Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) is a non-surgical procedure for soft tissue injury and dysfunction. IASTM uses specially designed tools to trigger an inflammatory healing response. This response helps remodel the collagen fibers in the affected areas. It also increases blood flow to the area. Therefore, the procedure improves mobility, reduces pain, and promotes healing.
Soft tissue injury is a common cause of pain and swelling. Lymphatic drainage arms Common injuries include sprains, strains, and muscle damage. The fascia is a complex system that surrounds muscles, bones, nerves, and veins. Unhealthy fascia can create adhesions that limit the body’s ability to heal and function properly. In addition, unhealthy fascia can inhibit the release of hormones. As a result, weight loss can be difficult.
IASTM uses tools to improve mobility, stimulate collagen production, and relieve pain. It involves stroking the affected area with a tool that has rounded or curved edges. These instruments allow the clinician to assess the quality of the tissues and provide a precise diagnosis. Depending on the complaint, the tool is used to target specific areas. For example, an instrument may be used to break up adhesions beneath the skin.
A therapist uses the tool to stroke the skin in a way that feels like stroking sand. This allows the therapist to detect areas of blockage and discomfort. The instrument is then applied to the affected area with a pressure that is appropriate to the level of the patient’s complaint. However, it is important to ensure that the therapist is comfortable with the tool.
Studies have been conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of IASTM treatment. Those studies have not yet been systematically reviewed, and the findings are mixed. Most of the studies examined were intervention studies. One study investigated the effects of IASTM on joint ROM in healthy individuals, while other studies measured the effects of IASTM on musculoskeletal pathology.
Several studies have found that IASTM can effectively reduce joint pain. It has been used to treat myofascial trigger points, lateral epicondylitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and chronic ankle instability. Other studies have evaluated the use of IASTM for patellofemoral pain syndrome, myofascial pain, and shin splints.
While the results of the studies indicate that IASTM can be effective in relieving pain, the clinical implications are unclear. While the studies were primarily interventional, it is unclear whether the procedure can effectively alleviate pain without additional treatments, such as exercises. Moreover, it is difficult to compare the effectiveness of IASTM treatment to other adjunct therapies, such as ultrasound.
The majority of studies comparing IASTM to other forms of therapy showed no difference. However, the sensitivity of the studies to the types of IASTM instruments used and the intensity of the treatment makes it difficult to make a conclusion. Thus, further studies are needed to determine the efficacy of IASTM.
In addition, it is important to remember that IASTM is not an alternative to surgical procedures. Rather, it is a technique that can be incorporated into a therapeutic exercise program.