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Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization

  • Injury and many conditions often lead to muscular guarding and pain. Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) is a manual therapy treatment technique that utilizes specially designed stainless steel instruments to assist in detecting and treating areas exhibiting scar tissue, soft tissue restriction, adhesions or chronic inflammation.

    What to Expect

    IASTM is relatively gentle and has been found effective for use after acute injury for ligamentous injuries. Our specially trained therapists use the instruments, which vary in shapes, sizes and brands, to comb over and isolate dysfunctional tissue.

    The instruments are not meant to replace the therapist’s hands, but rather enhance his or her ability to detect adhesions and soft tissue restrictions. The technique combines the use of the instruments to treat the targeted tissue, reducing symptoms associated with the restrictions enough to allow participation in an individualized plan of care.

    The Benefits of IASTM

    • Mobilize muscles, tendons and ligaments to decrease pain
    • Improve mobility
    • Stimulate rehabilitation and recovery

    IASTM is indicated to treat the following injuries:

    • 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)

    Services vary by location. Find a local Select Physical Therapy center to see if IASTM services are offered near you.