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Soft Tissue Mobilization


Soft tissue mobilization (STM) is a type of manual, or hands-on, therapy that addresses restrictions in the soft tissue around your joint that can limit range of motion and can cause pain, spasm, or dysfunction. Soft tissues include muscles, tendons (join muscles to bones), joint capsules (connective tissue around a joint), fascia (connective tissue), and ligaments (attach bone to bone).

When your soft tissue is injured, it can become fibrous, thickened, and can lose its elasticity. This process can create myofascial adhesions. The goal of STM is to restore full range of motion to a joint by loosening the tissue around it through myofascial release. By assessing the various layers of tissue involved, your PT can determine the area of greatest restriction and then treat the tissue by applying varying pressure and stretch.

Common diagnoses that may benefit from STM:

  • Shoulder tendinitis/tendinopathy

  • Tennis Elbow (Lateral epicondylitis)

  • Golfer’s Elbow (Medial epicondylitis)

  • Achilles tendinitis

  • Patellar tendinitis

  • Anterior knee pain

  • Hip pain/bursitis

  • ITB syndrome (Iliotibial band)

  • Low back pain

  • Headaches

  • Neck pain

  • Thoracic pain

  • Ankle sprains

  • Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction

  • Muscle strains

  • Joint sprains

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