What is Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization?
Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) is a procedure that is rapidly growing in popularity due to its effectiveness and efficiency while remaining non-invasive. Are struggling with a chronic injury or want to bounce back from a recent injury?
IASTM is another option to resolve pain and tightness in the body. This approach to fascial work reduces friction which allows for precision, sensitivity and depth that cannot be accomplished with the hands, knuckles, elbows etc. IASTM instruments make it easier to detect and treat fascial dysfunction. They magnify the abnormalities (scars, restrictions and adhesions) in the fascia and make it easier to locate the area to treat. Using a tool focuses the force through an area smaller than your finger with less friction which allows a more efficient treatment. The goal is to trigger an inflammatory healing response. This will stimulate the production of new collagen and proper, functional, pain-free healing.
What is scar tissue?
Scar tissue is dense, fibrous tissue affects us all and is an underlying factor in many injuries. Scar tissue binds up and ties down tissues that need to move freely. As scar tissue builds up, muscles become shorter and weaker. Tension on tendons causes tendinosis. Nerves can become trapped. All these problems can cause reduced range of motion, loss of strength, and pain as well as tingling, numbness, and weakness.
Scar tissue forms two different ways. First, if a muscle, tendon, or ligament is torn or crushed, the body creates scar tissue to ‘glue’ the torn pieces together. This is a necessary part of the healing process.
The second, more common way for scar tissue to form is by soft tissue in the body not receiving enough oxygen (hypoxia). Hypoxia is more common than one may think. Poor posture, athletic pursuits, repeated use, and sustained pressure (as in sitting) all increase muscle tension and result in hypoxic conditions. When muscle tension is increased, blood supply to the area is reduced. A healthy blood flow is so important because blood carries oxygen to muscles. A reduced blood flow means less oxygen and that means hypoxia.
Hypoxia leads to free radical accumulation in muscles. Unfortunately free radicals attract cells that produce scar tissue. These cells begin lying down scar tissue and over time, scar tissue begins affecting surrounding muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and nerves.
Benefits of IASTM
- Decreases overall time of treatment
- Allows faster rehabilitation/recovery
- Reduces need for anti-inflammatory medication
- Resolves chronic conditions thought to be permanent
- Clients can continue to engage in everyday activities
Common Issues Treated
- Cervical sprain/strain (neck pain)
- Lumbar sprain/strain (back pain)
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (wrist pain)
- Plantar Fasciitis (foot pain)
- Lateral Epicondylitis (tennis elbow)
- Medial Epicondylitis (golfer’s elbow)
- Rotator Cuff Tendinitis (shoulder pain)
- Patellofemoral Disorders (knee pain)
- Achilles Tendinitis (ankle pain)
- Scar Tissue
- Trigger Points
- Shin Splints
- Plantar Fasciitis