Emporia Tissue

Advanced Soft Tissue Therapies

Location of Soft Tissues

The human body is an amazing machine. In addition to the brain running the show, our soft tissue structure follows how well humans are structured. Soft tissues include ligaments, tendons, muscles, all body fluids, arteries, veins, lymph nodes, and our nerve system.

What is STT

Soft tissue therapy (STT) is a more intense version of massage therapy. A basic massage is a part of the larger spectrum of STT. Soft tissue therapy involves both a soft and deep tissue therapy technique. The sports industry is known for STT to keep athletes’ muscles, tendons, and nerves flexible as well as strong.

Injuries Helped by STT

Injuries that are helped through STT include the following:

  • Arthritis
  • Back pain
  • Constant headaches
  • Facial and eye issues
  • Neck pains
  • Policemans’ heel or “plantar fasciitis”
  • Poor posture aches
  • Rehabilitation from surgery
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Tennis elbow

Soft Tissue Therapy vs Deep Tissue Therapy

A.   Deep Tissue Therapy Massage

Remember we talked about soft and deep tissue therapy? Both techniques contribute vastly to our mental outlook especially when pain is lessened. Let’s explore the difference between the two. A deep tissue therapy deeply kneads the muscles through slow progressive movements.

It helps to break down internal scarring, increases blood flow, and reduces the inflamed muscles. It helps individuals suffering from muscle injuries. If a deep tissue massage sounds painful, we won’t sugar coat it, there will be some slight discomfort.

Remember, a deep tissue treatment is designed to intrude upon injured or strained muscles to break up the adhesions. Simply relax and breathe deeply. After all, the discomfort from the massage is far less than what individuals feel daily in suffering from muscle injuries. Deep tissue therapy treatment is designed to increase the body’s ability to heal itself.

B.   STT

Soft tissue therapy is less intrusive than deep tissue kneading. It is similar to relaxing the muscles, ligaments, and tendons like a deep tissue treatment, but instead, it requires less pressure and a shorter massaging duration. Is one better than the other?

Yes, the techniques are similar but the pressure on the internal body is different. An STT can be performed on all individuals including pregnant women. Its benefits include improving our range of motion, decreasing blood pressure, easing stiffness, improving our sleep, lowering stress, and more.

There are 3-grade levels of soft injury severity. Grade 1 STT injury results in minor swelling and tenderness. Grade 2 STT is a partial tear of the soft tissues. The swelling and tenderness in this category is more intense.

Grade 3 soft tissue injury is the more serious of injuries. Individuals who have shoulder or arm injuries are unable to move. Recovery also takes longer (6 weeks) than Grade 1 and 2. Healing from a soft tissue injury requires the synonym RICE:

R – rest

I – icing

C – compression

E – elevate

These four steps help to alleviate pain and swelling in the damaged areas.

ASRT and Sports Massage

Additional massage techniques include the” advanced soft tissue release” (ASTR) technique and the “sports massage” treatment. ASTR treatment includes many different levels of treatment. It includes lab testing, ergonomic testing, exercise, nutrition, behavior modification, and addressing many of the body’s trigger points.

A sports massage is the cousin of a deep tissue therapeutic massage. They both require firm pressure on tissues and muscles. A sports massage is performed by professional therapists. Many therapists also use specialized skin oil in the kneading process.

Sports massage also includes stretching techniques. Professional athletes or weekend athletes enjoy a regular session of sports massage treatments. The benefits include relief from sore and tense muscles after an active workout.

Speech Pathology vs Speech Therapy

As part of the medical field, speech pathology diagnoses and treats a wide range of speech, cognitive, and swallowing impediments.  Therefore, is there a difference between speech therapy and speech pathology? The answer is no, they are the same profession.

Pathology is a medical term that is more prominently used in Australia. The professional medical community prefers the terminology of “pathology.” The lay community prefers the term speech therapist or teacher.

Additionally, the field of speech correctness is also influenced by occupational therapy. As in soft and deep tissue techniques, there is an overlap between speech pathology or occupational therapy. They both help patients of all ages who are unable to swallow correctly, who have cognitive problems, and who have language difficulties.

Their difference is a semantic focus. For example, a pathologist focuses on teaching individuals how to communicate and on upper gastrointestinal disabilities. The main focus of occupational therapists is the overall-all wellness of the patients and how to treat each symptom.

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