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Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) is a technique that makes use of an instrument with a beveled or flat edge to shoulder-treatmenttreat varying depths of soft tissue. The purpose of the technique is to break up abnormalities within the muscles and ligaments such as excessive or problematic scar tissue that restricts motion. Loose connective tissue beneath the deep fascia, containing hyaluronic acid molecules, can become restricted following musculoskeletal injuries. The friction and temperature increase of IASTM helps normalize the hyaluronic acid and allow the fascial layers to glide freely. Immediate benefits may be noted after treatment such as reduction of pain and stiffness, and reduction of pain sensitivity. The benefits of IASTM are thought to be due to increases in circulation, removal of lymph congestion, modification of pain perception in the brain due to deep pressure application, and reduction of sensitivity in the treated area due to local release of platelet-derived growth factor.

A three-step approach used in IASTM:

  1. Warm up the tissue to make it more pliable;
  2. Perform IASTM; and
  3. Have the patient engage in light exercise.

Examples of conditions treated by IASTM at Legacy Medical Centers

  • Achilles tendinitis (ankle pain)
  • Adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder)
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Dupuytren’s contracture
  • IT Band Syndrome
  • Lateral epicondylitis/epicondylosis (tennis elbow)
  • Medial epicondylitis/epicondylosis (golfers elbow)
  • Muscular strains
  • Myofascial pain, restrictions and spasms
  • Neck, back and joint pain
  • Non-acute Bursitis
  • Pain, strain and sprain Injuries – acute and chronic
  • Patellofemoral disorders (knee pain)
  • Plantar fasciitis (foot, arch and heel pain)
  • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD)
  • Rotator cuff (shoulder)
  • Scar tissue pain
  • Shin Splints
  • Soft tissue adhesions and range of motion restrictions
  • Tenosynovitis of the thumb (DeQuervain’s disease)
  • Tibialis posterior tendonitis
  • Trigger Finger
  • Trigger points