What is Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization?:
Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) is effective for treating soft tissue injuries and can be performed by a variety of clinical instruments including Graston Technique, cupping, Astym and Gua Sha. Physical therapists, athletic trainers and massage therapists use this technique to manipulate soft tissue in order to decrease pain, while repairing the damaged tissue and increasing range of motion.
Examples of IASTM Tools (Left: Gua Sha, Center: Rockblade, Right: Graston)
How Does it Work?
Scar tissue often forms once an injury takes place. This scar tissue forms adhesions that cause the muscle or tendon to loose its mobility, and can cause pain with movement. IASTM uses a variety of clinical instruments to “break” these adhesions, which allow the muscle to regain some of its mobility. The technique then introduces an inflammatory response to the tissue, which allows the body to reabsorb the scar tissue.
IASTM’s main purpose is to decrease scar tissue formation, and facial restrictions caused by musculoskeletal injuries such as muscle strains and tendonitis. The technique has also been shown to decrease surgical scar appearance. IASTM has shown to increase flexibility, and decrease pain to an injured area. IASTM has been proven help with a multitude of injuries including chronic hamstring injuries, plantar fasciitis, patellar tendonitis, and neck pain.
Advantages to using IASTM
IASTM is a non-invasive, clinically proven technique that often provides real-time pain relief and increased flexibility. IASTM treatments are often short and should be combined with small doses of therapeutic exercises to strengthen the affected area. Treatments can be performed multiple times per week if needed.
Contact OMG Physical Therapy today to see if IASTM is right for you!
Hayley is a BOC Certified Athletic Trainer and State of Florida Licensed Athletic Trainer. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training from Palm Beach Atlantic University in 2017 and is working on a master’s degree in Health Administration through St. Augustine University. In addition to working with our physicians she often works in our physical therapy department where she uses her certification in Graston, a soft tissue mobilization technique to help with soft tissue recovery. Full Bio