What Is Soft Tissue Mobilization?

Soft tissue mobilization is an umbrella term for different types of massage therapy. It uses manual techniques to loosen tightness and reduce pain issues in the body.

A chiropractor, massage therapist, or other trained professional uses their hands to apply varying degrees of pressure and different stroke patterns directly against your soft tissues. These include your muscles, ligaments, and tendons.

Have you thought about getting a massage? Here are a few soft tissue mobilization techniques your chiropractor may use:


  • Functional Techniques. These generally focus more on the structure as well as the function of your body. It aims to restore ease of movement by improving joint mobility and muscle tone. Two common examples of functional techniques are the Myofascial release technique and positional release therapy.

  • Manual Resistance Techniques. These usually include methods that use different positioning, joint movement, and degrees of contact pressure. Two common examples of manual resistance techniques are the muscle energy technique and post-isometric relaxation.

  • Body Wall Reflex Techniques. These use a variety of methods that identify different soft tissue points sensitive to palpation for treatment. A few examples of body wall reflex techniques include acupressure, Chapman lymphatic reflexes, and Bennet vascular reflexes.


Who Can Benefit From Soft Tissue Mobilization


Soft tissue mobilization also aims to improve range of motion, decrease swelling and edema, reduce pain, and restore or optimize muscle function. Soft tissue mobilization can help treat many different conditions, including:


  • Sciatica. This condition occurs when pain travels along the sciatic nerve. It’s felt as nerve pain that radiates from your buttocks down to the back of your legs. Symptoms generally include pain, numbness, weakness, and a tingling sensation in the leg.

  • Arthritis. This is not a single disease. Instead, a term used to refer to more than 100 conditions that affect one or more joints of the body. Common signs of arthritis are pain, joint swelling, and reduced movement of an affected joint.

  • Whiplash. This is an injury to the soft tissues of the neck, such as its muscles and tendons. Whiplash is caused by a sudden and vigorous back and forth movement of the neck, usually from a car accident.

  • Muscle Injury. This is a broad term used to describe different pathologies like a muscle strain. A strain injury can occur when your muscle fibers cannot withstand extreme tensile forces placed on them.

  • Scar Tissue. Soft tissue mobilization is designed to break down or reduce adhesions. These are your body’s attempts at healing a soft tissue injury that results in collagenous scar tissue. Scar tissue occurs when collagen fibers form over a site of injury, trauma, or inflammation. It’s a part of the repair process aimed at protecting and strengthening your wound.

Do you suffer from chronic pain? To learn more about soft tissue mobilization, visit East Bank Wellness in Chicago, Illinois. Call (312) 832-9700 to make an appointment today.

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