Removing restrictions to natural healing
Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilisation (IASTM) is a popular treatment for relieving painful, restrictive soft-tissue conditions.
It’s commonly used to treat chronic pain, alleviate contracted areas, break up scar tissue and release muscle knots. These can be agonising conditions if left untreated, and can cause further inflammation, limit your range of motion and even disrupt your circulation.
IASTM works like standard manual therapy treatments. Your therapist uses specialised handheld instruments with firm pressure strokes to:
- Target problem areas
- Reach deeper into your body’s soft tissues
- Loosen soft tissue restrictions
- Improve movement and relieve pain
What can IASTM treat?
If you suffer from soft-tissue pain or injury, you can benefit from IASTM. Pain and conditions from overuse injuries such as running and throwing, and also repeated motions at work (including prolonged sitting) can be treated with soft tissue mobilisation.
IASTM can involve broad treatments for large areas and muscle groups such as an injured back. It can also be used for more targeted treatments, such as an area where a muscle knot or scar tissue has formed. Your therapist can use a range of different tools, angles and pressures depending on your condition and the areas being treated.
Some of the conditions IASTM is effective for treating include:
- Tendinitis (achilles, patellar, rotator cuff)
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Excessive scar tissue
- Neck and back pain
- Plantar fasciitis
- Sprains and strains
- Post-surgical scarring
- Myofascial restrictions
- Iliotibial band (ITB) syndrome
How does IASTM work?
IASTM tools are typically made of stainless steel or hard plastic with bevelled edges. They’re designed to ergonomically contour with the shape of your body, yet allow deeper, targeted treatment of soft tissues. This includes your muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves and fascia — the fibrous web of tissue that supports and protects all of our muscles and organs.
Sometimes injuries to soft tissue can heal in a way that causes excessive scar tissue and adhesions to form in the affected area. Even though your injury may have healed, the manner in which it healed can cause further pain and result in limited motion. The purpose of IASTM is to relieve soft tissue tension and scar tissue, which can inhibit mobility and cause pain — and may even restrict blood flow and nerve function.
Your therapist can use IASTM instruments to locate restrictions and treat the affected area with the appropriate amount of pressure as they work the tool across the tissue. This causes a breakdown of the tough, knotty areas to promote new growth and healing. The result will be less pain and tension, and improved mobility and function.
Contact us today to book a 30 minute IASTM treatment
Frequently asked IASTM questions
The answer for this question varies, depending on the nature of your condition or injury, your treatment goals and your therapist’s assessment. Typically, we don’t recommend any more than 2 treatments a week. This type of treatment is normally done 1 to 2 times a week, with a minimum of 48 hours in between each session.