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What Is Myotherapy and Soft Tissue Therapy?

Updated: Oct 19

The most common question I get asked is “What is Soft Tissue Therapy?”


The main reason for confusion amongst my patients appears when trying to discern the difference between Soft Tissue Therapy (STT) and other massage therapies. The simplest response is that STT uses a large variety of treatments, one of which is massage, hence they are non-comparative. Instead, it is useful to see that massage is simply part of the larger spectrum of STT.


OK.  But, is Soft Tissue Therapy Soft?


No. Soft Tissue does not mean soft as in gentle – but refers to body structures that are not hard, like bone. Soft tissues include all levels of muscle (from superficial to deep), tendons, ligaments, fascia, skin, fibrous tissues, nerves, and blood vessels.


So, what can STT help me with?


The treatment and/or alleviation of musculoskeletal pain, sporting and non-sporting injuries, chronic and acute tension, as well as improving body flexibility, strength, and wellness. All this has the additional benefit of improving your mental well-being too.


Can you give me some examples of issues you have helped with?


Plantar fasciitis

Headaches/Migraines

Upper back pain and tension

Postural issues associated with desk-based occupations

Shoulder pain

Tennis/Golf elbow

Neck pain and stiffness

Lower back pain

Post-operation rehab

Arthritis


So, what techniques are used in Soft Tissue Therapy?




Soft Tissue Release (STR)


Method: I apply pressure on your affected muscle to create a temporary attachment point, and then move your muscle into a pain-free stretch.

Reduces: pain.

Works because: STR targets specific areas of tension within a muscle, making it useful for targeting muscles that are difficult to stretch actively (yourself) and for isolating a muscle within a group of muscles that would normally stretch together. [2]




Myofascial Release (MFR)


Wait…what is Fascia!?

Fascia is a connective tissue that wraps around and in between every structure in our body, including our muscles – it is very thin, elastic, but tough.

Method: I will apply sustained and gentle pressure into the problem fascia. This can take a long time, up to 15 minutes in one area alone. This technique is used without oils/creams.