The goal of soft tissue mobilization is to break up scar tissue, break facial restrictions, move tissue fluids and relax muscle tension. Specific directional manual force is used to help loosen the tissues. The therapist will find the area of greatest tissue restriction through layer-by-layer assessment. These restrictions can then be mobilized with a wide variety of techniques.
Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine in which the physical therapist puts special cups on your skin for a few minutes to create suction. People get it for many purposes, including helping with pain, inflammation, blood flow, relaxation and well being, and as a type of deep-tissue massage.
Mobilization is a key component of manual therapy and consists of skilled, passive or active, movements to joints, neuro-vascular and their soft-tissue structures. Joint mobilization involves loosening the restricted joint and increasing its range of motion by providing movement directly into the joint in ways patients cannot move the joint themselves.
Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) is a manual resistance technique that promotes the response of normal movements of the body through stimulation of the sensory system responsible for detecting position and movement.
Muscle energy techniques (MET) are designed to move restricted joints, reduce localized edema and lengthen shortened muscles. It involves a voluntary contraction of the patient’s muscles against a distinctly controlled counterforce from a precise position and in a specific direction. MET focuses on joint range of motion limitation, and uses light to moderate muscular contractions to restore normal joint position and motion. By placing the affected joints in precise positions for soft tissue contraction and relaxation the therapist is able to inhibit restrictions within the muscular skeletal system.
Myofasical Release is a “larger form” of soft tissue mobilization. Fascia is a specialized system of the body covering every bone, muscle and nerve in the body. Fascia is densely woven and looks somewhat like a spider’s web, connecting each and every part of the entire body to each other. When you experience trauma, such as a fall, the fascia becomes tight and restricted and can cause pain in other parts of the body. By applying gentle sustained pressure, and stretches, and long holds to the fascia, it releases restriction in the tissue, eliminating pain and restoring motion.