instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization
Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) is a soft tissue treatment which utilizes various tools that enable the clinician to efficiently locate and treat individuals diagnosed with soft tissue dysfunction. IASTM is performed with instruments that are specifically designed to detect and treat fascial restrictions or increased muscular tone. IASTM is a great adjunct to traditional physical therapy interventions prescribed to correct biomechanical deficiencies.
IASTM tools have been shown to effectively break down fascial restrictions and scar tissue. The ergonomic design of these instruments provides the clinician with the ability to locate restrictions, treat the affected area with the appropriate amount of pressure and to treat the specific direction of restriction. Studies have also showed clinical benefits of IASTM including improvements in range of motion, strength and pain perception following treatment. Melham et al. found that IASTM significantly improved range of motion in a college football player following 7 weeks of IASTM and physical therapy. Melham et al. found that scar tissue surrounding the lateral malleolus was reduced and remodeled structurally following IASTM application. Wilson et al found improvement in pain reduction and impairment scale at 6 and 12 weeks following IASTM application for patellar tendonitis.
The introduction of controlled microtrauma to affected soft tissue structure causes the stimulation of a local inflammatory response. Microtrauma initiates reabsorption of inappropriate fibrosis or excessive scar tissue and facilitates a cascade of healing activities resulting in remodeling of affected soft tissue structures. Adhesions within the soft tissue which may have developed as a result of surgery, immobilization, repeated strain or other mechanisms, are broken down allowing full functional restoration to occur.
Pain during motion
Motor control issues
Muscle recruitment issues