Soft Tissue Therapy practitioners are trained in the assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of minor and chronic soft tissue injuries. These issues can be the result of any type of lifestyle factor, such as poor posture, occupational stress or sports injuries.
A Soft Tissue Therapist must have a BTEC Level 5 in Soft Tissue Therapy which is the equivalent of a degree level.
Issues which Soft Tissue Therapists can help with include:
• Soft tissue injuries
• Poor posture
• Decreased joint mobility
• Aches and pains
• General tension
If your issue is chronic (6 months or longer), you will more than likely need a soft tissue therapy appointment rather than a sports massage/deep tissue massage.
Soft Tissue Therapists incorporate a range of different soft tissue techniques in order to help relieve the injuries which they encounter.
Our Soft Tissue Therapist Ash uses the following techniques:
- Myofascial Release specifically focuses on the fascia of the muscles. Fascia is a sheet of connective tissue, made mostly of collagen. It wraps around the muscles and muscle fibres, connecting everything together and assisting the natural contraction on the muscle. Like muscles they also have a tendency to get tight and can restrict movement. Myofascial release helps to mobilize the fascia and restore proper function.
- Neuromuscular Technique is aimed at treating hypertonic (tight) muscles. Muscles that have a tendency towards being hypertonic are found in the neck, calf and shoulders, often causing referred pain to other areas. A hypertonic muscle resists being lengthened and will hold a shortened state because this is comfortable. The CNS (central nervous system) is responsible for this as one of its main functions is to avoid pain. Neuromuscular technique focuses on disrupting this by applying pressure to the area until the ‘comfortable’ state is no longer comfortable and the CNS relaxes the muscle to rectify this.
Active Tissue Release
- Active release focuses on restoring the proper function of the muscle by putting it through its range of motion while applying some tensile force on the soft tissue to break down adhesions and release trapped nerves.
Muscle Energy Technique
- uses the neurological principle that, by contracting a muscle, the antagonist will relax to allow the movement. If the Biceps contract, the Triceps will relax to allow the elbow to be flexed. Therefore, a hypertonic muscle will be put into a mild stretch while the opposing muscle will contract against resistance for 10secs. After this it will feel as though the force of stretch on the hypertonic muscle is reduced and the practitioner can repeat the process until full range of motion is achieved.
- Active stretching unlike regular stretching uses movement to achieve an increased range of motion. It is a similar principle to MET however the movement is fluid and doesn’t involve contracting against force.
- Faradic Therapy uses a modified faradic pulse provided by the WG Transeva to contract and relax the muscle rhythmically. This both improves muscle tone, making the muscles more responsive to signals from the brain and relaxes hypertonic muscles. The physical movement of the muscles contracting and relaxing also helps to breakdown adhesions and release trapped nerves.