IASTM (Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization) is a commonly used technique to help decrease pain, promote healing, and break up scar tissue. It is performed using specially designed tools that contour along the surface of the body and gently scrape the skin and underlying tissues (such as fascia, muscles, tendons and ligaments).
The body’s natural inflammatory reaction is activated by gently scraping the skin, which signals the body to increase red and white blood cells, promote blood and lymph circulation, and increase healing.
- break down scar tissue
- speeds up healing
- increase blood and lymph circulation
- decrease pain
- promote collagen production
help with muscle rehabilitation and sensory perception
Conditions IASTM can help:
- traumatic injury (bruises, falls, contusions)
- post surgical scar tissue
- muscle strain/knots
- sports injuries
- carpal tunnel
- tennis elbow
- chronic tension (shoulders, back, IT bands)
- rehabilitation of muscles
- chronic pain (low back, neck, knee, ankle etc)
How do we use IASTM in our office?
At Infinity Spine Center, we frequently use IASTM as a common therapy for clients because of its ability to promote healing and decrease pain. Studies have shown that it works well to speed up healing in new injuries as well as to promote healing in old injuries that have a buildup of scar tissue.
First a pain relieving gel or massage oil is applied to areas that will have IASTM done on it to reduce friction on the skin and provide some pain relief. The IASTM tools are designed to glide along the surface of the skin.
The tools have a variety of sizes, shapes, and angles to fit nicely over larger areas such as the back, thighs, and calve muscles to smaller areas such as around the knees, neck, hands, and feet.
Gentle scraping is done in downward strokes with light pressure along the skin in the same direction of the hair growth and underlying muscle. The skin will often become slightly flushed pink as the scraping is done, which indicates an increase in blood flow in the area. People often notice they have less pain and tightness immediately after the technique is done.
In our professional experience, our clients achieve best results when IASTM is done multiple sessions within a short period of time to maintain a state of an increase in blood flow as well as to continue to speed up healing and the breakdown of scar tissue.