What is a Soft tissue injury (STI)?
STI is an umbrella term for any type of injury to connective tissue.
Common types of injury are:
- stress injuries
These injuries usually affect your muscles, tendons, and fascia. Fascia_ are the connective tissues that surround, connect, or support your muscles, organs, bones, blood vessels, and nerves.
STIs occur when your muscles are abnormally tense. Your muscles work by tensing up and contracting, then relaxing. They get shorter when they contract. This causes movement in the part of the skeletal system they’re attached to.
Pain, muscle weakness, a restricted range of motion, and a misalignment of the skeletal system can result if the muscle doesn’t relax completely. Other soft tissue injuries can happen acutely. For example, when you twist your ankle or pull a tendon in your groin.
What is Soft Tissue Mobilization
Mobilization therapy can relax tense muscles, break up scar tissue, and reduce fluid build up in the tissue. Soft-tissue mobilization is a manual therapy that is said to relax tense muscles, reduce scar tissue, and stretch or lengthen your fascia. It does this via a number of techniques, including applying gentle pressure and stretching the affected tissue. Sometimes doctors use ergonomically designed tools. This is called instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization.
STI treatment begins with a physical examination to assess the patient's overall condition. This can identify hot spots and determine the range of motion in your affected joints. From there, you’ll be advised on a course of action. This may include a number of therapy sessions.
What Does Soft Tissue Mobilization Treat?
Mobilization therapy treats problems affecting the upper and lower extremities, as well as neck and back pain. Problems in the upper extremities include:
- tennis elbow
- golf elbow
- carpal tunnel syndrome
- tendinitis of the biceps and Rotator Cuff
Problems in the lower extremities include:
Soft Tissue Mobilization therapy is provided by a number of health professionals. These include occupational therapists, physical therapists, osteopathic physicians, chiropractors, and massage therapists.