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Posted on 04-12-2017

Soft Tissue Injury and Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization

Have you ever had a sprained ankle or pulled a muscle? Have you thought about the lasting effect of that seemingly minor injury on your body? When you have a big trauma or small trauma to the body, the body has to heal itself. When you have an injury in the soft tissue, the body lays down new soft tissue called scar tissue or adhesions. If that tissue is disorganized and not lined up with the healthy tissue, it can result in pain, decreased range of motion, or altered movement patterns. Overtime, this can cause other issues in the musculoskeletal system. 
What is Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization?
Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) is a technique that utilizes a tool to locate and treat a soft-tissue injury. The tool is usually made of metal, wood, or plastic. The tool is ran over an area looking for adhesions or scar tissue and then is used to loosen the area. 
How will IASTM help me?
IASTM restarts the healing process by introducing controlled microtrauma to the area. This starts an inflammatory response, which reabsorbs the scar tissue and allows for remodeling of the scar tissue in an organized fashion. This will increase the range of motion of the area and decrease the pain level over time. 
Does it hurt?
During IASTM, the practitioner is starting the healing process over. This can painful since it is reinjuring the body. The pain may last for a couple days after treatment, but icing the area can help decrease the pain level. 
How many treatments will it take?
That varies from patient to patient. With IASTM, it is best to be seen two times a week for about 4 weeks. Relief may be achieved even faster if home care recommendations are followed. 
What are common conditions that IASTM can help with?
Sprained ankles
Muscles tears/pulls
Frozen shoulder
Neck pain from poor posture
Plantar fasciitis
Piriformis syndrome
Iliotibial (IT) band syndrome
Jumper's knee
Tennis elbow
Carpal tunnel syndrome

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