Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Manipulation (IASTM) is a highly effective technique used to treat a variety of musculoskeletal conditions.
The procedure involves using stainless steel instruments with a dull, beveled edge to help correct scar tissue and fascial restrictions. IASTM instruments are specifically designed to be used in adjunction with other modalities to increase the effectiveness of the soft tissue work being performed by helping to correct the adhesions and scar tissue that form due to injury and inflammation; This occurs during injuries, surgeries, overuse, and underuse conditions, by increasing tissue elasticity and fibroblastic activity to return the muscles and surrounding tissues to as close to pre-injury status as possible.
Treatment is accomplished by initiating a controlled inflammatory process which will allow the tissue to begin the healing process, breaking down scar tissue and adhesions in the tissue and redirecting collagen formation in the proper orientation for correct movement of muscles and tissues.
Adhesion Breaker and Assisted Soft Tissue Instruments replace the practitioners hands, allowing the operator more ease in detecting fibrotic changes in the soft tissues through the vibrations carried through the tools as they are run along the fibers of the muscle. This allows Dr. Fuhrmann to provide faster recovery and rehabilitation from injury, and decrease pain in the patient by helping to remove scar tissue and adhesions which limit the proper function of muscle.
How Does it Work?
- Separates and Breaks Down Collagen Cross-Links, and Splays and Stretches Connective Tissue and Muscle Fibers
- Facilitates Reflex Changes in the Chronic Muscle Holding Pattern (inhibition of abnormal tone/guarding, leading to pain reduction via improved sensory input)
- Alters / Inhibits Spinal Reflex Activity (facilitated segment)
- Increases the Rate and Amount of Blood Flow to and from the Area (angiogenesis vs. immediate local increases in blood flow)
- Increases Cellular Activity in the region, Including Fibroblasts and Mast Cells
- Increases Histamine Response Secondary to Mast Cell Activity
Does it Hurt?
IASTM is not designed to be painful or cause excessive bruising. Occasionally, as with any form of manual therapy and depending on the patient’s condition, minor discomfort during the procedure and some bruising afterward may be experienced. Dr. Fuhrmann is trained to recognize these symptoms and adjust treatment intensity to minimize their occurrence, while realizing the benefits of the technique. IASTM does not need to be considered “painful” to be effective. Please inform Dr. Fuhrmann if you are experiencing discomfort anytime during treatment.
How Often do I Need It?
Depending upon the nature of the injury or maintenance program, patients usually receive 1-2 treatments per week during the span of 4-5 weeks. Most patients have a positive response by the 3rd or 4th treatment. The average number of sessions per episode of care is between 6-12 for more chronic conditions.
What Conditions Can it Help?
Dr. Fuhrmann can effectively and efficiently address soft tissue lesions and fascial restrictions while treating acute and chronic conditions, including:
- Achilles Tendinitis/osis (ankle pain)
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (wrist pain)
- Cervicothoracic Sprain/Strain (neck pain)
- Lateral Epicondylitis/osis (tennis elbow)
- Lumbosacral Sprain/Strain (back pain)
- Medial Epicondylitis/osis (golfer’s elbow)
- Myofascial Pain Syndromes
- Patellofemoral Disorders (knee pain)
- Plantar Fasciitis/osis (foot pain)
- Post surgeries such as joint replacements, RTC repairs (once post-surgical protocol allows for soft tissue mobilization/manual therapy)
- Rotator Cuff Tendinitis/osis (shoulder pain)
- Scar Tissue/post-surgical scars (once completely closed)
- Patients demonstrating central and/or peripheral sensitization (only used in light stroking/brushing mode to desensitize)
- Shin Splints
- Trigger Finger
- Women’s Health (post-mastectomy and Caesarean scarring)
IASTM be used to treat any movement system dysfunction that has been determined to have a soft tissue component.