Soft tissue release is a technique used by massage therapists to reduce pain in the muscle and bring back normal flexibility. Often used when a muscle has become tense and shortened, it can also speed up recovery after an injury. Keep reading to learn more about soft tissue massage.

When is soft tissue release required?

Soft tissue release is used when the fibres within the muscles have become damaged or tangled, creating pain and restricting the movement of the muscle. In healthy muscles, these fibres alternate neatly with each other and the attachment points connecting them to bones and other connective tissues. However, acute or chronic injury to the muscles can affect the attachment points and result in pain or restricted movement. Swelling, adhesions and fibrosis (scarring) can occur in the muscles.
Soft tissue release can be used on a variety of injuries with fairly quick results. It can be useful for clients with any level of mobility to treat pain and dysfunction. While the technique can help to treat many musculoskeletal conditions, it should ideally be used together with other treatment approaches. This can ensure a reduction or elimination of symptoms.

How does soft tissue release work?

Soft tissue release targets a specific area of tension within a muscle, with the technique combining precise pressure with active or passive stretching. The therapist identifies muscle tension through palpation, and this area becomes the target for stretching. Your therapist will press firmly onto the muscle to create a ‘lock’, shortening its length. They will then stretch the muscle or ask you to move to actively stretch it. Soft tissue release breaks down muscle adhesions and improves blood flow to the area, re-establishing optimal length, resilience, and function of the muscles.
The soft tissue release technique tends to be used along the whole length of a muscle, however, sometimes it’s only applied to very specific locations. Before soft tissue release, the muscle is usually ‘warmed up’ using lighter massage techniques. Soft tissue release can be carried out by massage therapists, physiotherapists, chiropractors and athletic therapists.

Is soft tissue release painful?

Whilst soft tissue release can be uncomfortable, it shouldn’t be painful. Some minor discomfort is to be expected, however, you’re likely to feel much better once the massage is finished. If you feel any pain whilst receiving a soft tissue massage, let your therapist know. Keep in mind that this technique should never be used on the site of a recent injury. Your therapist may decide to work around an injury rather than massage directly on it.

Book a soft tissue massage

Soft tissue release can reduce muscular tension and pain. If you’re interested in booking a soft tissue massage in Chelmsford, contact Faye Pattison Physiotherapy. Our massage therapists are highly experienced and use the best, most effective techniques to reduce or even eliminate your symptoms. Call us today on 01245 901170 to discuss your requirements or book a massage. Alternatively, you can request a callback via the website.