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Treatments Explained: Soft Tissue Release

Soft tissue Release – STR.

STR is used for a variety of soft tissue dysfunctions, including trauma, overuse, postural, occupational factors, as well as many others. All of these factors can lead to congestion, thickening and adhesions in the soft tissue making muscle fibers fibrous and sticky, this often makes the muscle feel short, tight, painful and can cause restriction in the range of movement of the muscle and or joint.

The technique works by shortening the targeted muscle or muscle area by moving the joint to contra to the muscle, a lock is then applied to the area of fibrous adhesion or scar tissue in the muscle by the therapist, this is where the tension is taken up in the muscle by gently lengthening it, a stretch is then performed away from the direction of the lock by moving the joint in the opposite direction to which it caused the muscle to contract, this can be done passively by the therapist or actively by the client.

This provides a very strong local stretch to the muscle fibers adjacent to the lock, and it is this that breaks the adhesions in the muscle fibers, allowing the muscle fibers to be realigned and this increases blood flow to the area reducing congestion and flushing out waste products. This will increase the range of movement at the joint and in the muscle by restoring the elasticity of the muscle.

STR allows for specific areas of muscle to be stretched, which are often difficult to stretch to their full length on your own due to anatomical factors, it also makes it possible to isolate and stretch a specific muscle within a group of muscles.

STR is performed without oils to prevent slippage of the tissues under lock, it can also be carried out through a towel or clothing making it a very versatile technique that can be combined into a general massage, or a stand-alone technique applied over clothes for pre and post events.

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