Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) is a therapeutic technique that uses specific applied instruments to promote mobilization of restricted tissue. Restricted or adhered myofascial tissue and/or scar tissue are the primary tissues addressed with its application.
IASTM is performed with ergonomically designed instruments that detect and treat fascial restrictions, encourage rapid localization and effectively treat areas exhibiting soft tissue fibrosis, chronic inflammation, or degeneration. As in any Manual therapy treatment ,supplementation with exercises and additional modalities e.g. joint mobilization designed to correct biomechanical deficiencies by addressing musculoskeletal strength and muscle imbalances throughout the entire kinetic chain should be used in conjunction with IASTM.
How does it work?
Instruments effectively break down fascial restrictions and scar tissue. The ergonomic design of these instruments provides the clinician with the ability to locate restrictions and allows the clinician to treat the affected area with the appropriate amount of pressure.
The introduction of controlled microtrauma to affected soft tissue structure causes the stimulation of a local inflammatory response. Microtrauma initiates reabsorption of inappropriate fibrosis or excessive scar tissue and facilitates a cascade of healing activities resulting in remodeling of affected soft tissue structures. Adhesions within the soft tissue which may have developed as a result of surgery, immobilization, repeated strain or other mechanisms, are broken down allowing full functional restoration to occur.
Conditions for which IASTM is usually used:
- Medial Epicondylitis, Lateral Epicondylitis
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Neck Pain
- Plantar Fascitis
- Rotator Cuff Tendinitis
- Patellar Tendinitis
- Tibialis Posterior Tendinitis
- Heel Pain /Achilles Tendinitis
- DeQuervain’s Syndrome
- Post-Surgical and Traumatic Scars
- Myofascial Pain and Restrictions
- Musculoskeletal Imbalances
- Chronic Joint Swelling Associated with Sprains/Strains
- Ligament Sprains
- Muscle Strains
- Non-Acute Bursitis
- RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy)
- Back Pain
- Trigger Finger
- Hip Pain (Replacements)
- IT Band Syndrome
- Shin Splints
- Chronic Ankle Sprains
- Acute Ankle Sprains (Advanced Technique)
- Scars (Surgical, Traumatic)