Physical Therapy in Hampton Roads
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Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization

Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) is a soft tissue diagnostic and therapeutic method used for outpatient therapy. IASTM is excellent for treating areas exhibiting scar tissue, adhesions, chronic inflammation or soft tissue restriction/injury.

  • The specifically designed stainless steel instruments may enhance the ability to target and treat restriction within affected tissues.
  • Scar tissue that forms in an injured area lacks strength and flexibility and may build up, restricting normal performance of muscles, tendons and ligaments.
  • Scar tissue (and/or adhesions) prevent fluid movement of muscles, ligaments and surrounding areas, resulting in pain and stiffness restricting movement.

Common diagnoses for IASTM:IASTM

  • Carpal Tunnel (wrist pain)
  • Cervical Sprain/Strain (neck pain)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Scar Tissue
  • Lumbar Sprain/Strain (back pain)
  • Lateral Epicondylitis (tennis elbow)
  • Sports Injuries
  • Rotator Cuff Tendinitis (shoulder pain)
  • Patellofemoral Disorders (knee pain)
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Achilles Tendinitis (ankle pain)
  • Trigger Points

What to expect:

  • Patients usually receive two treatments per week for four to five weeks.
  • Positive response in most cases after two or three treatments.
  • Reduces need for anti-inflammatory medication and resolves chronic conditions thought to be permanent.
  • The instruments are not meant to replace the therapist’s hands, but rather enhance ability to detect/treat adhesions and soft tissue restrictions.
  • IASTM is generally performed in conjunction with a stretching and strengthening program to optimize healing and provide the best opportunity to return to sport or previous level of activity.

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