Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM): Can it Help with Pain?

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Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) is a physical and occupational therapy manual technique. It uses special instruments to efficiently treat soft tissue dysfunction (muscle strains, sprains, tendinitis, etc.). Due to its effectiveness and efficiency, IASTM is a procedure that is rapidly growing in popularity.

What is it?

IASTM is performed with specially designed instruments. These instruments detect and treat fascial restrictions. Also, they treat areas exhibiting soft tissue fibrosis in your muscles and tendons.

IASTM being used to loosen scar tissue and promote healing on the leg.

Using researched techniques, our physical and occupational therapists will move the tools over your skin. As a result, there will be rapid localization of blood flow, which will assist with your soft tissue mobility and chronic inflammation. Additionally, corrective exercises and other manual therapy techniques are used to restore optimal movement and muscle function.

How does IASTM work?

Adhesions (often called scar tissue) located within soft tissue may have developed as a result of surgery, immobilization, repeated strain, or other mechanisms. Normal muscle, tendons, or soft tissue should glide freely. For instance, think about how dry spaghetti rolls over each other. This is how they should move. In contrast, scar tissue is much like “wet spaghetti” in that it sticks or adheres to everything around it.

Special Tools

A physical or occupational therapist will use specially designed tools to effectively break down your adhesions. Thus, promoting change in your fascial restrictions and scar tissue.

The ergonomic design of these instruments provides your physical or occupational therapist with the ability to locate and treat the affected area. After that, changes will be made in your tissues by using the appropriate amount of pressure, which will improve function.

IASTM promotes a local inflammatory response, which promotes remodeling of your affected soft tissue structures. As a result, you’ll have improved health of these tissues and your pain will decrease.

What are the benefits?

  • Allows faster rehabilitation/recovery, as there is no “down time” limiting your sports or activities.
  • Reduces your need for anti-inflammatory medication.
  • Improves chronic conditions.

Common Conditions IASTM Treats

Many conditions can be treated with IASTM. For example, some of the most common conditions we treat with IASTM are:

  • Cervical sprain/strain (neck pain)
  • Lumbar sprain/strain (back pain)
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (wrist pain)
  • Plantar Fasciitis (foot pain)
  • Lateral Epicondylitis (tennis elbow)
  • Medial Epicondylitis (golfer’s elbow)
  • Rotator Cuff Tendinitis (shoulder pain)
  • Patellofemoral Disorders (knee pain)
  • Achilles Tendinitis (ankle pain)
  • Scar Tissue
  • Trigger Finger
  • Shin Splints

You may not see your condition listed above. However, that doesn’t mean IASTM won’t be effective for you. If you would like to learn how IASTM can help you, please contact us at Impact Rehab & Wellness.

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