Soft tissue therapy (STT) is the assessment, treatment and management of soft tissue injury, pain and dysfunction primarily of the neuromusculoskeletal system. Licensed health care professionals who typically provide soft tissue manual therapy include bodywork practitioners (such as massage therapists), occupational therapists, physical therapists and some chiropractic, osteopathic and naturopathic doctors.
Typically, regulated healthcare professionals who provide soft tissue therapy have a background in anatomy, physiology, pathology, pathophysiology, biomechanics, and functional anatomy, as well as tactile/palpatory and functional movement assessments.
Postural and functional assessments
Assessments are conducted according to presenting signs and symptoms, with the purpose helping to identify the most likely cause(s) of the pain or injury. They may include assessments of posture, biomechanics, range of motion, and the nervous system, among others.
When the findings of an assessment suggest that the client may have a condition or signs and symptoms that are beyond the scope of a practitioners skill-set, training, and/or specialization, they will refer that client to the most appropriate healthcare professional.