A soft tissue injury includes sprains, strains, contusions, bursitis, tendonitis, and stress injuries. The body's soft tissues include the tendons, ligaments, and connective tissues that support the muscles, organs, and bones, but also include the skin, fat, cartilage, and blood vessels. Soft tissue injuries cause adhesions, which is the body’s attempt to heal the injuries with a lengthy inflammation process that results in scar tissue that forms trigger points of pain. The goal of soft-tissue mobilization, which is a form of manual physical therapy, is to break down these adhesions to improve range of motion, decrease pain, and improve functionality.
Only licensed providers should perform soft-tissue mobilization, such as physical and occupational therapists, as well as massage therapists and chiropractors. These practitioners have significant training in human anatomy and physiology and know how to improve physical function through the art of soft-tissue mobilization, which is just one strategy they use to help patients meet their functional goals
What Does Soft-Tissue Mobilization Therapy Treat?
The practitioner will use a variety of techniques to gently stretch, push, and pull the affected tissue to provide relief for strains, sprains, and other soft tissue injuries to reduce pain and restore functionality. Specific techniques include friction massage, sustained pressure, and rhythmic pushing on restricted tissues, among others.
Mobilization therapy may help treat problems that affect the upper and lower extremities, including:
- Tennis and golfer’s elbow
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Bicep, rotator cuff, heel, or knee tendonitis
- Hip pain
- Ankle or knee sprains
- Shin splints
- Plantar fasciitis
- Morton’s neuroma
Contact Orthopedic Specialists of Southwest Florida
Do you have questions about strains, sprains, or the techniques used in physical therapy and soft-tissue mobilization? Contact us at OSSWF for a consultation. We look forward to helping you get out of pain and restoring your functionality.