Soft Tissue Release in Brisbane (Morningside)

Soft Tissue Release in Brisbane

What is Soft Tissue Release (STR)?

Soft Tissue Release (STR) is a means of assessing and treating connective tissues, including muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia. Dysfunctional soft tissues often restrict mobility and create myofascial pain. Releasing these soft tissues can relieve pain and help restore mobility. Provided there are no contraindications to treatment a well-trained practitioner can apply Soft Tissue Release (STR) to virtually any muscle they can access. Hence, good practitioners need to have excellent palpation skills or the ability to feel different tissues and a well-developed anatomy knowledge.

Muscle anatomy and attachment points

All muscles within the body have a start point and a finish point, which is how muscles attach from one bone to another via a tendon. The medical terminology for these points are origin and insertion, and the simplest of muscles only have (1) origin and (1) insertion point. Muscle contractions create a force moving the origin and insertion points closer together. Some muscles will provide a stabilising function and work with joint structures during movement, while others act on bones to enable movement. In simple terms, movement involves alternate muscles contracting and relaxing. However, mobility is far more complicated than that due to multiple layers of muscles, fascia, and the impact one joint structure can have on other areas. Hence, it is not always possible to effectively stretch or even self-treat all relevant muscles in the body.

The following images relate to the Rectus Femoris and are an anterior (front) view of the Left upper leg. The image on the Left shows the Rectus Femoris muscle. The image on the Right shows the Origin (Red coloured x 2) and insertion point (Blue coloured x 1) for the muscle.

image showing Rectus Femoris origins and insertion

Images produced with kind permission of from Essential Anatomy 5

(Copyright © 2018 - 2021 3D4Medical. All rights reserved.)

The following images relate to the Latissimus Dorsi, which has multiple origins (12) and a single insertion point (1). The image on the left is a posterior (rear) view of the Latissimus Dorsi muscle. The image in the middle is also a posterior (rear) view and highlights the twelve Origin (Red coloured) Latissimus Dorsi attachment points. The image on the right is an anterior (front) view of the Latissimus Dorsi and the one insertion point (Blue coloured). Other muscles may have multiple origins and insertion points.

image showing Latissimus Dorsi origins and insertion

Images produced with kind permission of from Essential Anatomy 5

(Copyright © 2018 - 2021 3D4Medical. All rights reserved.)

How does STR work?

The Soft Tissue Release (STR) technique works by changing the origin and insertion points of muscles before stretching the tissues. The practitioner alters the muscles' origin and insertion points by applying a "soft tissue lock" to the tissues under treatment. The therapist then stretches tissues once the "soft tissue lock" is in place. In some countries, Soft Tissue Release (STR) is called "Pin and Stretch", which very basically explains the technique.

There are also variations in applying the technique, and the consumer can actively move the tissues under treatment, or the therapist can passively move the tissues. Tissues can also be treated in weight-bearing or non-weight-bearing positions and actively or passively. Soft Tissue Release (STR) is a form of Myofascial Release Technique, though the addition of "soft tissue lock” is quite distinctly different to other such methods. It is possible to apply the soft tissue lock in various ways depending on the desired treatment outcome. Although there may be some similarities, the method differs from Active Release Technique (ART) ®. Unlike, some other MFR methods STR does not directly look to identify and treat myofascial trigger points. That said, a therapist can use the method very effectively with other such methods. A therapist with the right training, knowledge, and experience can precisely and effectively use this technique to treat dysfunctional tissues and myofascial pain. As with other Myofascial Release methods, palpation skills, detailed anatomy knowledge, biomechanics, and technique application all play a part in good results.

The TotalMSK Myotherapist Terry first learnt STR in the UK in 2008. He was lucky enough to train under Mary Sanderson, one of the pioneers of the method. The initial course was completed as CPD/CPE while studying at the McTimoney College of Chiropractic, and he has used the method ever since. Terry later completed further training in 2012 during his BTEC level 5 in clinical sports and remedial massage therapy.

Massage and Myotherapy Registrations

Terry brings over 15 years of experience working in the MSK field back to Australia from the UK. His training covers a wide variety of treatment methods and soft tissue therapy (STT) skills. Terry's main area of interest lies in trauma and myofascial pain relief. He also taught as a senior course coach on one of the first myotherapy courses in Brisbane and is highly qualified. His skills are now available at the Morningside clinic, where he works as a Myotherapist.