Soft Tissue Mobilization

Soft Tissue Mobilization refers to techniques that stretch, massage or otherwise ‘free up’ the body’s soft tissues.

‘Soft tissue’ is everything other than bone. An injury to a muscle, tendon, nerve, ligaments, or connective tissue (known as fascia) is a musculoskeletal injury of the soft tissue. Soft tissues react to injury in a unique manner. When an injury occurs, inflammation follows, which triggers a cascade of events on the cellular level. The normal healing response includes the formation of fibrous (scar) tissue in and around the injured area. While this can be important and even necessary for healing to take place, injuries can often result in excessive fibrous tissue formation. The resulting ‘fibrosis’ can prevent the muscle/tendon or nerve from lengthening, contracting or moving as it once did which can lead to a loss of mobility. Pain can result, as well as a predisposition for re-injury at the site of ‘incomplete’ healing and fibrosis. Treatment for this process includes Soft Tissue Mobilization.  This may include:

Myofascial Manipulation – Hands on stretching of the body’s connective tissue, or fascia, to ‘release’ restrictions and restore proper movement. Commonly known approaches that utilize Myofascial Manipulation include “Rolfing”.

Active/Facilitated Mobilization Techniques – Incorporation of patient controlled ‘lengthening’ movements while the therapist passively facilitates movement through the impaired or ‘fibrosed’ area. Commonly known approaches include “Active Release Technique” or “ART”.

Instrumented Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM)
Instrumented (or ‘Augmented’) soft tissue manipulation is a breakthrough treatment approach for soft tissue injuries. The treatment utilizes instruments to identify and treat abnormal soft tissue. Adhesion, scar tissue, and other fibrosis within soft tissue can result from repetitive strain, trauma, surgery, immobilization, and other stresses. Research has also shown that in many cases of chronic tendinitis, the tissue is not inflamed but is instead degenerated, and fibrosed. Most treatments ignore these soft tissue dysfunctions, and therefore are not as effective treating the problems that result. IASTM works to break up fibrosis and in the process, tap into the body’s natural healing processes to stimulate ‘tissue remodeling’ to enable rapid return to activity, free from pain and limitation. Commonly known approaches that utilize Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization include “Graston” and “AYSTM“ techniques.

Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast, competitive athlete or weekend warrior, we have the expertise and systems to get you to, and keep you at, the top of your game.

Over the last twenty years and ten orthopedic surgeries, I’ve worked with a dozen physical therapists in New England. Unequivocally, Jeff Albertson is the best. First, he actively listens when I describe my pain – this is more rare for a PT than it should be. Second, he rigorously deduces the root causes of my pain through detailed, often time-intensive assessment. Jeff runs a custom practice, not one-size-fits-all therapy. Finally, by virtue of this careful, methodical, and compassionate care, I leave my time with Jeff feeling significantly better and more knowledgeable. As someone who suffers from multiple sports injuries, I want momentary pain relief but also ongoing pain management that I can put in practice. No one does this better than Jeff. As an added bonus, he’s also a great conversationalist!

I came to VASTA with hip issues, result of a fracture and early arthritis caused by a really bad car accident I had back on 2013. Since then I went through different procedures but never pain free. I had the opportunity to have PT with the great Mike Woods! and because the work and time invested in my recovery, I owe him getting back to my ability to run, stand straight, walk and do anything I want without pain! At VASTA you can see that therapists work with one person at a time, which help them getting to know their patients and needs very well, creating a specific treatment program and monitoring the progress better. Thanks to you Mike and to the whole VASTA team! I am so grateful for all your support, sense of humor and the kind welcome I got from you all always! Loving what you do and having fun doing it, translates in good service which motivates a patient to reach their goals and getting great results. This is what you get to experience as soon as you put your trust on getting back on track with the VASTA team!! THANK YOU!

I was out with a couple of friends last night whose daughters also attend Kristina’s youth class. We were all saying what a positive influence Kristina has on the girls and how much they enjoy training with her. It is great for the girls to have a program outside of school sports where they can challenge themselves and build strength and confidence.