tight or knotted muscle can be similar to the pain from nerve entrapment and spinal disc bulge.
Our physiotherapist can differentiate these and treat the relevant problem. Physiotherapists locate trigger points by hand and treat it by manual techniques, release and needling. The result is relieved of local and referred pain, muscle spasm and improve your movement.
Massage is a treatment used by physiotherapists to stimulate the soft tissues in your body, brings more blood supply, nutrients and oxygen to the muscle and surrounding area, in order to relieve pain, improve movement and ultimately relax you.
There are many forms of massage used by our physiotherapist according to the condition and aim of treatment. Transverse frictions (involves applying deep forces by fingertips at a right angle to an area of injured soft tissue, to increase circulation and release areas that are tight; particularly around joints and where there are adhesions(tissues sticking to each other) within the muscles or tendons), Effleurage method(very gentle stroking motions using both flat hands), Direct applied pressure or acupressure (to relax the body and to alleviate tension built up in pressure points using pressure by thumb or elbow), Rubbing ( circular motion by thumbs to treat muscles, joints and to stimulate blood and lymphatic circulation), Kneading (is a deep tissue technique used to relax the muscles and stimulate circulation. It reduces tension, aches and pain. It often focuses on the trapezius muscles located between the neck and shoulders. The therapist’s two hands move in opposite directions using the thumbs, fingers and heel of the hand), Tapping massage(often with cupped hands, used for the back, buttocks and thighs, alternating between the two hands while using swift motions. The level of pressure depends on your needs), Vibrating method /shaking(this one stimulates and energizes the nervous and circulatory systems through vibration. The practitioner may lay their hands flat on the body, and without rubbing, gently but quickly shake the muscles.
Sports Massage therapy
For achy and tired muscles. You should not leave your muscle tightness and stiffness to stay too long in your body, as it has adverse effects on the function and optimal movement of the muscle as well as the joints. We always recommend regular sports massage therapy and specifically after strenuous activities. Sports massage therapy may employ a variety of different massage techniques according to the condition of the muscles and surrounding tissues. The aim to reduce pain, relax, reduce muscle tone, release tightness and drain toxins and activity products out of the muscle tissue.
Sometimes our physiotherapist may discuss the option of dry needling with the patient for faster achievement of relaxation in the tight muscle/s.
Nerve/Neural Tissue Mobilization
Sometimes the patient has pain, numbness, tingling or similar problems which are routed from the nervous system and problem in neurodynamics or natural movement of the nerve. Neurodynamics (NM) is an intervention/treatment technique aimed at restoring the homeostasis( balance) in and around the nervous system. This is when neural tissue mobilization knowledge and skills come into effect. Neurodynamics is achieved by mobilization of the nerve/s or the structures that surround the nervous system such as layers that cover and protect the nerves. Neural mobilization improves movement between neural structures and their surroundings tissues. This can be done through manual techniques ( physiotherapist’s hands) or specific exercise. Studies on human and animal nerves have revealed that neuro-mobilization reduces edema inside the nerve layers, improves fluid dispersion inside the nerve, reduces nervous sensitivity, and reverses the increased immune responses following a nerve injury. All this helps reducing patient’s complain routed from nerves, improve daily activities and function.