IASTM (Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Manipulation)


Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) is a non-invasive procedure that is rapidly growing in popularity with chiropractors, physical therapists and massage therapists, due to its simplicity and  effectiveness.

If you are struggling with a chronic injury or pain or want to reduce the healing time of a recent injury, a few IASTM treatments can produce remarkable results in a short period of time.

Injury and IASTM

The body initiates an immune and inflammatory response  after an injury, in order to prevent further damage and repair the wound as quickly as possible.

Under ideal circumstances, fibroblasts (important mediators of the healing process) lay down new collagen and connective tissue and the tissue heals without complications.


Unfortunately, what often happens is  less than ideal and the body doesn’t heal properly.

This can occur as a result of poor posture, overloading the injured area, trying to work through the pain and poor nutrition.

Under these circumstances, instead of the formation healthy collagen, scar tissue and adhesions form.

This is commonly seen as part of the Cumulative Injury Cycle:


Scar tissue is not the same as skin, muscle, ligament, or tendon. The arrangement of scar tissue within a wound is in an irregular pattern and has little functional strength.

In addition, scar tissue acts as a “road block” with respect to circulation, nerve transmission and efficient movement at the site of injury as well as areas above and below.


Because scar tissue and adhesions can limit range of motion, they will cause muscle imbalances, joint dysfunction and compensatory movement patterns mediated by the nervous system.

IASTM treatment utilizes tools to break up scar tissue at an injury site and trigger a local, controlled inflammatory response.

This inflammation leads to the absorption of scar tissue and the production of new collagen to repair the injury site.

The area treated is then re-educated with proper movement, stretching, and sometimes cold therapy, in order to help the body restore normal tissue structure and function.

Treatments are short, specific, and effective for a wide variety of ailments.

The effects of IASTM include pain relief, increased flexibility, increased strength, enhanced recovery, and in most cases complete resolution of symptoms.

What to expect from a treatment

Although the treatment creates inflammation, it’s common for patients to say they feel a “good hurt”.

Often there is an immediate improvement in flexibility and decrease in pain after treatment.

The treatment takes 5-10 minutes and is very specific as to not disrupt healthy tissues.

Common side effects include local discomfort, redness, and occasional bruising at the treatment site.

Will it work for me?

A multitude of conditions have been successfully treated through the administration of IASTM and when combined with corrective exercise,  most resolve within 6-8 treatments.

IASTM can be performed at almost any part of the body, from plantar fasciitis to TMJ.

After surgery, IASTM can speed up recovery and prevent scar formation that may hinder a full recovery

Other successfully treated conditions include: rotator cuff injuries, knee injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, elbow tendonitis, strains/sprains and even fibromyalgia.




For more information about IASTM, or to see if you are a candidate for this therapy, please contact our office at (425) 999-4484 or by e-mail:

About the Author

Dr. Geoff LecovinNaturopathic Physician/Chiropractor/Acupuncturist/Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist/Corrective Exercise Specialist/Performance Enhancement Specialist/Certified Sports Nutritionist/View all posts by Dr. Geoff Lecovin