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April 30, 2021

What Is Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM)?

What Is Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM)?

Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) is a non-invasive treatment method that stimulates the body’s natural healing process. Also known as the Graston technique, IASTM can treat a wide range of tissue-related issues, including pain and chronic inflammation.

At our La Jolla chiropractic care center, we use IASTM to help you benefit from pain reduction and increased mobility so you can get back to your usual routine and activities more quickly.

How Does IASTM Work?

IASTM involves using a metal tool with a beveled edge that we slide or glide over affected areas of your body where tissues may be tight or inflamed. Using the tool, we place a specific amount of pressure on affected tissues to create a neurological stimulus that helps the body heal in that specific area.

In previous years, people referred to this technique as “scraping” and claimed that it helped “break up scar tissue.” It was often performed in an aggressive manner that often resulted in a rash-like appearance of the skin called petechiae (tiny round purplish spots on the skin) following treatment sessions. However, our chiropractors can produce satisfactory results with IASTM using several different techniques that are gentler, less painful, and less rough on your skin and tissues.

At Team Elite Chiropractic, we provide comprehensive chiropractic techniques and usually combine IASTM with cupping and active release technique (ART) to introduce the body to different stimuli that further enhance its healing abilities. All three of these treatments work toward the same common goal of decreasing tone in the tissue, promoting healing, and reducing your pain. 

What Conditions Can You Treat with IASTM?

IASTM can treat a wide range of conditions in which tissues may be affected by scarring, degeneration, tightness, and inflammation. Conditions that can benefit from treatment with IASTM include:

  • Plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot)
  • Achilles tendonitis
  • Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow)
  • Scarring following a surgery
  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Sprains and strains
  • Iliotibial Band Syndrome

One of our patients experienced unrelenting lower back pain for 10 years after having low back surgery. We used IASTM to manipulate his scar tissue at the surgery site and combined this treatment with thoracic and hip mobility exercises. Our patient confided that IASTM helped him experience lasting pain relief for the first time since his surgery over a decade ago.

IASTM with Team Elite Chiropractic

Our chiropractors at Team Elite Chiropractic can determine whether your condition can benefit from IASTM during your initial evaluation. If you are looking for La Jolla chiropractic care, contact us today at 858-633-8036 or visit our website to book an appointment online.

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