In this September's issue of ACAnews, Caitlin Lukacs discusses the rise of Instrument-Assisted Soft-Tissue Mobilization. Soft-tissue can be defined as any muscle, tendon, ligament, fascia and even fibrosis or scar tissue. Injuries or trauma can be defined with a single event sprained ankle to the repetitive stress injury or overuse injury such as tennis elbow.
“Tere’s almost always a soft-tissue component associated with any injury or condition,” says Travis McCathie, DC, ATC, director of the Northwestern Health Sciences University’s Center for Sports and Rehabilitation.
It’s important to note that what gives IASTM the ability to reinitiate first-stage healing is that it is essentially reinjuring the body, although to a lesser degree, which may cause discomfort during the procedure and bruising afterward. “Patients may experience soreness in the treatment area for a day or two following IASTM,” explains Dr. Heller.
Soft-tissue mobilization can be thought of as similar to a deep tissue massage. The main difference is that instruments allow dense, scar tissue like fibrosis or muscle knots are more quickly soften for a quicker sense of relief from restrictions and ultimately pain. The article talks about breaking up abnormal or excess scar tissue and allowing the healing process to restart introducing increased circulation and increase in collagen production.
According to Dr. Hammer, the injuries or types of injuries—that respond best to IASTM include acute and chronic spinal and extremity problems, such as tendinopathies, Achilles tendinosis, rotator cuff injuries, IT band syndrome and plantar fasciitis, among others. And Dr. Heller notes that the patients who see the best results from IASTM are those who are younger and more physically active. A person who is willing to exercise the involved tissues is more likely to respond well to this particular type of treatment,” he says. “But that doesn’t mean that it won’t work on older patients or on those with a more sedentary lifestyle.”
According to the Graston Technique official website here is a more complete list of conditions that are treatable with Graston Technique instruments. There is some debate about the classification of fibromyalgia so I personally may or may not agree with this as a personal opinion.***
Conditions treated by Graston Technique:
- Cervical Sprain/Strain (neck pain)
- Tension Headaches
- TMJ PainLumbar Sprain/strain (back pain)
- Trigger Finger
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (wrist pain)
- Lateral Epicondylitis (tennis elbow)
- Medical Epicondylosis (golfer’s elbow)
- Rotator Cuff Tendinosis (shoulder pain)
- Adhesive Capsulitis (frozen shoulder)
- Biceps Tendinitis / Tendinosis
- Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
- Groin Sprain
- IT Band Syndrome
- Patellofemoral Disorders (knee pain)
- Hamstring Strain
- Shin Splints
- Achilles Tendinosis (ankle pain)
- Plantar Fasciitis (foot pain)
- Muscle Strain
- Scar Tissue
To see the complete article on IASTM, click here or you can visit the Graston Technique website by clicking on the banner below.
ChiroWorks Care Center
Anthony Tsai, D.C.
Chiropractor in San Jose, CA
Graston Technique Certified
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