Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization
What is IASTM?
Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization IASTM (also known as Graston or scraping) is a form of soft tissue therapy performed with instruments that enable the professional to locate and treat facial problems. Some of the common issues that IASTM can help with include: plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, low back pain, neck pain, tension headaches, carpal tunnel, hip pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, and mobility restrictions.
Scar tissue can form from excess tension or overuse. Scar tissue reduces tissue elasticity and limits tissue function, restricting range of motion and sometimes causing pain. Scar tissue also makes it harder for injuries to heal because it limits blood flow which brings oxygen and nutrients to the injured tissue. Scraping over the injured tissue releases restrictions and restarts the healing process with proper blood flow to the areas that have been scrapped. (Kim et al., 2017). Studies have reported that IASTM can reduce pain, improve soft tissue function, and increase joint range of motion (Howitt et al., 2009; Miners & Bougie, 2011; Schaefer & Sandrey, 2012).
How does IASTM work and what does the research say?
IASTM, as with any soft tissue work, can sometimes feel a little uncomfortable, but we will not push beyond anyone's pain tolerance. We believe that client education is key to optimizing your body's performance and keeping it healthy. We make sure to educate our clients on the proper technique of exercises and stretches that they should be doing to avoid aches and pains! After your soft tissue work, we may coach you through some exercises to activate inhibited muscles.
What else should I know?
Before (left) and after (right)