What is soft tissue…? How do soft tissue problems lead to pain…?

What are soft tissues of the body?

The soft tissues of the body (in the sense that we refer to them) are made up of :

  • muscles – moves and supports bones
  • tendons – connects muscles to bones
  • ligaments – connects bone to bone
  • fascia – surrounds all muscles and bones
  • cartilage / synovial tissue – material that makes up the joint capsules

These tissues are collectively responsible for holding the skeleton together in the correct place, and maintaining the body in an upright position against the constant pull of gravity.

(A) shows good posture, while the others are subtle variations on that norm.


The human body is designed to remain upright, it can move quickly, powerfully or with slow precision, and it should be able to do these things repeatedly without pain or accumulating tension.

It is commonly believed that it is the bones that hold up the whole body, but actually the bones would just collapse in heap if it wasn’t for the soft connective tissue giving the structure some integrity.

Think of it like a tent held up with a combination of poles (bones) and guideropes (soft tissue).  What actually stops the tent falling over is the guideropes attached firmly to the ground and to the correct points on the poles.

Check out these pictures –


one is of a collapsed tent, guideropes everywhere and no structural integrity…

The other one is of a collapsed person…the supporting structures (soft tissue) here have no structural integrity either…!

A happy and functional body means that you can simply move without restriction or limitation.  As we age and continually fight the effects of gravity we are likely to develop movement restrictions and poor posture, resulting in unnecessary work or movement in another part of the body, which places greater strain on joints and ligaments.

This results in PAIN, firstly soft tissue pain and ultimately a deeper problem and pain source emanating from the bones themselves.

You DO have a choice however, a medical professional skilled in functional movement and manual therapy can help you to remove restrictions in the soft tissues of your body, improve mobility, and re-educate your body and mind to move in a more efficient way


Contact us on 020 7431 0220 to book your appointment with a Tui Na and Eastern Body Movement specialist.