Soft Tissue Release (STR) is a technique used by massage and manual therapists to restore normal flexibility to a muscle. It is particularly useful when a muscle becomes very tense and shortened.
STR is often used after a muscle has been ‘warmed up’ with lighter techniques such as effleurage. Your therapist may also follow STR with a more gentle, soothing technique.
Soft Tissue Release uses precise pressure combined with active or passive stretching. Your therapist will press onto a muscle to create a ‘lock’. This effectively shortens the usable length of muscle. Then the therapist will stretch the muscle, or instruct you to move to actively stretch the muscle.
Often STR will be used along the whole length of a muscle, although sometimes it will only be applied to very specific locations.
STR can be a little uncomfortable to receive and isn’t suitable for sites of recent injury. Your therapist may choose to work around an injury rather than directly on it.
However, STR can have rapid positive effects on flexibility and pain.
Many of our therapists use STR, including: