Massage in one form or another has been around for centuries. In fact Physiotherapy as a profession has it’s origins in massage, and today massage techniques continue to form a part of many physiotherapy treatments.
Soft tissue massage is essentially manual therapy specifically targeting soft tissues (muscle, tendons, and fascia) and can be used to treat soft tissue abnormalities such as increased muscle tension, trigger points, and abnormal thickening of connective tissue.
Soft tissue massage as an isolated treatment generally will only lead to short term benefit, but when it is used as a component of a holistic treatment approach that identifies and manages the underlying cause of a problem it can be very effective.
The soft tissues of our body (muscles, tendons, and fascia) are generally organised in layers that need to slide and glide over one another for movement to occur normally. Lack of this ‘sliding and gliding’ can lead to restriction of movement in a body region, with the development of harmful altered movement patterns to compensate for this restriction. Soft tissue massage techniques can ‘loosen up’ these restrictions, lessening the need for the compensatory movements, while also making retraining of the correct movement patterns more achievable.
As well as having an effect on how the body moves soft tissue abnormalities can also be a primary source of pain. ‘Trigger points’ (muscle knots) are well known to cause pain, and also may adversely effect how a muscle functions. Elimination of these trigger points can significantly reduce pain and additionally may assist rehabilitation of specific muscles.
Director of Physiotherapy
Nick graduated in 1997