San Diego’s Soft Tissue Specialist


Dr. O'Shea has developed a unique and extremely successful evaluation and treatment approach during his 17 plus years in private practice. This approach includes implementing the best researched and most effective techniques in manual therapy and rehabilitation in the right sequence and at the right time. Too many people are put through assessments and exercise programs to fix soft tissue injuries that cannot respond to even the best function movement programs due to adhesive scar tissue build up.

The research is overwhelmingly supportive of the facts stated here in that once a chronic pain problem is established, it becomes "memorized or programmed" in the Nervous System resulting in greater tissue sensitivity (a lowered pain threshold). This lowered pain threshold and our bodies ability to compensate over time results in chronic inflammation, tension, and micro-tearing. The presence of hypoxia (lowered Oxygen levels in the tissues) results in increased adhesive scar tissue build up and fibrosis.


A detailed evaluation is performed to find the specific soft tissue structures involved, including the joints and tissues both distal and proximal to your area of chief complaint. In most cases, these seemingly unrelated findings are contributing to or causing your primary complaints. This is because our bodies soft tissues are the source of the majority of chronic pain syndromes from tension, sports injuries, accidents, and over use.

There are many types: tendonitis, bursitis, sprains/strains, muscle hypertonicity or spasms, tears, joint pains, nerve entrapments, pinched nerves, capsulitis, myofascial pain syndromes, tripper points, chronic tension and overuse syndromes like carpal tunnel, compartment syndrome and others. There are many reasons for how these conditions show up but it is more important to understand the underlying physiologic changes that are occurring in the soft tissues over time as they respond to the forces and stresses we put our body through.

The soft tissues include: muscles, tendons, ligaments, joint capsules, fascia and other connective tissues. Wear and tear of the soft tissues results in tight, inflamed, over-used, strained, congested, and eventually fibrotic buildup in the areas of the body. And they cause a multitude of symptoms and dysfunctions: aches, burning, dull to sharp pain, excessive tension, spasms, joint stiffness, and limited motion or activity. Additionally, nerves, blood and lymph vessels can become "entrapped" between tight, fibrotic soft tissues resulting in numbness and tingling, and/or radiating pain down the arms or legs.

There are 4 types of processes that occur:
Injuries: Like tearing from an acute muscle pull or strain.
Micro Trauma: The accumulation of small tears in tissue from over-use.
Hypoxia: Low oxygen levels in chronically tight tissues like trigger points.
Excessive Friction: Occurs in areas of chronic tension, overuse and in fibrotic build-up.

Over the counter or prescription medications, massage, stretching and/or exercising can be helpful in relieving symptoms and improving function in less complex cases; but you can't correct the cause of most these chronic problems with over the counter NSAIDs, pain and muscle relaxant prescriptions, or just stretch and exercise your way through it.

In fact most treatments are a temporary help at best, as they only address the symptoms without correcting the true cause: dysfunctional, injured and fibrotic soft tissues. Since all these conditions involve soft tissues that are strained, torn, chronically tight, inflamed and fibrotic, which results in the build up of adhesive scar tissue, it seems obvious that this the main problem to be addressed. And the Gold Standard in soft tissue care is Active Release Technique®, a patented diagnosis and treatment system.

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