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Muscles of the neck being treated with an IASTM instrument

Muscles of the neck being treated with an IASTM instrument

Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM)

IASTM is a soft tissue treatment method that utilizes a handheld tool to help break up adhesions, scar tissue and generally mobilize soft tissue or fascia. Fascia is a thin membrane of tissue that surrounds the muscles of the body and essentially permits the muscles to slide over one another (think of the white membrane that completely surrounds and permeates the inside of an orange).

When an injury occurs, from either overuse (exercise, jogging, lifting weights, repetitive motion) or from some sort of accident or impact (slip and fall, contact sports, work injury), the fascia forms tiny fibers in and around the injured area in order to stabilize the injured tissue and allow it to heal. Unfortunately, these fibers sometimes persist, creating “knots” or adhesions, making the muscles tight, stiff and eventually painful. (For more information about fascia, see our Myofascial therapies link).

The tools utilized in IASTM help identify the injured area by effectively “magnifying” the abnormality. The tool itself is designed to have contact points that have a smaller surface area than the practitioner’s hands or fingertips which more precisely addresses the treatment area. By gliding the tool over the area of treatment, a slight inflammatory (healing) response is triggered, allowing the body to effectively repair the injury. With repeated applications over several sessions, the soft tissue will become less tight, more compliant and functional and consequently, less painful.

Benefits:

  • Faster recovery
  • Excellent for chronic injuries
  • Shorter treatment sessions
  • Less use of anti-inflammatory medications

Questions? Give us a call today.


Drs. Dale Scott and Brian Witkovitz
Onyx Wellness | (724) 836-4444