What is Soft Tissue Mobilization (STM)?
Soft tissue mobilization (STM) is a form of manual physical therapy where your licensed PT uses hands-on techniques on your muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, and fascia in order to release adhesions and optimize your muscle function.
Adhesions occur naturally and are your body’s attempt to heal a soft tissue injury with a lengthy inflammation process, resulting in long strands of collagenous scar tissue. These new tissues pull against one another, forming trigger points of pain and cause limitations to motion and strength. Our therapists localize these restrictions to release them, then retrain your body to move efficiently without unnecessary strain or friction.
STM is a beneficial treatment for any type of patient, whether you’re an athlete, spend a lot of time behind a computer, runner, weekend warrior, a lazy couch potato, new mother, student, or just woke up sore or stiff, STM will benefit you.
Soft tissue mobilization is commonly used in New Yorkers whose muscles may have experienced extended periods of overuse (or underuse). It helps in loosening up any tight areas and making recovery quicker and easier – so you can get back on track to accomplishing your end goal. Contact Central Park Physical Therapy today to figure out how Soft tissue mobilization can help you!
Your soft tissues and you:
Your muscles are made up of many small, thin fibers that contract on command, working together to mobilize your muscle groups. These muscles are attached to your bones by connective tissues, called tendons, enabling them to move your body parts. Your bones are then connected by tough bands of connective tissue, called ligaments, for added stability. Your ligaments are covered by yet another connective tissue called fascia. All of these connective tissues can be referred to as “soft tissues.”
Soft tissues help in mobilizing your joints and give your body the strength it needs to perform tasks. Your soft tissues provide you with the ability to do many things; however, they also limit you from pushing yourself too far – even if that’s your intention. These can be damaged by certain stresses, especially those caused by the repeated actions within athletic activity. A tear in the tendon can lead you with a significant amount of swelling and inflammation. Many athletes also experience sprains, which is caused by a ligament stretching farther than intended.
These injuries may occur in response to the intensity of your sport, but they can also occur if muscles simply are too tight before you begin one of your workouts. Soft tissue mobilization can help with this, as it loosens up the muscles, and may even prevent some of these injuries from occurring.
What are the benefits of soft tissue mobilization?
Soft tissue mobilization promotes tissue healing, so you can get back to your activity of choice as quickly as possible. STM can also be used before you even begin your rigorous exercise regimen, targeting the specific muscles and tissues that see the most use for your activity. By working to mobilize, loosen, and relax these muscles before you train, you can help them stay limber throughout the process. This will decrease your risk of strains, sprains, and ruptures.
Your soft tissues work hard to make sure your body is functioning correctly, so it is important to help optimize their health and function. If you are in New York looking for soft tissue mobilization services, request an appointment from Central Park Physical Therapy. Our New York physical therapists are happy to discuss our massage service with you and how it will benefit your physical performance. Your sport is important to you – we want to help get you back in the game!