Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM)

By August 17, 2021Physical Therapy
Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) Post


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

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.

Cupping Therapy


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!


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By: Hayley Betz