Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization
What Is It?
IASTM is a specific form of therapy which uses an instrument made of high quality surgical stainless steel to diagnose and treat certain soft tissue dysfunctions. This form of treatment is thought to be originally derived from Traditional Chinese Medicine in the form of Gua Sha.
How It Works?
IASTM is used to detect areas of myofascial restrictions. This can include adhesions throughout large and small muscular regions, areas of scar tissue and fascial planes. Once detected the same instrument can be used to treat the adhesion through a variety of movements and sweeps. Research has shown that the use of IASTM helps to repair and regenerate collagen fibers and further breakdown any scar tissue, adhesions and fascial restrictions. In the end this form of treatment can help to decrease pain, increase function and improve range of motion
Is IASTM Always Required?
Not everyone will benefit from IASTM, but it can be helpful in a variety of conditions. Some of these include:
- Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Medial Epicondylitis (Golfer’s Elbow)
- Various Regions of Tendinitis
- Muscle Strains
- Ligament Sprains
- Shin Splints
- Plantar Fasciitis
A thorough examination including a full health history and physical examination of the chief complaint will be performed before deciding if IASTM is right for you.
Description and Picture Courtesy of Tissue Tools
Cheatham, S. W., Lee, M., Cain, M., & Baker, R. (2016). The efficacy of instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization: a systematic review. Journal of The Canadian Chiropractic Association, 60(3), 200-211.
Lukacs, C. (2013). Instrument-Assisted Soft-Tissue Mobilization Explained. ACA News (American Chiropractic Association), 9(8), 20-21.