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Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization

IASTM is the use of specific tools to treat the soft tissues; tendons, fascia and muscles. It has shown to be effective in the treatment of soft tissue pain and dysfunction. These tools are often (although not always) made of surgical steel with a variety of edges and thickness.

IASTM may be gaining popularity today, but there is evidence of these tools being used in ancient Greece and Italy in the bath houses. It may have travelled (and morphed) west from the Chinese treatment of Gua Sha, although this treatment is more damaging to the skin's capillaries than IASTM.

Patients undergoing IASTM treatment often report a ‘soothing’ experience, that can result in swift pain relief and improvement in movement at the region. It is just the beginning of the rehabilitation, the client will need to continue the healing process with rehabilitative exercise.

What are the benefits?

  • Reduce pain

  • Reduce muscle tension

  • Reduce scar tissue adhesions

  • Restore range of movement

  • Encourage tissue healing

  • Promote return to activity

What conditions can be treated with IASTM?

  • Tennis Elbow and Golfer's elbow

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Neck Pain

  • Plantar Fasciitis

  • 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)

Contraindications (i.e. cannot be done on people with...)

  • Open wound (unhealed suture site)

  • Unhealed fracture

  • Thrombophebitis

  • Uncontrolled hypertension

  • Patient intolerance/hypersensitivity

  • Hematoma

  • Osteomyolitis

  • Myositis ossificans

  • Haemophilia

Precautions (care when treating people with...)

  • Anti-coagulant medications

  • Cancer

  • Varicose Veins

  • Burn scars

  • Acute inflammatory conditions

  • Kidney dysfunction

  • Inflammatory condition secondary to infection

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Pregnancy 

Here is a link to a short video explaining how IASTM works on fascia:


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