What Is Instrument-Assisted Soft-Tissue Mobilization (IASTM)?
IASTM involves using a range of tools to enable clinicians to efficiently locate and treat individuals diagnosed with soft-tissue dysfunction. IASTM is performed with ergonomically designed instruments that detect and treat fascial restrictions, chronic inflammation, degeneration or muscle pain. Often, patients with soft-tissue injuries do not seek out treatment until the injuries have become chronic. By this point, the body has completed most of its self-healing process. Scar tissue and adhesions are formed during this healing process, which limits motion and often causes pain. Scar tissue and adhesions essentially act like super glue in your body. When scar tissue is created after injury, new cells are laid down excessively and in a disorganized manner. Scar tissue/adhesions prevent the muscle or other tissues from lengthening appropriately. It is often necessary for the doctor to restart the healing process in order to remodel the soft tissues in the affected area. By introducing controlled microtrauma to affected soft tissue using IASTM, a local inflammatory response is stimulated. This microtrauma initiates reabsorption of inappropriate or excessive scar tissue and starts a remodeling of the affected soft tissue. After IASTM treatment, scar tissue can be remodeled to better promote movement and reduce pain. Studies have shown clinical benefits of IASTM with improvements in range of motion, strength and pain perception following treatment.
Most patients report pain reduction and improved range of motion within the first 2-3 treatments. Although it is not unusual to experience some discomfort during the first treatment, it should dramatically lessen within a short period of time. Mild bruising may take place during the process of breaking down old adhesions or scar tissue. During the course of treatment the use of heat, ice, stretching and strengthening exercises, are used to provide patients with best results. Our goal is to restore our patients to their pre-injury level of activity.
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