Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM)

IASTM is the acronym for instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization. It also is directly associated with the Graston brand. The Graston technique is a type of manual therapy that utilizes specialized ergonomic tools that massage and scrape the skin gently. The Graston technique uses a set of stainless steel instruments to help soft tissue injuries to the connective tissues, muscles, neurological tissues and skin. It is effective for soft tissue injuries like repetitive stress injury, strains, sprains and subluxations. This soft tissue mobilization technique treats a wide number of conditions, including quadricep pain, rotator cuff pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, lower back pain, plantar fasciitis, tennis elbow and even headaches. This technique has had proven results for patients.

Athletic Advantage Physical Therapy add benefits of Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Massage include:

  • Increased rate of volume and blood flow to affected areas to enhance healing
  • Breakdown of collagen cross-links
  • Boost in cellular activity for good health
  • Reduction in inflammation
  • Reduction in pain for better quality of life
  • Increased mobility and ability to perform daily tasks

The Theory Behind Graston: It’s Science Based

Scar tissue is a type of fibrous connective tissue that receives less blood than normal tissue and stretches much less. It tends to be thick and may build up around the ligaments, tendons and muscles after an injury. The buildup of soft tissue is referred to as adhesions. Injuries that may result in adhesions include shin splints, pulled hamstrings, meniscal tears and much more. When an individual is injured, adhesions and scar tissue may occur either in the tissues or in the skin. It is believed that scar tissue and adhesions prevent the underneath body structures from moving properly. This is because the ligaments, tendons and muscles are unable to freely move. It’s problematic because scar tissue and adhesions may bend to fascia and cause a condition known as fascial restriction. Adhesions and scar tissue can also occur on a smaller scale as a result of a cross-linking of muscle fibers. Over time, even the wear and tear of everyday life can cause muscle fibers to adhere to each other irregularly. With IASTM and the Graston technique, the treatment causes a muscle fiber separation, which releases pain and increases functional mobility.

For more details contact our physical therapist at Allen, TX.