Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) is a method clinicians use to effectively locate and treat areas of soft tissue dysfunction. Therapists use instruments to detect and treat areas of “scar tissue” or adhesions in muscles, tendons, and ligaments which can reduce range of motion and cause pain. Instruments effectively break down fascial restrictions and scar tissue. This innovative soft tissue, instrument-based treatment is designed to help our patients feel better – fast!
Phoenix Physical Therapy is experienced in multiple types of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization techniques, including:
- Sound Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (SASTM)
- Fluid Motion Soft Tissue Tools (FMST)
- Graston Technique®
The SASTM method is a form of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization. The design of these instruments provides the clinician with the ability to locate restrictions through sound waves. This allows the clinician to locate and treat the affected area with the appropriate amount of pressure.
If you suffer from soft tissue adhesions caused by surgery, immobilization, or repeated strain, you may regain full functional restoration through the SATSM method. By introducing “controlled micro-trauma” to the affected soft tissue, sometimes referred to as muscle scraping, the stimulation of a local inflammatory response forms. This process ‘initiates healing’ in the re-absorption of excessive scar tissue and facilitates a cascade of healing activities, resulting in remodeling of affected soft tissue structures. Adhesions within the soft tissue are broken down allowing full functional restoration to occur.
FMST tools have proven successful in reducing scar tissue problems from old injuries and/or surgeries and help achieve greater results with pain control, joint and muscle flexibility.
The Graston Technique® therapy allows for better discovery and treatment because it uses a stainless steel instrument that glides along the muscle, tendon or ligament. By applying the correct mount of pressure, the instrument is able to detect the location of the scar tissue or restrictions faster and easier. The instrument can then be used to “breakup” this restriction. Stretching exercises are used to promote re-alignment of the fibers into the normal pattern of healthy tissue. Combining these two reduces scar tissue and promotes better movement and mobility.
The Graston Technique® has been effective in the treatment of:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Cervical pain
- De Quervain’s syndrome
- IT band syndrome
- Joint Sprain
- Lower back pain
- Muscle strain
- Myofascial pain
- Nerve entrapment
- Painful scars
- Plantar fasciitis
- Post-fracture pain (healed)
- Shin splints
- Trigger finger
- Women’s health (post-mastectomy and Caesarean scarring)
Historically, the Graston Technique® has had positive outcomes in 75-90 percent of all conditions treated.
Only clinicians who have been trained and accredited in the Graston Technique® Basic Training course are qualified to obtain the Graston Technique® instruments and apply the technique to treat patients.
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