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Soft Tissue- a "Gold Mine" for Podiatrists

​I shared an office with a podiatrist for eight years.   In that time, "Dr. Chris" saw the light when it came to expanding his practice with rehab and soft tissue work.   His practice began to be dominated by healthy motivated patients and athletes who prized his comprehensive approach to lower extremity conditions.   The jewel in the crown for soft tissue work and podiatry is instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM).   With pin point accuracy and short, focused (5 min) treatments you can use the instrument to work through the skin into effected fascia, ligament, capsule, and tendon tissues.

Podiatry is expanding not only into rehab of lower extremity conditions, but also into connected treatments involving knee, hip, and pelvis.   It is so obvious, that it is beyond even explaining why it is necessary to treat the entire lower extremity, yet some "old school" practitioners continue to limit their myopic focus to the foot and ankle.   That aside, you are here because you want to integrate effective soft tissue therapy to expand your practice scope and caseload.

IASTM involves profiled edge tools that act 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." Here are other key benefits:

​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.


Fascia is the New "Buzzword"

According to tensegrity models of anatomy (Myers, 2014), most soft tissue injuries are NOT "tears" or "pulls."   Rather they are failures in the glide of fascial encasements around muscle fascicles, ligament beds, and nerve channels.   More than that, these restrictions in glide between layers of tissue are nearly always one or more segments away from the pain site.   By analyzing the position of injury (and actions that provoke pain) along with the kinetic chain involved with that movement you can find and release areas of restriction immediately (or as soon as possible) after injury.   If you can restore movement along the kinetic chain, you will bring all the neurologic receptors back into harmony so they can, in return, appropriately plan and execute normal & pain free movement patterns. Think about getting better results and more patient referrals for these conditions:

Achillies Tendonitis

Plantar Fasciitis

Illiotibial Band Friction Syndrome

Patellar Tendonitis

Morton's Neuroma

Shin Splints

Tarsal Tunnel

Hamstrings Syndrome

Ankle Sprain Rehab

​Can you imagine assessing these myofascial syndromes, finding the appropriate targets, treating an area in 5 minutes, and resolving even chronic issues in 5-8 therapy visits?


​Easy IASTM Integration for Podiatric Medicine

​IASTM is not a complicated technique.   If you have experience with any palpation or soft tissue approach, you can perform your treatment just like you did with your hands, now with the addition of an instrument.   The instruments will help you effectively scan along the kinetic chain for restrictions, then treat/resolve right then-and-there.

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 Podiatric Medicine IASTM page to easily access information later... and would you think about sharing this page with your colleagues?