What You Need To Know About Soft Tissue Mobilization Therapy

soft tissue mobilization therapy Jan3rd 2023

Experiencing an injury after something as simple as a wrong move can cause debilitating pain. Plus, it’s pretty aggravating. Soft tissue damages are some of the most common injuries from sports and other daily activities. Luckily, soft tissue mobilization therapy (STM) is an effective way to get you back on your feet.

What Is Soft Tissue Mobilization Therapy? 

Soft tissue damage can affect your skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and any other tissue surrounding your organs and bones. STM therapy treats these types of injuries through manual treatment techniques. 

A physical therapist from OSR Physical Therapy will push, pull, and knead your affected area to provide pain relief. These techniques include sustained pressure, direct oscillations, friction massages, and more. 

Goals of Soft Tissue Mobilization 

The main goal of soft tissue mobilization is to get you back to your normal functions as soon as possible. To do this, your physical therapist must break up scar tissue while moving trapped fluid that could be causing inflammation. 

Read More: How Electric Muscle Stimulation Can Boost Your Road To Recovery

The Benefits of Soft Tissue Mobilization Therapy

You might be wondering if soft tissue therapy is worth it. According to a recent study, the benefits of soft tissue mobilization therapy were tested and evaluated on 21 cross-fitters. The results showed that instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization therapy improved shoulder rotation during four weeks.

Even though research is still limited on the benefits of soft tissue mobilization, it has proven to provide relief for those with soft tissue injuries such as strains and sprains. 

Common Soft Tissue Injuries & Treatment

So what are some common injuries that might prompt soft tissue mobilization? We’ve compiled a list of injuries that could benefit from soft tissue mobilization treatment.

  • Ankle sprains
  • Hip pain
  • Tendinitis
  • Tennis elbow
  • Golf elbow
  • Shin splints

Soft Tissue Mobilization Techniques

STM can help get you back to your normal sports and activities as soon as possible. Athletes can greatly benefit from soft mobilization therapy, which can quickly help them get back in action. Different techniques include:

Sustained Pressure

This technique requires your physical therapist to push and hold down directly on your affected tissue.

Unlocking Spiral

Your physical therapist will push down on the affected area while rotating his or her hands clockwise and counterclockwise.

Direct Oscillations

Your physical therapist will push down on the restricted tissue in a rhythmic fashion.

Parallel Mobilization

This STM technique requires your physical therapist to push down in the parallel direction of your muscle seams.

Friction Massage

This type of STM therapy kneads along the grain of your affected area.

What To Expect After Soft Tissue Mobilization Therapy

You might feel sore after soft tissue mobilization therapy. You’ll want to follow the RICE method after your first STM therapy session. This stands for:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevation

Keep your injured area well-rested and apply a cold pack to it. Use a compression method such as an elastic compression wrap and elevate your affected tissue above your heart when you can.

Read More: The Pros and Cons of Dry Needling

Soft Tissue Mobilization Therapy at OSR

Soft tissue injuries can keep you out of the game or hinder your daily activities. If you’re suffering from a soft tissue injury and are looking for therapy options, then a visit to OSR Physical Therapy is in order. Our team of experienced soft tissue mobilization physical therapists will discuss the best treatment plan for you so you can get back to loving life.

Request an Appointment Today!