Soft tissue mobilization is a therapeutic technique commonly used in physiotherapy to treat various musculoskeletal conditions and injuries. It involves the application of manual pressure or specialized tools to manipulate and mobilize the soft tissues, such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia. Some specific techniques within soft tissue mobilization are cupping, instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM), and trigger point therapy.


Cupping is an ancient therapeutic technique that has gained popularity in recent years. It involves placing specially designed cups on the skin's surface, creating a vacuum effect through suction. Traditionally, cups were made of glass or bamboo, but modern versions use materials like silicone or plastic.

During cupping, the cups are placed on specific areas of the body, creating suction that lifts the soft tissues. This suction stimulates blood flow, promotes lymphatic drainage, and helps release tension in the underlying muscles. Cupping is known to improve circulation, reduce muscle stiffness, alleviate pain, and enhance overall tissue healing. It can be particularly beneficial for conditions such as myofascial pain syndrome, trigger points, and muscular strains.

Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) 

IASTM involves the use of specialized instruments made of metal or hard plastic to apply controlled pressure and friction to the soft tissues. These instruments have unique shapes and edges designed to target specific areas and deliver precise treatment.

During an IASTM session, the therapist applies the instrument over the skin, gently moving it in various directions, following the muscle fibers or fascial planes. This technique aims to break down scar tissue, adhesions, and fascial restrictions, promoting tissue healing, improving range of motion, and reducing pain. The controlled pressure and friction provided by the instruments stimulate blood flow, enhance tissue mobility, and activate the body's natural healing mechanisms.

IASTM is commonly used for conditions such as tendinopathies, myofascial restrictions, chronic inflammation, and post-surgical scar tissue. It can complement other physiotherapy interventions such as exercise, stretching, and manual therapy techniques.

Both cupping and IASTM are considered adjunctive treatments, often used in combination with other physiotherapy techniques to provide comprehensive care. These techniques should be performed by trained and experienced professionals who can assess the patient's condition, identify the appropriate areas for treatment, and adjust the technique's intensity based on the individual's tolerance and response.

Trigger Point Therapy

Trigger point release is a therapeutic technique used in physiotherapy to address myofascial pain and dysfunction. It focuses on identifying and treating trigger points, which are hyperirritable areas within muscles that are associated with taut bands of muscle fibers. Trigger points can cause localized or referred pain, muscle stiffness, restricted range of motion, and other symptoms.

Trigger point release aims to deactivate or "release" these hyperirritable points, relieving pain, restoring normal muscle function, and promoting overall tissue healing. There are various methods and techniques used for trigger point release, including manual pressure, stretching, heat, and IASTM.

Trigger point release is a valuable technique in physiotherapy, aiming to alleviate pain, restore muscle function, and improve overall well-being. By releasing the tension within trigger points, individuals can experience significant relief and improved mobility, allowing them to engage in daily activities and rehabilitation more effectively.


Overall, soft tissue mobilization techniques like cupping, trigger point therapy, and IASTM are valuable tools in the physiotherapist's arsenal. When used appropriately and as part of a comprehensive treatment plan, they can help reduce pain, improve tissue mobility, enhance healing, and contribute to the overall rehabilitation and recovery process.

Book your appointment today to see if you would benefit from soft tissue mobilization.