Physical therapists have many tools at their disposal to help get their patients better, faster. Many of these tools fall under the umbrella of manual therapy. Manual therapy is defined as any hands-on interventions that are used to decrease tone, improve soft tissue mobilization, improve joint mobility, and to get you back to a pain free life.
Instrument Aided Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) is using a hand tool with many different shapes and sides to help improve your soft tissue extensibility. Therapists will use these tools to better assess your soft tissues (muscle, tendon, ligament, etc) to see any abnormalities, trigger points, restrictions, or areas of increased tone that need to be addressed. Those same tools can be used to treat those abnormalities more aggressively and selectively when compared to a therapist using their hands only. These instruments can speed up your recovery, improve your blood flow, positively address chronic conditions, just to name a few.