We sometimes hear questions at HawkGrips about the emollient that’s a necessary adjunct to instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM). Questions such as, “What is it?” “Why is it needed?” and “How does it work?” Don’t worry because in this blog post I’ll provide the answers to these common queries.
What Is It?
HawkGrips original oil-based emollient is specifically manufactured to contain the least amount of allergens to reduce the possibility of adverse reactions among your patients. Made with shea butter and synthetic beeswax, our emollient creates an ideal surface for IASTM treatment. It contains a light, vanilla fragrance that makes the emollient smell very appealing to patients. The emollient also comes in a fragrance-free version for those with a sensitive olfactory system.
Why Is It Needed?
Emollient is thinner and less likely to be absorbed by the skin than lotion. It also prevents irritation caused by the friction that may occur when instruments come in contact with the skin.
How Does It Work?
Utilizing either a gloved hand, tongue depressor, or a HawkGrips instrument, take a small dollop of emollient from the jar and spread it on the patient’s skin. You do not need to apply much — just enough to make the skin shiny. For a small area, such as the wrist, we recommend smaller than a dime-sized amount. A larger body area or a body part with coarse hair may require a nickel-sized dollop of emollient. Rub the emollient to cover the entire treatment area, again with either a gloved hand, tongue depressor, or instrument.
Clinicians should avoid the practice of “snowplowing.” This is the effect produced when too much emollient is applied and it gathers on the bevelled edge of the instrument. The emollient picks up dead skin cells and can turn gray like old snow on the side of the street. While this sight is not particularly attractive, no harm is being caused to the patient during snowplowing.
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.
“Tennis elbow,” a diagnosis that strikes fear into the hearts of clinicians the world over! (OK… that may be a slight overstatement). Why is this condition so dreaded? Because when treating tennis elbow, everything works and nothing works. Tennis elbow is one of the most commonly diagnosed and discussed musculoskeletal conditions known to humankind. An article by Arnett et al. on the evaluation and treatment of lateral epicondylitis reported a 2-percent incidence in the general population, with a significantly higher rate among manual laborers.
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