Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization, or IASTM, is the use of tools to assess tissue quality and to treat areas identified to have scar tissue, soft tissue restrictions, chronic inflammation or degeneration.

Some common diagnosis treated with IASTM include plantar fasciitis, tendinitis, carpal tunnel, and IT Band syndrome. 

How does it work?

The Riverbend therapist applies firm pressure to the tool as the tool glides across the tissue in a scraping motion. The instruments work to comb through soft tissue restrictions and scar tissue, producing microtrauma to the affected tissue. This will stimulate a local inflammatory process, initiating reabsorption of unhealthy tissue and promoting tissue remodeling and healthy tissue production. Soft tissue restrictions can occur following surgery and can also develop from overuse, such as running, throwing, repeated motions at work, or even prolonged postures sitting at a desk. Similarly, they can develop with lack of use, as may be the case with extended splinting or bracing.

What conditions would benefit from IASTM?

  • Tendinitis/Tendinosis (Achilles, epicondylitis, patellar rotator cuff)
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Trigger Finger
  • Neck and back pain
  • Sprains and Strains
  • ITB Syndrome
  • Myofascial Restrictions
  • Post-surgical scaring
  • Post-mastectomy scarring
  • Caesarean scarring


At Riverbend Physical Therapy, we have therapists that are trained to safely and effectively treat the mentioned conditions with IASTM. IASTM is just one of the many manual therapy tools that can be used to treat pain. If you think you would benefit from IASTM, request a free assessment today.