The premise of instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) is, at most, a highly advanced concept, demanding background knowledge of applied anatomy and physiology. At the least, IASTM is deep tissue massage. I consider myself a relative expert on trying to explain IASTM and HawkGrips after doing just that with numerous family members, friends, and complete strangers since becoming the director of education at HawkGrips. And I’m willing to share my extensive, expert knowledge with you, lucky duck!
IASTM is a form of deep tissue massage that potentially accelerates healing and restores function. It is believed that IASTM restores function by remodeling soft tissue at the cellular level through a process called mechanotransduction. After IASTM, we incorporate rehabilitative exercises to encourage this new tissue being built to lay down the way it’s supposed to, in neat, straight lines.
What should I expect from a treatment with HawkGrips Therapy?
The instruments glide over the skin and “catch” on scar tissue. A patient may feel a vibration or “crunchy” feeling when the instrument goes over areas of adhesion. The entire treatment of one body area should not take longer than 10 minutes. Each specific lesion is treated for only 30-90 seconds.
The treatment should never be painful but sometimes mild discomfort is felt. As a patient, please be sure to let your clinician know if the treatment is too painful.
IASTM is best used in conjunction with a rehabilitation protocol that incorporates stretching and strengthening. Your clinician will most likely have you perform corrective, stretching, and/or strengthening exercises after the HawkGrips Therapy. It’s important to adhere to any home stretching and/or exercise program your clinician may ask you to complete in order to maximize beneficial results.
Some potential positive outcomes from IASTM include, but are not limited to:
- Increased range of motion
- Increased blood flow
- Decreased pain
Many patients experience long-term relief from the following injuries after treatment with IASTM:
- Carpal tunnel
- Low-back pain
- Trigger thumb
- Tennis/golfer’s elbow
- Chronic ankle pain
- Plantar fasciitis
Possible Side Effects
IASTM employs fluid motions of the instruments on the patient’s skin, typically eliciting redness. In extreme cases, bruising may occur. However, bruising is not the main goal of this treatment nor should it occur after the majority of treatments. A treatment may yield petechiae, or broken capillaries seen as tiny bright red dots on the skin. This is a sign that the treatment should stop before bruising occurs.
Mild soreness is not uncommon for 1-3 days after a treatment occurs. Please advise patients to contact their clinician/physician if this soreness does not resolve or worsens within this time frame. Keep in mind that IASTM isn’t for everyone. Some patients may be hypersensitive (which is a relative contraindication) and not able to tolerate the use of instruments.
* Interested in receiving this amazing treatment? Check out our Locate a Provider page to find a clinician near you who is utilizing HawkGrips!
As a doctor of chiropractic, I see many patients who suffer from limited range of motion, whether it’s cervical, lumbar or even an extremity. When I examine a patient and identify limited mobility in an area, my treatment protocol will not only consist of a chiropractic spinal adjustment, but also instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) with a HawkGrips instrument, along with corrective exercises and stretches. HawkGrips instruments are great tools to utilize in combination with chiropractic spinal adjustments…
Los Angeles Dodgers Physical Therapist Dr. Steve Smith Praises HawkGrips as the Best IASTM Products on the Market
My name is Dr. Steve Smith and I’m a sports physical therapist and certified strength and conditioning specialist. I’ve been a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers organization since January 2012 and currently hold the position of major league physical therapist. Prior to joining the Dodgers, I earned a master’s degree from the The University of Maryland Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science in 2002, followed by a doctoral degree in 2003. I spent the first several years of my career working as a staff…
The human skin is the the largest organ of the integumentary system. It is enriched with dense neurological tissue that permeates the entire body and provides a uniquely accessible means of influencing tone and function of underlying structures. Fascia and muscle generate and transfer kinetic energy in an environment by which functional movement relies on a combination of elastic recoil and eccentric control around a focal, multi-planar axis.
I have a condition that the medical world calls “hallux valgus.” Also known as a bunion, it basically means a foot deformity. To put it mildly, I actually have extreme deformities. Over the years, the symptoms worsened and began to affect my ability to walk and run. My lower-extremity muscles were always tight and I felt no relief throughout the day. Soon, my knees became impacted as well and I blew out both, resulting in bilateral meniscal repairs. My hamstrings and quads would constantly get strained and the result was…
As his F-4 Phantom jet fighter raced across the skies over North Vietnam, U.S. Air Force co-pilot Ralph Galati glimpsed a surface-to-air missile streaking menacingly toward him. Unable to evade this deadly projectile fired by enemy troops below, the Phantom shuddered from the explosive impact. It was February 16, 1972, and the Vietnam War had been raging for nearly seven years. The most controversial conflict in the history of the United States, it would eventually claim the lives of nearly 60,000 American servicemen…
Lymph is responsible for transporting essential immune cells throughout the body. When lymph becomes stagnant, it causes swelling of affected tissues, which leads to pain and dysfunction. This condition called lymphedema causes the affected skin and subcutaneous tissues to become inflamed and hardened, or fibrotic. Typically, treatment includes manual lymph drainage, a specialized hands-on technique that stimulates superficial lymph vessels to move. Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) has been proposed to…