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 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
Rotator Cuff Tendinitis
Tibialis Posterior Tendinitis
Heel Pain /Achilles Tendinitis
Post-Surgical and Traumatic Scars
Myofascial Pain and Restrictions
Chronic Joint Swelling Associated with Sprains/Strains
RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy)
Hip Pain (Replacements)
IT Band Syndrome
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)
Precautions (care when treating people with...)
Acute inflammatory conditions
Inflammatory condition secondary to infection
Here is a link to a short video explaining how IASTM works on fascia: