• Joe Lavin

Understanding Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization

What Is Instrument-Assisted Soft-Tissue Mobilization (IASTM)?

Instrument-Assisted Soft-Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) is a type of manual therapy where certified practitioners use a range of specially designed hand-held tools to effectively locate soft-tissue injuries as well as treat individuals suffering from soft tissue dysfunction. It involves breaking down scar tissues and fascial restrictions in the soft tissues. The tools are made from different types of materials that include wood, stainless steel, ceramics, plastic, and even stone.

Why should you get IASTM?

  • ASTM is a beneficial treatment that helps alleviate several symptoms that include:

  • Restricted mobility

  • Painful motion

  • Issues in muscle recruitment

  • Motor control issues, including muscular activation and coordination

Here are some of its benefits:

  • Improved blood circulation

  • Improved lymphatic drainage

  • Accelerated healing

  • Reduction of pain, swelling, and inflammation

  • A decrease in adhesion and scar tissue formation

How does IASTM work?

The practitioner or therapist uses a specific tool to gently run over your body and detect areas with damage. Once they are detected, they use that same tool to give a controlled micro-trauma to the affected area. The micro-trauma serves to stimulate a local inflammatory response, which, in turn, begins re-absorption of the excessive scar tissues and allows for various kinds of healing activities. If the soft tissues contain adhesion, which can be a result of surgery, trauma, infection or even repetitive strain, they will also be broken down, facilitating the patient to regain his or her motor functions.

After an IASTM treatment, the scar tissues can also be remodeled to allow the cells to be arranged in a direction that expedites movements and motions.

What to expect after an IASTM treatment?

When opting for IASTM treatment, you need to keep in mind that it works to start first-stage healing in your soft tissues by essentially causing controlled injuries and micro-trauma to the body. Owing to that, you may have varying treatment experiences, ranging from mild discomfort during the procedure to mild soreness for one or two days after it. If you notice bruising, immediately bring it to the notice of your therapist because it is not a desirable side-effect.

If you have more questions or doubts about this treatment, feel free to ask our certified tissue mobilization practitioner for more information. And if you want to book yourself a session, set an appointment today!