Instrumented Soft Tissue Manipulation
Problems that occur can be due to scarring, infection, prolonged immobility or injury that involves swelling and inflammation. Inflammatory fluid is like a weak glue that penetrates through the tissues and sticks them together forming adhesions which prevents muscles sliding across one another, nerves getting stuck down, joints becoming stiff and then pain follows
Historically massage or rubbing of painful parts with a bone / or stone was used to provide relief. Osteopaths have predominantly used their hands but based on an ancient Chinese technique, called Gua Sha, rubbing or scraping of the skin with blunt edged bone has progressed to a modern “high tech” form of soft tissue instrument based technique. This involves using hand held instruments, made by Myiodac, which are specially shaped high quality stainless steel which when moved across the skin can be used to firstly diagnose trigger points / scar tissue / adhesions or simply little knots in the muscle. Once such “problematic tissue” is located the instruments are used in a series of strokes along or across the muscle belly breaking down of scars and ironing out muscular knots.
The instruments act as a “soft tissue stethoscope” whereby any problem is picked up during a diagnostic sweep of the instrument over the skin. The resistance to the smooth sweep of the instrument is then relayed and amplified through the steel to the practitioner who can then concentrate his treatment to the exact spot of the problem. Compared to palpation by hand using the tools allows no hiding place for such problems as they can not distort in the way a soft fleashy hand would and thereby reducing the diagnostic ability. The tools are so shaped to go around most body parts. The technique can be uncomfortable, but put in context , momentary discomfort compared to pain and disability of the part is well worth the outcome.
When there is scar tissue or chronically contracted muscle this is the treatment of choice as it allows for break down, remodelling and repair. The results would appear to be superior to conventional massage or soft tissue manipulation.