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Adding IASTM to your practice can greatly benefit your patients.
Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) is a particular treatment method that is performed with ergonomically designed instruments that detect and treat fascial restrictions, encourage localization and effectively treat areas exhibiting soft tissue fibrosis, chronic inflammation, or degeneration.1
But what types of condition fit these criteria, thereby benefiting from this particular treatment method?
Pain associated with text neck
Research conducted by Kenneth K. Hansraj, MD and chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine discovered that tilting your head forward just 15 degrees, places 27 pounds of pressure on your spine.2 Tilting your head that much is fairly common when it comes to looking down at your smartphone and other electronic devices. Increase the tilt to 60 degrees and the pressure grows to an amazing 60 pounds.
This can create all sorts of issues for the human body, one of which is “text neck.” Text neck is pain and damage to the cervical area that is associated with continuously tilting your head forward and down in order to catch up on emails, check social media accounts, and play online games.
IASTM can help with text neck by alleviating soft tissue restrictions in the back of the head, neck, and upper shoulder area.3
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons reports that plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of pain on the bottom of the heel.4 It’s so common, in fact, that around two million patients are seen for this condition annually.
In one case study involving a 10-year-old football player with plantar fasciitis found that chiropractic mixed with soft tissue therapy and home exercises not only helped alleviate the sometimes intense pain it can create, but it actually took it away entirely.5
And it was still gone three months later, making IASTM a great option for helping patients with planter fasciitis and other foot related pain.
If you engage in sports chiropractic, it’s not uncommon to see athletes with some type of shoulder injury. This is especially true if you’re working with team members associated with baseball, football, basketball, or any other sport which requires that a ball or some other object be thrown to another player.
According to a 2014 study involving 35 baseball players, published in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, injuries to this area of the body can benefit from IASTM by helping improve range of motion (ROM).6
In this case, players showed improvement in both glenohumeral horizontal adduction and internal rotation ROM.
Paul Fisher with Discover Chiropractic in Fremont, California shares that IASTM can also provide relief for runners suffering from sore feet due to hitting the pavement or trails on a regular basis.
He goes on to say that it this particular treatment method “could and should help with shin splints” as well.
Shin splints affect approximately 10 percent of male runners and almost 17 percent of female runners, making this an issue for a high number of people who use running to get or stay in shape.7
Thus, offering IASTM as a form of treatment can help patients hit their fitness goals without being sidelined by pain.
IASTM can help ease or entirely eliminate a number of different conditions and these are just a few. By incorporating this type of therapy into your practice, you are greatly benefiting your patients and going beyond what just an adjustment may offer.
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1. “Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization.” Physiopedia. www.physio-pedia.com/Instrument_Assisted_Soft_Tissue_Mobilization. Accessed June 13, 2016
2. Hansraj K. Assessment of Stresses in the Cervical Spine Caused by Posture and Position of the Head.” Surgical Technology International. cbsminnesota.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/spine-study.pdf
3. Page P. Cervicogenic headaches: An evidence-led approach to clinical management. International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy. September 2011; 6(3):254-266.
4. Kadakia A. Plantar Fasciitis and Bone Spurs. OrthoInfo. orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00149. Reviewed June 2010. Accessed June 13, 2016.
5. Daniels C & Morrell A. “Chiropractic management of pediatric plantar fasciitis: a case report.” Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. March 2012; 11(1):58063.
6. Laudner K et al. Acute effects of instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization for improving posterior shoulder range of motion in collegiate baseball players. International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy. February, 2014; 9(1):1-7.
7. Newman T. “Shin Splints: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment.” Medical News Today. www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/242169.php. Updated march 8, 2016. Accessed June 13, 2016.