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Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization

Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization is a method clinicians use to effectively locate and treat areas of soft tissue dysfunction.  Therapists use instruments to detect and treat areas of "scar tissue" or adhesions in muscles, tendons, and ligaments which can reduce range of motion and cause pain.  Instruments effectively break down fascial restrictions and scar tissue.  This innovative soft tissue, instrument based treatment is designed to help our patients feel better - fast!

PHOENIX Rehabilitation is experienced in multiple types of instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization techniques, including the Sound Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (SASTM), Fluid Motion Soft Tissue Tools and the Graston Technique ®.

The SASTM method is a form of instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization.  The ergonomic design of these instruments provides the clinician with the ability to locate restrictions through sound waves.  This allows the clinician to locate and treat the affected area with the appropriate amount of pressure.

The introduction of controlled micro-trauma to affected soft tissue structure causes the stimulation of a local inflammatory response.  The micro-trauma 'initiates healing' in the re-absorption of inappropriate fibrosis or 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.  

The fluid motion soft tissue (FMST) tools have proven successful in reducing scar tissue problems from old injuries and/or surgeries and help achieve greater results with pain control, joint and muscle flexibility that was once believed unattainable.  The FMST tools come in two sizes, large and small.  The large tool was designed to mobilize tissue in larger areas of the body such as the back, hips and legs and the smaller tool was created for more intricate areas such as the hands, feet and neck.

The Graston Technique® allows for better discovery (compare it to a stethoscope used to hear a heartbeat) and treatment because it uses a stainless steel instrument that glides along the muscle, tendon or ligament, and with the right amount of pressure applied,  it can detect the location of the scar tissue or restrictions more easily.  When these knots or bands of scar tissue are encountered, both the clinician and patient sense a restriction.  The instrument can then be used to "breakup" this restriction.  Stretching exercises are used to promote re-alignment of the fibers into the normal pattern of healthy tissue.

Graston Technique® has been effective in the treatment of:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Cervical pain
  • De Quervain's syndrome
  • Epicondylitis/osis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • IT band syndrome
  • Joint sprain
  • Lower back pain
  • Muscle strain
  • Myofascial pain
  • Nerve entrapment
  • Painful scars
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Post-fracture pain (healed)
  • Shin splints
  • Tendinitis/osis
  • Trigger finger
  • Women's health (post-mastectomy and Caesarean scarring)

Historically, the Graston Technique® has had positive outcomes in 75-90 percent of all conditions treated.  Only clinicians who have been trained and accredited in the Graston Technique® Basic Training course are qualified to obtain the Graston Technique® instruments and apply the technique to treat patients. 

For more information regarding our programs and services, please call toll-free 888-644-7747 and/or find the location nearest you on our website at

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PHOENIX Rehabilitation and Health Services, Inc.
430 Innovation Drive
Blairsville, PA 15717-8096

Phone: 724-343-4060
Toll-Free: 888-644-7747