What is IASTM?
IASTM is a short acronym for Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization. When used properly a patient can benefit from improved range of motion, mobility, flexibility, and increased circulation of blood flow to tissues.
How Does IASTM Work?
The short answer is it can help with myofascial release and the reduction of scar tissue. Simply put, excessive scar tissue is bad. Whenever soft tissue is damaged (soft tissue includes muscle, tendons, nerves, fascia, and ligaments), the body produces scar tissue. If you have ever seen scar tissue on the outside of a body you know it is different from the original tissue it replaced. It is not as elastic as normal tissue. It is weaker, it can be more pain sensitive, can restrict blood flow, and it can limit muscle and nerve function. Scar tissue does not only happen on the outside of your skin but also in the soft tissues of your body.
By stimulating the treatment area, it is theorized that you can re-initiate your body’s natural inflammatory response. This causes a domino effect that includes reabsorption of excess scar tissue and fibrosis.
The Benefits of IASTM
- Mobilize muscles, tendons and ligaments to decrease pain
- Improve mobility
- Stimulate rehabilitation and recovery
Conditions Treated by IASTM
- Various tendinopathies such as tennis or golfer’s elbow and Achilles tendinitis
- Chronic muscle strain
- Chronic ligamentous strains
- Excessive scarring
- Running-related injuries, including plantar fasciitis and Iliotibial band syndrome (IT Band)
What Does IASTM Feel Like?
Your physical therapist will use a small tool to go over the surface of your body, searching for areas that feel scarred or adhered. These treatment areas will be identified and stimulated with a precision that is not available without instruments. The treatment is mostly gentle though patients may feel a slight temporary discomfort during the treatment. They may feel a slight gravelly sensation as the physical therapist passes over tight areas of the fascia.
At Renew Physical Therapy, we specialize in IASTM treatment for detecting and treating specific conditions. Visit our About Us page to learn more about our practice, clinic, and staff.
Call us at 503.928.4914 to schedule an appointment
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