SOFT TISSUE THERAPY
What is soft tissue therapy?
Soft tissue therapy is the manual manipulation of soft tissues – muscles, tendons, ligaments, bursae, fascia and nerves in the body through a variety of techniques (see list below). The goal is to improve the flexibility of the soft tissue, remove dysfunctional patterns and balance the body’s biomechanical function. When done right, soft tissue treatments result in pain reduction, improved function and strength and postural support. Dr. Balbo’s treatments are not only effective – they are also relaxing and rejuvenating.
Why treat soft tissue?
When trauma occurs, whether during a single event or by repeated microtrauma, inflammation follows. Inflammation leads to scar tissue formation within the muscle and between the muscles and other layers of connective tissue. This scar tissue formation decreases the ability of the muscle to lengthen and contract normally, which results in hindered range of motion. This effect can be very specific within a muscle or it can affect the muscle groups broadly, leading to faulty biomechanics that are dysfunctional and inefficient. Scar tissue can also cause pain and predispose you to re-injury. The purpose of soft tissue mobilization is to restore normal texture, tightness, flexibility and function to affected tissues.
Soft Tissue Treatments Can Be Used For:
- Chronic tightness
- Aches and pains
- Sports recovery
- Exercise performance
I’ve been to a lot of chiropractors, and Jess is the best I’ve ever seen. She takes the time to find out what the problem is, and spends time fixing it.”
– RANDY CASSINGHAM
Soft Tissue Mobilization
Balance Natural Medicine places a primary focus on the soft tissue component of injuries. The soft tissues encompass the muscles, tendons, ligaments, bursae, fascia and nerves. The treatment of these structures is known as soft tissue mobilization.
Transverse Friction Massage (TFM)
Scar tissue forms when inflammation is present after an injury. Scar tissue often leads to a significant loss of function. Transverse friction massage involves deep pressure with specifically directed movement in order to remodel scar tissue and allow the soft tissue to become more flexible, pliable and functional.
Active Release Technique (ART®)
Dr. Balbo has met stringent requirements to earn a certification as an ART® provider. ART is a patented, deep massage technique that treats injuries to muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. Treatment involves placing tension on the affected tissue and then instructing the patient to move through a range of motion in order to lengthen the tissue and remove microscopic scar tissue.
Fascia is tough connective tissue that surrounds most structures in the body. It provides support and protection and improves shock absorption. Myofascial release focuses on removing fascial adhesions acquired during injuries by using gentle, sustained pressure applied in a specific direction. Myofascial release is beneficial for the treatment of chronic pain, peripheral nerve entrapments and various other injuries.
Proprioreceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF)
PNF stretching is an advanced form of flexibility training and is considered the fastest and most effective way to increase static flexibility. Overall, PNF flexibility training reduces post-workout soreness, decreases musculoskeletal injury, increases range of motion and improves muscular strength and coordination.
The Kinesio Taping Method involves placing a special tape over and around muscles to assist and give support or prevent over-contraction. This technique permits full range of motion so the patient can engage in normal physical activity. The tape is also commonly used in the acute stage of rehabilitation, as it helps prevent overuse or over-contraction. Kinesio Tape is best used in conjunction with other therapies, including chiropractic adjustments, cold laser therapy and manual therapies.
Rapid Release Therapy – RRT
Rapid Release Technology (RRT) is a high speed vibration therapy tool that oscillates at 170 Hz to relax muscle tension and break up scar tissue more effectively than I can with my hands.
This frequency actually short cuts the cycle of muscle spasm that happens around joints, resulting in healthy, relaxed muscle fibers. RRT’s history is in treating elite athletes but now widely used due to its effectiveness.
MEET JESSICA BALBO
Dr. Balbo stays on the cutting edge of therapeutic practices and has completed hundreds of hours of post-doctoral training. She is certified in Active Release Technique (ART), Kinesio Taping and Yamuna Body Rolling. In addition she has extensive continuing education credit hours in injury rehabilitation, nutrition and functional medicine and neuro-cranial techniques.