What is Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM)?

Is an advanced form of soft tissue therapy which enables clinicians to efficiently detect and treat soft tissue (muscles, ligaments, tendons, fascia, and nerves) dysfunction including scar tissue, fascial restrictions, and fascial adhesions. Scar tissue can limit range of motion and frequently causes pain which prevents patients from functioning normally as he or she did before they were injured.

This technique breaks down scar tissue (adhesions), increases blood flow to the injured area, increases cellular activity to the area, and triggers an inflammatory healing response. The result of treatment is the stimulation of the production of new collagen, and restoring the proper functional movement to soft tissues. 


Also known as the Graston Technique, is a patented form of manual therapy that uses stainless steel tools to perform muscle mobilizations. It is a kind of soft tissue mobilization used mainly by chiropractors, osteopathic physicians, physical therapists/physiotherapists, occupational therapists and RMTs.

How does it work?

You think of think of the Graston technique as a deeper, more intense version of manual therapy. These tools can be used in two ways. The first is to locate muscles knots or restrictions. Practitioners do this by running the tools over your skin to feel for fibrous or scar tissue that may be causing you pain or restricting your movement. Second, the tools are then used to breakup that tissue to restore mobility and function.

 These specifically designed instruments allow your therapist to introduce a controlled amount of microtrauma into an area of excessive scar and/or soft tissue fibrosis. This will invoke an inflammatory response that will augment the healing process.

 Soft tissue injuries can be debilitating and frustrating. The Graston Technique is successful in treating all soft tissue conditions, whether they are chronic, acute or post-surgical. The goal is to restore your range of motion, eliminate pain and restore normal function.

 Clinical Applications:

  • Tennis Elbow

  • Back pain

  • Golfer’s Elbow

  • Knee pain

  • Heel pain

  • Shoulder pain

  • Scar Tissue

  • Shin Splints

  •  Ankle pain (Achilles Tendinosis/itis)

  • Wrist pain (Carpal Tunnel Syndrome)

  • Neck pain

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Hamstring injuries

  • Hip pain

  • IT Band

  • Trigger Finer

  • Post-Mastectomy and Caesarean Scarring


  • faster rehabilitation

  • faster recovery from injury

  • reduced need for anti-inflammatory medication

  • restoration of range of motion and movement, and

  • relief from chronic conditions


Instruments effectively break down fascial restrictions and scar tissue. When the tissue is broken down it creates controlled micro-trauma to the affected soft tissue structure causing the stimulation of a local inflammatory response. This micro-trauma initiates the re-absorption of excessive scar tissue and facilitates a cascade of healing activities resulting in remodeling of affected soft tissue structures. Adhesions within the soft tissue which may have developed as a result of surgery, immobilization, repeated strain or other mechanisms, are broken down allowing full functional restoration to occur.


  • Cervical Sprain/Strain (Neck Pain)

  • Lumbar Sprain/Strain (Back Pain)

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (wrist pain)

  • Medial Epicondylitis (Golfers Elbow)

  • Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)

  • Rotator Cuff Tendinitis (Shoulder Pain)

  • Plantar Fasciitis (Foot and Heel Pain)

  • Patellofemoral pain disorders (Knee Pain)

  • Patellar Tendinitis (Jummer's Knee)

  • Heel Pain /Achilles Tendinitis

  • Shin Splints

  • Post-Surgical and Traumatic Scars

  • Myofascial Pain and Restrictions

  • Musculoskeletal Imbalances


  • Compromised tissue integrity (open wound, infection, tumor)

  • Active implants (pacemaker, internal defibrillator, picc/pump lines)

  • DVT

  • Cervical carotid sinus

CAUTION: The above is only a guide and should not be used as a substitute for being evaluated by a regulated health care professional that has experience in managing whiplash associated disorders. If you have any questions about your condition, please feel free to contact us at your convenience. If you feel that this is a medical emergency, please visit your closest hospital emergency department.

To book an appointment for ONE80 Health IASTM in Toronto, fill out our convenient online request an appointment feature located on our homepage. Alternatively, you may call us at 647.560.4495.