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Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilizations

Will IASTM Be painful?

The short answer is no. IASTM does not need to be painful and leave bruises to be effective. Most of the time when we perform IATSM techniques we do not leave any bruises and the pain is mild to none.

It takes some time to get used to the sensation of instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization but our providers are trained to start slow and work up to deeper pressures.

Often times, deep pressures are not necessary in order to get the desired result from treatment. 

Some people have seen the photos of the bruising that occurs after IASTM. These bruises look very painful. Usually, these bruises are from blood vessels and are not actually painful. 

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IASTM is a technique is often used in physical therapy. IASTM has similar mechanisms to standard massage therapy, but specialized instruments are used in place of a physical therapist's hands. These tools can help us to target areas more specifically to stimulate the desired outcome.


Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization is a service that we provide to help aide with recovery from injury. In general, IASTM uses tools to perform massage treatments to muscles, fascia, and tendons.

A common though of IASTM is that it breaks down scar tissue. Through research we have come to find that that thought is incorrect. The mechanism by which we believe IASTM works is by stimulating a neural and vascular response to stimulate healing in an area. It can also help to decrease pain through reduce sensitivity of the tissue. 

Studies have addressed the benefits of IASTM at the cellular level. The inflammatory response initiated through micro trauma to the affected tissues results in increased fibroblast proliferation, collagen synthesis, maturation and the remodeling of unorganized collagen fibre matrix following IASTM application. Which result in a the body remodeling scar tissues, adhesions and facial restrictions.

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What Conditions is IASTM used for?

IASTM can be used virtually on all areas of the body. Below are some of the common areas that we would use instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization.

Common areas for IASTM

  • Plantar fasciitis 

  • Patellofemoral syndrome

  • Achilles tendonitis 

  • Patellar tendonitis 

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

  • Heel pain

  • Muscle strains

  • Bursitis 

  • IT band syndrome 

  • Shin splints 

  • Medial / lateral epicondylitis 

  • Rotator cuff tendonitis and strains


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