Graston Technique

IASTM tool being applied to a man's calf muscle.

Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization

Effective treatment for muscle, ligament and tendon injuries

Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) is a technique we often use in physical therapy.  IASTM works like a standard massage, but specialized instruments are used in place of a physical therapist’s hands. These instruments allow more direct treatment of the soft tissues involved with movement. The tissues include:

  • Muscles
  • Fascia, connective tissue that surrounds and separates muscles
  • Ligaments, tissue that connects bones to other bones
  • Tendons, tissue that connects muscles to bones

IASTM can involve broad or targeted treatments. The former would be used for large muscle groups, such as an injured back, the latter for an injury to a particular area. By using different tools, angles and pressures, your therapist can focus on a specific layer of soft tissue during treatment.

The Benefits of IASTM

Targeted IASTM treatments can have a number of benefits, such as:

  • Faster pain relief
  • Improved mobility
  • Quicker rehabilitation and recovery

IASTM focuses on specific areas to relieve stiffness and improve range of motion. This allows you to perform exercises your physical therapist recommends to strengthen the injured area, which promotes healing and can help restore your normal function.


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