A Systematic Review on IASTM
Concludes it is Ineffective (but there is good news!)
Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) is on the rise in the physical therapy field. With new techniques and procedures popping up everywhere, it is hard to know what works and what doesn’t.
A September 2016 systematic review evaluated the research on IASTM and concluded research does not support the efficacy of IASTM. Recognizing the fact that some clinicians utilize IASTM without supporting research, the systematic review noted there is a gap between research and clinical practice. This systematic review did not include Astym therapy, but rather distinguished Astym therapy and acknowledged Astym therapy has its own body of evidence that differs greatly from IASTM.
In addition, a recent controlled study showed patients who were treated with IASTM showed a significant increase in pain and a significant decrease in the perception of function, where the ability to perform activities of daily living decreased following IASTM. Accordingly, IASTM may not meet the standard of care professionals should adhere to.
Now for the GOOD NEWS: Astym therapy is very different from IASTM. It has been repeatedly shown to be highly effective and safe in multiple controlled clinical trials, and has also been shown to engage the regenerative mechanisms of the body. In addition, outcomes data on almost 10,000 patients shows Astym therapy to be safe and highly effective across broad populations. Referral sources, patients, and payers routinely refer for Astym therapy because of its reliability and effectiveness.
For a fully referenced summary of research on Astym therapy and IASTM, please read this Research Overview.
At Physio, we provide Astym because it works. Our Astym Providers are always available to discuss the research on Astym therapy with you and to explain why Astym-certified providers are the best choice for therapy.
*Information reprinted from Performance Dynamics, Inc.
Christopher Taylor, PT
Chris Taylor is the Founding Physical Therapist at PHYSIO Physical Therapy and Wellness Asheville. He has been voted Best Physical Therapist in Western North Carolina every year by the Mountain XPress Reader Poll. His experience includes being a patient himself which deepens his understanding of each aspect of the rehab process. He has lived and worked in 11 states which contributes to the treatment style he has developed which breaks the mold. Become a better You today! #KeepAshevilleActive