What is IASTM?

Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) is an advanced form of myofascial mobilization. It is primarily used to detect and treat scar tissue, adhesions, and fascial restrictions. This technique enables a clinician to locate adhesions and restrictions in the soft tissue through the vibrations or resonance of the instruments. Once these areas have been identified, clinicians may then utilize the instruments to restore optimal function.

How is IASTM used at Nashville Hip Institute at TOA?

All of our clinicians utilize IASTM in a variety of ways based on each individual patient’s needs. IASTM is an adjunct to our hands at NHI at TOA and will never replace joint mobilizations and hands on soft tissue release/mobilization. Our therapists have found that the addition of IASTM into treatments has enhanced the outcomes and efficiency of treatment sessions.

Is this the same as Graston Technique?

Graston technique was developed in the 1990’s and was based on a patented set of stainless steel instruments with education models that were built around them. In 2010, the patent was up on the stainless steel tools and there was a large boom in the IASTM work. Graston is commonly used as a term to describe IASTM, similar to Kleenex being the term many use for a tissue (despite the brand).

What can I expect from my treatment?

A typical IASTM treatment session is divided into stages or incorporated within other soft tissue mobilizations. First you will typically warm up actively or passively based on how well you are doing to prepare the tissue for treatment. Next is treatment with IASTM. The final step entails gentle exercise and stretching to promote proper tissue movement. To avoid overworking the tissue, IASTM is performed for a very short time period — usually less than 10 minutes per body part. Some tenderness or redness in the area after treatment is not unusual, and generally fades quickly. Generally, you should feel better within 24-48 hours, however, most people begin to feel positive results, including increased range of motion and decreased pain, after three to five treatments.

*IASTM can create soreness for about 24 hours but this should be no more that if you did a hard workout. It should never cause significant pain or severe bruising. If this happens, please contact your clinician immediately.*

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Fax: 615-284-5819


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Nashville Hip Institute at TOA
2004 Hayes Street
Suite 700
Nashville, TN  37203

Office Hours

8:00 am – 5:00 pm