Sport & Spine Rehab – Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization
Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization
Often referred to as Graston Technique®, Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) is a very popular and effective treatment technique for all types of muscle, tendon, and ligament injuries. It is a variation of traditional cross fiber (transverse) friction massage developed by Dr. James Cyriax in the 1930s. IASTM consists of a variety of specialized stainless steel tools of various sizes and contours. It is a form of treatment used to “break up” or “soften” scar tissue, thus allowing for the return of normal function in the area being treated. Believe it or not, scar tissue (medically known as granulation tissue) is the first tissue laid down by the body in response to all traumas – from small to large.
The beveled edge of the instruments combines with their concave/convex shapes to mold the instruments to various contours of the body. This design allows for ease of treatment, maximum tissue penetration in a gentle manner, and minimal stress to the clinician’s hands. In addition, the instruments, much like a tuning fork, resonate in the clinician’s hands allowing the clinician to isolate adhesions and restrictions and treat them very precisely. Since the metal surface of the instruments does not compress like the fat pads of the finger, deeper restrictions can be accessed and treated.
When explaining the properties of the instruments, we often use the analogy of a stethoscope. Just as a stethoscope amplifies what the human ear can hear, so do the instruments increase significantly what the human hands can feel. Sport and Spine Rehab is one of the few clinics in the mid-Atlantic to offer multiple fully trained and experienced providers of IASTM. Multiple doctors of Sport and Spine Rehab have even been nationally sought after instructors in this technique.