What is Graston/ IASTM?
Graston/Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) is a popular treatment for muscle restriction. IASTM uses specially designed instruments to reduce and break up to scar tissue and muscle adhesions.
Why would I need Graston/ IASTM therapy?
Graston/IASTM therapy addresses injuries that involve the muscle and tendons in our joints. Muscle injuries are commonly referred to as soft tissue injuries. A soft-tissue injury involves damage to the muscles, ligaments, tendons and/or fascia somewhere in the body. Common soft-tissue injuries usually occur from a sprain, strain, blow to the body resulting in a contusion (ruptured blood vessels/bruising), or overuse of a particular body part. Soft tissue injuries can result in pain, swelling, bruising and loss of function. Adhesions within the soft tissue may develop as a result of repeated strain, surgery, immobilization or other mechanisms. Graston/ IASTM therapy is used to not only heal injured muscles but to increase range of motion in joints.
What does Graston/ IASTM therapy treat:
Graston/ IASTM therapy can be used to help alleviate the following symptoms:
- Limited motion
- Pain during motion
- Motor control issues (muscle activation/coordination)
- Muscle recruitment issues
At Health First, common conditions that are typically treated with IASTM include: tendinopathies, Achilles tendinosis, rotator cuff injuries, iloilo-tibial band syndrome and plantar fasciitis, among others.
How does Graston/ IASTM work?
Often, patients with soft-tissue injuries do not seek out treatment until the injuries have become chronic (weeks/months after injury). By this point, the body has completed most of its self-healing process. Scar tissue and adhesions are formed during this healing process, which limits range of motion and often causes pain. Scar tissue and adhesions essentially actually limits the amount of motion in a joint in your body. When scar tissue is created after injury, new cells are laid down excessively and in a disorganized manner. Scar tissue/adhesions prevent the muscle or other tissues from lengthening appropriately. It is often necessary for the doctor to restart the healing process in order to remodel the soft tissues in the affected area. By introducing controlled microtrauma to affected soft tissue using Graston/ IASTM, a local inflammatory response is stimulated. This microtrauma initiates reabsorption of inappropriate or excessive scar tissue and facilitates a remodeling of the affected soft-tissue structures. After IASTM treatment, scar tissue can be remodeled so that the cells become organized in a direction that better promotes movement.