Soft tissue mobilization encompasses many different techniques. In general, therapists press, rub, and otherwise manipulate the muscles and other soft tissues of the body. They most often use their hands and fingers, but may use their forearms, elbows, or feet.
The term "soft tissue mobilization" includes many techniques, and the type of treatment given usually depends on your needs and physical condition.
- The goal of soft tissue mobilization (STM) is to treat soft tissue problems and restore movement by breaking up myofascial adhesions (inflexible fibrous muscle tissue) such as scar tissue from an injury, moving tissue fluids, and relaxing muscle tension.
- Soft tissue mobilization improves the patient's posture, which helps facilitate better form and more efficient biomechanical movement of joints and muscles.
- Soft tissue mobilization is used as a component of a complete manual therapy program, which includes evaluation and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders.
- Myofascial trigger point soft tissue mobilization treatments focus on trigger points—areas that are painful when pressed and are associated with pain elsewhere in the body.
Benefits of Soft Tissue Mobilization
Some of the benefits of soft tissue mobilization include:
- Pain reduction
- Increased mobility/flexibility/range of motion
- Increased circulation in the treated area
- Reduction in soft tissue tension