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Soft tissue treatment

Soft tissue treatment/therapy is the assessment and subsequent management of damage to the soft tissues of the body and the symptoms associated with this damage.

What is soft tissue treatment?

Soft tissue treatment in podiatry is a method of treatment designed for injuries which occur at the muscles, tendons and ligaments of the foot and lower limb. Therapy involves manipulation of damaged soft tissues in order to relieve the pain caused by excessive stress, overuse and disorder.

Soft tissue programmes are specific to the individual patient and their presenting complaint. Treatment may include stretching, exercises and deep massage techniques which in aim of increasing range of movement, reducing pain and enhancing muscle activity.

What podiatry-related conditions can soft tissue treatment help with?

Soft tissue injuries can occur in any part of the body. There following are common soft tissue injures related to podiatry which occur at the foot and ankle, they are;

Tendinopathy - e.g. Achilles tendinopathy, usually caused by overuse this is damage to the tendon itself and the surrounding protective sheath

Sprain or strain - these commonly occur at the ankle. A sprain is injury to a ligament whereas a strain is damage to a muscle or tendon

Bursitis - this is inflammation of the fluid filled sack found between a bone and the soft tissues. Bursitis commonly develops around the heel of the foot

Plantar fasciitis - inflammation of the soft tissue that supports the arch of the foot

How does soft tissue treatment work?

Soft tissue treatment works by breaking down areas of fibrotic tissue known as scar tissue, which develop in the muscle when it is damaged. These adhesions can have undesirable effects from minor discomfort to severe pain. Soft tissue therapy reduces the stiffness and pain caused by these adhesions, increasing circulation to the area and aiding in the removal of toxins and waste products.

What are the benefits of soft tissue treatment?

Soft tissue treatment can be highly beneficial for those suffering from the pain and discomfort of injury or disease. They include;

  • Improving/increase joint range of motion
  • Improve muscle activity and performance
  • Ease muscle stiffness and pain
  • Increase flexibility and elasticity
  • Prevents further injury from occurring in the future
  • Promotes mental relaxation

Similar treatments / services that could help?

If you suffer from any of the problems mentioned, there are other services available which could also be considered for treatment;

  • The use of orthotics/insoles inserted into footwear
  • Steroid injection therapy
  • Ultrasound therapy
  • Hot and cold therapy
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