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Key benefits of IASTM for Chiropractors

Ease up the stress on your body with IASTM

If I could choose only one adjunct therapy to support chiropractic manipulation it would be Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization.  When I started practice fifteen years ago, my treatment session consisted of hot pack, adjustment, followed by electric stim.  This basic protocol was providing satisfactory results for average back and neck cases... but, honestly I was having trouble getting results for extremity conditions and chronic back/neck patients. My first postgraduate learning to improve my outcomes (and earn CEU's) was focused on rehab and advanced soft tissue therapies.

Adding these modalities not only skyrocketed results and referrals, but changed my patient base tremendously.  I started retaining those "tough" patients.  The ones referred by loyal patients- their spouse or neighbor- dragged into the office with their arms crossed.  I'm not discounting the power of joint manipulation, but there was just a stronger patient connection when I could access the myofascial component of their problem and immediately make them feel better, "Doc, that's exactly where it hurts!"

Patient retention and referrals were good.  But, running behind and exhausting myself performing intense Active Release Style treatments was not so good.

How could I ease up the stress on my body and shave a little time off the soft tissue treatment? The answer was IASTM.  Here was a tool that acted as a force multiplier (the tool edge concentrating mechanical treatment force more specifically) and helped determine dysfunctional tissue along long kinetic chains via a property of annealed stainless steel called diagnostic resonance.  Similar to the way a needle rides in a record groove, the edge of an IASTM tool rides along tissue topography giving the practitioner "feedback."

The last piece of the puzzle was a comprehensive soft tissue diagnosis protocol to determine primary lesions in fascia and soft tissue sometimes several segments away from the pain site- this was Stecco Fascial Manipulation.  With accurate evaluation and quick, effective, effortless treatment with quality stainless steel IASTM instruments my practice was running smoothly with lots of happy patients.  To recap the key benefits of IASTM are:

  • Tools act as a force multiplier, giving more specific soft tissue treatments. The unique profiles of the instruments make contacts that are in many cases more accurate than thumb/finger contacts.
  • Using IASTM tools eases strain on the practitioner. This becomes especially important when your practice becomes busy and you cannot possibly perform intense soft tissue therapies all day long.
  • By finding soft tissue lesions quickly and treating the dysfunctional area exclusively vs. working "around and around" it, you will save time in the treatment session.
  • Finally, by directly accessing the patients pain sites in the soft tissue, you will communicate (non verbally) with the patient that you are competent and effective as a clinician.

Top Conditions Treated with IASTM

IASTM is an effective therapy to add to any holistic approach

Once your patients see you as the doctor for treating all areas of the body, you will be surprised at the number of referrals and reactivations you will get for conditions like tennis elbow or Iliotibial Band Syndrome.   And if you are already seeing a lot of extremity myofascial cases, you will be impressed with the effectiveness of IASTM instruments.   Here are some top conditions that you will see better results (while making your treatment quicker and less fatiguing).

Can you imagine increasing your caseload and patient satisfaction with more of these extremity cases in addition to your bread and butter spinal cases?

  • Lateral Epicondylitis
  • Rotator Cuff Syndrome
  • Carpal Tunnel/Arm Tingling
  • Biceps Tendonitis
  • Patellar Tendonitis
  • Illiotibial Band Sydrome
  • Achillies Tendoniits
  • Plantar Fasciitis

Easy Technique Integration for Chiropractors

Effective use of this adjunct therapy is 5 minutes. 

IASTM is not a complicated technique.   If you have experience with any soft tissue approach, you can perform your treatment just like you did with your hands, now with the addition of an instrument.   In terms of logistics and use during a treatment session, the minimum time for effective use of this adjunct therapy is about 5 minutes.   Here you can pick two to three treatment sites, perform your choice of IASTM stroke, and follow up with integrated movement.

We have videos you can watch on our Technique Page of four common IASTM strokes. Also, available at the bottom of the Technique Page is the comprehensive Technique Primer PDF with background, theory, descriptions of 8 therapeutic strokes, and references.  Before continuing, don't forget to bookmark this Chiropractic IASTM page to easily access information later... And, would you think about sharing this page with your chiropractic colleagues?