Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) is a form of manual therapy that involves the use of specialized instruments to apply pressure to the soft tissues of the body, such as muscles, tendons, and fascia. IASTM is often used to treat a variety of conditions, including lymphedema.
Lymphedema is a condition characterized by the accumulation of lymph fluid in the tissues, which can cause swelling and discomfort. It can occur as a result of damage to the lymphatic system, such as surgery or radiation treatment for cancer, or due to genetics. Lymphedema can affect any part of the body but is most commonly seen in the arms and legs.
IASTM may be used as part of a treatment plan for lymphedema to help improve the function of the affected limb and reduce swelling. The therapist uses the instruments to apply pressure to specific areas of the affected limb, breaking up scar tissue and promoting the flow of lymph fluid. This can help to reduce swelling and improve mobility.
It is important to note that IASTM should only be performed by a trained and qualified healthcare professional. It is not recommended to try IASTM at home without proper training and supervision. It is also important to work with a lymphedema therapist or other healthcare professional to develop a comprehensive treatment plan for lymphedema, which may include other techniques such as manual lymphatic drainage and compression therapy.