IASTM: Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization
WHAT IS IASTM?
IASTM is a non-invasive manual therapy technique, performed with ergonomically designed instruments along the surface of the skin, that addresses problems in myofascial restrictions occurring in soft tissues (muscles, tendons, etc), including scarring, fibrosis, and degeneration, that may be causing pain or movement restrictions. These problems may be occurring as a result of trauma, surgery, or overuse.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS BEHIND IASTM?
People who have injuries to soft tissue structures may not get treatment right away. Over time, the healing process of these injuries resolves, and adhesions and scar tissue may have formed, that could cause pain and limited motion. Scar tissue causes new cells to lay down in a disorganized manner. This prevents muscles from lengthening properly. Your Physical Therapist will often have to restart the healing process so that the soft tissue can be remodeled in the affected area. IASTM is used to introduce controlled microtrauma to the soft tissue area to stimulate a local inflammatory response. This initiates the re-absorption of excessive scar tissue, and the remodeling of the soft tissue structure that was affected is facilitated. After this treatment and the remodeling of the scar tissue, the cells will become organized to better promote movement.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF IASTM?
• Faster pain relief
• Improved blood flow to area
• Reduction in inflammation
• Improved soft tissue function and range of motion
• Quicker rehabilitation and recovery
IASTM focuses on specific anatomic areas to relieve stiffness and improve range of motion. This allows you to perform your Physical Therapist recommended exercises, to strengthen the injured area, promoting healing and helping restore function.
WHAT CONDITIONS MAY BENEFIT FROM IASTM?
• plantar fasciitis
• neck and back pain
• sprains and strains
• ITB syndrome
• myofascial restrictions
• scaring (particularly, post-surgical)
WHO SHOULD CONSIDER IASTM?
If this therapy intervention is appropriate for you, your Physical Therapist may recommend it as part of your treatment program. IASM can be used for a number of different orthopedic pain conditions.