Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue (IAST) therapy is a manual therapeutic approach to managing musculoskeletal injuries using specifically designed tools. It is often used to address movement system dysfunctions that have been determined to have a soft tissue component.
WHY USE A TOOL IN THE FIRST PLACE?
Using a stainless steel tool transmits vibrations that are felt by the practitioner when the tool encounters fibrous tissue. Once the problem area is identified, the tool can be used to create a significant positive effect on the tissue being treated, thus enhancing the recovery process.
WHAT DOES IT DO?
IAST can help restore pain-free movement and function by influencing a variety of factors within an injured tissue. It can help re-initiate the body’s first stage of healing, the inflammatory phase, which allows an injured tissue to reboot the healing process. IAST can help separate and break down collagen cross-links (scar tissue) brought on by injury, muscle overuse or surgery, thereby increasing tissue compliance, or stretch. By stimulating the nervous system, IAST facilitates the inhibition of abnormal muscle tone and guarding that leads to reflex changes in chronic muscle holding patterns. IAST can also increase blood flow delivery to the area being treated, and therefore increases cellular activity in the region.