Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) is a technique in which therapists use ergonomically-shaped plastic or metal hand-held tools to impart a mechanical force to your soft tissues. It desensitizes the area, releases myofascial restrictions, and increases circulation to promote healing.
The introduction of controlled microtrauma to affected soft tissue triggers a local inflammatory response. This initiates re-absorption of undesirable scar tissue and facilitates remodeling of the structures.
Our therapist will begin treatment by lubricating the site of the impairment with massage cream. Short, multi-directional strokes will be applied by sliding the tools along your skin. At Healing Motion, we use Gua Sha tools, though you may be more familiar with other brands like Graston or Astym. Pressure may vary depending on patient tolerance.
IASTM can be especially useful in treating conditions such as the following:
- Biceps Tendinitis
- Rotator Cuff Tendinitis
- Tennis elbow
- Golfer’s elbow
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Gluteal Tendinitis
- IT Band Syndrome
- Patellar Tendinitis
- Achilles Tendinitis
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Sprains or strains
- Neck or back pain
Side effects of Gua Sha may include mild bruising over the area that was treated and delayed-onset muscle soreness. Often times, patients describe a general warmth and tingling sensation over the area for a brief period of time. When indicated, IASTM can immediately improve your mobility and reduce or eliminate pain with a movement that was very uncomfortable minutes before treatment was delivered.
Our providers who have expertise in Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM):