Should I apply pressure or provide support to an area experiencing pain?

When it comes to managing pain through physiotherapy, finding the right approach can make all the difference. One common question that arises is whether to apply pressure or provide support to an area experiencing pain. In this article, we will explore this topic from a physiotherapy perspective and provide insights on when each approach may be beneficial. So, let's dive in!


Understanding the Importance of Individual Assessment:

Before determining whether to apply pressure or provide support, it is crucial to conduct a thorough assessment. Every individual is unique, and their pain conditions may differ. A qualified physiotherapist will evaluate the specific problem, taking into account factors such as the type and location of pain, the underlying cause, and the individual's overall health.


Applying Pressure: When and How?


Trigger Point Release:

Applying pressure to trigger points can help release tension and alleviate pain.

Trigger points are hyperirritable knots in muscles that can refer pain to other areas of the body.

A physiotherapist may use techniques like deep tissue massage or myofascial release to apply targeted pressure on trigger points.

Mobilization Techniques:


In some cases, specific mobilization techniques involve applying pressure to joints or soft tissues.

These techniques aim to restore normal range of motion, reduce muscle tension, and improve overall function.

Examples include joint mobilization, traction, and active release techniques.

Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM):

IASTM involves using specialized tools to apply controlled pressure to soft tissues.

It helps break down scar tissue, release adhesions, and promote tissue healing.

Physiotherapists may utilize instruments such as Graston Technique® or Gua Sha for this purpose.

Providing Support: When and How?


Supportive Devices:

Supportive devices, such as braces, splints, or tape, can help provide stability and reduce strain on injured or weak areas.

They can be particularly useful during the initial stages of injury recovery or for chronic conditions.

A physiotherapist will assess the individual's needs and recommend the appropriate supportive device.

Exercise Prescription:

Strengthening exercises play a vital role in providing support to the affected area.

By targeting specific muscles, these exercises help improve stability and reduce pain.

A physiotherapist will design a customized exercise program based on the individual's condition and goals.

Postural Education:

Correcting posture can alleviate pain and prevent further strain on the body.

Physiotherapists can educate individuals on proper ergonomics, body mechanics, and posture.

This knowledge helps individuals maintain good alignment and provide support to the affected area.

Finding the Right Balance:

In many cases, a combination of applying pressure and providing support will be the most effective approach. It is crucial to remember that physiotherapy is a holistic discipline that aims to address the root cause of pain and promote overall well-being. A qualified physiotherapist will consider the individual's unique needs, preferences, and goals when designing a treatment plan.



As a physiotherapy center called Benphysio, we understand the importance of finding the right approach to pain management. If you're seeking personalized guidance tailored to your unique needs, we invite you to schedule a consultation with our experienced physiotherapists. At Benphysio, we prioritize individual assessment and offer a range of techniques, including applying pressure and providing support, to help you find relief and restore your well-being. Contact us today to take the first step towards a pain-free life.

14 Feb 2024