Pain and dysfunction of any body part has many possible causes. I would venture to say that every single one of us can identify with nagging muscle pain or muscle “knots.”
In medical terminology, this is a myofascial restriction of the actual muscle fibers and the connective tissue, fascia, that envelops them. In my opinion, full healing is not possible without addressing this common soft tissue problem.
There are several techniques available to address myofascial restrictions. I commonly utilize my hands for deep massage, myofascial release, acupressure and stretching. There also have been tools developed to accomplish muscle release when used by a skilled practitioner.
In my office, we use HawkGrips tools for instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization. This allows the user to focus mechanical force along a small contact surface to treat the target tissue.
HawkGrips are a surgical-grade stainless steel instrument designed to detect and treat soft tissue restrictions. We glide the tools over the skin and feel for any soft tissue adhesions. The tools actually transmit vibrations from the muscle and connective tissue to the instrument which can be felt and heard. There are various different strokes applied for deep pressure to restricted tissue in order to break adhesions, soften tissue and promote oxygenation and circulation to the affected areas.
Performing tissue mobilization in this manner with my patients has resulted in reduced pain, improved range of motion, increased flexibility and overall enhanced performance. We have had great success in treating soft tissue restrictions of the neck, back, shoulders, knees and feet using HawkGrips in combination with therapeutic exercises, postural re-training and teaching optimal body mechanics.
In general, soft tissue treatment, whether completed with hands or tools, is a highly effective hands-on approach in managing many acute and chronic pain syndromes, sports injuries, aging disorders, and traumatic and surgical scarring. In my opinion, ignoring these soft tissue restrictions is the missing link in many people’s care.
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