Soft Tissue Therapy

What is Soft Tissue Therapy?

The ACT has three levels of education for massage:

  1. Certificate IV in Massage Therapy (trained to perform relaxation massage only);
  2. Diploma in Remedial Massage (trained to assess and treat basic aches and pains); and
  3. Advanced diploma of Soft Tissue Therapy – exclusive higher education to Canberra.

Level 3 therapists are highly trained to assess, treat and manage your aches, pains AND injuries – sporting or workplace.  They have extensive assessment and treatment skills in all forms of injury.  And if they don’t have the necessary skills to treat you, they have the referral skills to send you to someone who can.

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Assessment

People who present with their complaint are assessed via the most appropriate tests according to the person’s presentation. This may include posture, biomechanical, range of movement, neural and other tests that help identify the most likely cause of pain or injury.

If the assessment is consistent with pain or injury that is better dealt with by other health professionals (sports physicians, podiatrists, etc) then we will refer you to the most appropriate person. Otherwise we will treat accordingly.

Treatment

Depending on the pain or injury, a number of modalities may be utilised. Most commonly the techniques will be hands on manual (massage) techniques.

Manual Techniques

During a treatment session, numerous manual techniques may be included, depending on what is deemed indicated after your assessment:

Trigger point therapy for the alleviation of trigger points (Commonly called ‘knots’ in social terms.  They are hyper sensitive points in muscles that cause local tenderness and pain referral well away from the site)

Cupping  is a technique used for the mobilisation of fascia, scar and other thickened connective tissues of the body.  Often used for chronically thickened areas that don’t respond to hands on techniques

Fascial therapy for flexibility/mobility of the connective tissues of our body and alleviating fibrous adhesions and decreasing the severity of scars. This is a hands on technique that is specifically administered to areas thickened fascial or connective tissues areas of the body.  Generally no oil used and commonly through clothes (as the material often creates a better ‘purchase’ on the underlying tissue)

Broad handed techniques for the reduction of swelling post exercise, work, injury or surgery.

Frictions to mobilise scars, adhesions between fascial layers, muscles, compartments and the like. Frictions also promote healing in tendon pathologies and decrease pain perception

Dry Needling is often applied to muscles with trigger points, alleviating the trigger point itself and the taught band associated with it.  There are a number of Dry Needling techniques that can be used to alter the state of the tissue, hence the technique will vary according to your presentation.

Massage Techniques there are an abundance of different types of massage techniques that can be used within each session (some mentioned above).  From fascial therapy, to trigger point, to generally oily glides (reducing muscle tension/tonicity) to frictions.  Our Therapists are trained in all these options and will use whatever they believe is most indicated for you as an individual. 

Other techniques such as ART (Active Release Techniques), Myofascial Release and deep tissue massage are all derivatives of the techniques above. They are NOT unique techniques with unique results.

Stretching

During a treatment session, numerous stretching techniques may be employed including:

Static stretches to alleviate an area assessed as excessively tight.

PNF stretches (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation) to decrease the tone in a muscle or muscle group that is assessed as being too ‘tight’.

Dynamic stretches to alleviate symptoms of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), the soreness felt one to two days after excessive, new or eccentric exercise

Muscle Energy Technique (MET) is now a common technique used by a number of therapies. The Osteopaths designed the technique some 100 years ago but like many techniques these days, it is used by many therapies. MET is the use of light contractions by the client in very specific directions to alter joint restriction and range by altering the resting length of local musculature

Exercise Prescription

Depending on assessment findings, some people will be given certain exercises to increase strength or simply to ‘wake up’ particular muscles that may be weak or simply not being used well by the person. Clinic 88 has Exercise Physiologists and Pilates Instructors to assist in difficult cases.

Taping

Functional Fascial Taping® is a technique designed by Ron Alexander who worked with the Australian Ballet for 10 years. It is a technique that utilises tape to alter pain perception and muscle firing patterns. See this website for further details

Kenesio Taping (Rock Tape and other variations of this tape are available) is a relatively new form of taping using a flexible tape.  It can be used to support muscle strains, reduce lymph and other swollen areas, increase or decrease the activation of particular muscles, create awareness of postural issues.

Rigid Taping is utilised when necessary.  This may be used for postural awareness, acute injuries and fascial mobilisation.

Advice

Probably the most important part of any treatment plan is the advice given to the client. Within each treatment a treatment plan will be suggested to the client. This may range from a single treatment to a referral to the suggestion of a few treatments.

To book an appointment for soft tissue therapy, you can use our online booking