Instrument Soft Tissue Mobilization
IASTM is the acronym for instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization. IASTM is a type of manual therapy that utilizes specialized ergonomic tools that massage and scrape the skin gently. The IASTM technique uses a set of stainless steel instruments to help soft tissue injuries to the connective tissues, muscles, neurological tissues and skin. It is effective for soft tissue injuries like repetitive stress injury, strains, sprains and subluxations. This soft tissue mobilization technique treats a wide number of conditions, including quadricep pain, rotator cuff pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, lower back pain, plantar fasciitis, tennis elbow and even headaches. This technique has had proven results for patients.
How a Physical Therapist Implements IASTM
The first part of the treatment is a warm-up. Areas of the soft tissue fibrosis are moved to make the scar tissue more receptive. A stainless steel tool is used to follow the affected soft tissue injury. The edge of the tool slowly slides along the skin surface and comes into contact with what is known as adhesions. It’s scar tissue, and the clinician rubs over the adhesions with the tool to cause movement. It’s this friction that helps heal soft tissue injuries. The area of the injury is treated with repeated movements of the tool rubbing over and around it. The rate of rubbing and amount of pressure are adjusted during treatment. After treatment, the affected area is stretched. A physical therapist may apply cold packs if there is any soreness. Typically, patients receive two treatments for a week over a period of about five weeks. Patients can expect relief by the third or fourth treatment.
The benefits of the Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization include:
- Increased rate of volume and blood flow to affected areas to enhance healing
- Breakdown of collagen cross-links
- Boost in cellular activity for good health
- Reduction in inflammation
- Reduction in pain for better quality of life
- Increased mobility and ability to perform daily tasks
Are you suffering from a soft tissue injury? Do you have a sports injury or injury from a car accident? Do you have scars or adhesions that are causing pain and limiting your movement? Give Motion Works Physical Therapy a call today at Walpole, MA and learn how IASTM can get you on the road to recovery. Our physical therapist is trained and experienced in this technique. Meet with me for a comprehensive evaluation. My goal is to help you live life to the fullest and without pain. I am committed to helping you heal.