Frequently, pain results in muscle tightness and decreased mobility. In other instances, the patient may develop decreased mobility because of compensatory muscle activation or may develop this over time. As a person ages, there is a loss of tissue extensibility and resiliency. Soft tissue mobilization appears to the layperson to be a type of massage. However, unlike generalized massage that causes muscle relaxation, soft tissue mobilization is utilized in a specific location with the intent of improving mobility and improving blood flow to the region. This is often used in conjunction with joint mobilization techniques. After mobility is restored, the patient is taught how to move within the new range of motion and perform exercises to utilize and maintain the acquired mobility (Kulig et al. 2004, Cleland et al. 2007, Brosseau et al. 2008a).
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