Often the muscles and ligaments can be a secondary or even the primary culprit in restricted movement or pain and STM is a valuable tool to focus on those areas of the body. Soft tissue manipulation is a broader category that has two sub-categories:
Active and Passive forms of therapy. With Passive SMT the patient is relaxed and the doctor applies deep tissue massage and trigger point therapy. With Active SMT the patient move a specific muscle through its range of motion while the doctor applies hands on pressure to that same muscle, creating a deep tissue in that muscle. Both methods are very effective in providing relief for muscle and joint pain.