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Jul 7, 2022

Service spotlight: Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization

At Simply Southern Chiropractic Center, we provide a wide array of services to satisfy all of your needs. This extends beyond traditional adjustments. We want to provide you with care that leaves your body and back feeling better than when you came in.

Our services include: manual adjustments, rehabilitation exercises, intersegmental traction, instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization, electrical stimulation therapy, flexion/distraction adjustments, kinesiology taping, class IV therapeutic laser therapy, activator adjustments, ultrasound therapy, cervical traction and infrared therapy.

Curious about instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization? Find out more by reading below!

What is instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization?

Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (abbreviated as IASTM, and also known as Gratson) is similar to a massage, but utilizes specialized equipment in replacement of hands. This allows for greater contact with soft tissues such as muscles, ligaments, and tendons. How does the healing process start? The body’s inflammatory response is stimulated through microtrauma of these soft tissues, which prompts excess fibrosis and scar tissue to be broken down.

Who would need IASTM treatment?

Anybody with soft-tissue pain would be an ideal candidate for instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization. This includes people who perform the same movements multiple times a day, such as hairdressers, mechanics,  or individuals with manual labor jobs. Patients with excess scar tissue from a prior surgery can also benefit from instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization. IASTM can treat various conditions such as Achilles tendinosis, IT band syndrome, rotator cuff injuries, plantar fasciitis, and shin splints.

Benefits from treatment

IASTM improves range of motion, strength, and pain perception by breaking down adhesions, scar tissue, and fascial restrictions (fascia is thin connective tissue that surrounds organs, blood vessels, bones, and muscles). Other benefits include increased collagen production, reduced inflammation, and improved mobility. IASTM is a safe form of treatment, as it’s non-invasive and requires no downtime afterwards.

What to expect from IASTM

Patients may experience some discomfort and soreness, as IASTM re-injures the body in a controlled manner. After treatment, it’s important to exercise to build up strength and flexibility in the injured area.

Empower Physical Therapy. “The Many Benefits of IASTM.” Empower Physical Therapy, 12 Aug. 2020, https://empowerpt.com/the-many-benefits-of-iastm/.

Innovative Pain and Wellness. “IASTM: Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization.” Innovative Pain and Wellness, Innovative Pain and Wellness, 21 Oct. 2021, https://innovativepainandwellness.com/iastm/.

John Hopkins Medicine. “Muscle Pain: It May Actually Be Your Fascia.” Johns Hopkins Medicine, 8 Aug. 2021, https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/muscle-pain-it-may-actually-be-your-fascia#:~:text=What%20is%20fascia%3F,When%20stressed%2C%20it%20tightens%20up.

Limitless Physical Therapy. “What Are the Benefits of IASTM Treatment?” Limitless Physical Therapy | Physical Therapy Clinic, Limitless Physical Therapy, 3 Mar. 2020, https://limitless-physical-therapy.com/what-are-the-benefits-of-iastm-treatment/.