Frequently asked questions:
Q: How does IASTM (Graston Technique®, ASTYM® or SASTM®)
A: Graston Technique®,
ASTYM® and SASTM® all have specialized training for their methods and use
different, unique instruments. IASTM instruments make it easier to detect and
treat soft tissue dysfunction. (Yes that is STD but not the kind you may be
thinking…) They magnify the abnormalities (Scars, restrictions and adhesions) in
the soft tissue and make it easier to locate the area to treat. The instruments
actually vibrate and may even make an audible sound (Sound Assisted Soft Tissue
Mobilization) when sliding over scars, adhesions and restrictions. Using a tool
focuses the force through an area smaller then your finger so you use less
force. By not using your fingers and using less force it is easier on you to
treat patients. The treatment time is also reduced further saving wear and tear
on your body. The goal is to actually cause a minor injury and trigger an
inflammatory healing response. This will stimulate the production of new
collagen and hopefully proper (more functional, less painful) healing.
Q: What is the STARR Technique?
A: The STARR Technique is an entry level IASTM method that gives you written
instructions and video demonstrations of how to effectively detect and treat scar
tissue, soft tissue adhesions and restrictions that affect normal function. You
get everything you need to start using IASTM in your office (the STARR tool,
written instructions and demonstration videos
without spending thousands of dollars and weekends in seminars.
You can increase your clinical skills by studying
Functional Soft-Tissue Examination and Treatment by Manual Methods, by Warren
There are 3 main providers of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization
instruments and instruction. See a comparison of the "Big 3"
Q: Are instruments better than your hands?
A: Instruments magnify what the hands feel. Making it easy to identify the
source of pain and dysfunction and treat it. Using a tool also saves a lot of
wear and tear on your hands and may also help prevent
Q: How big big is the STARR tool?
A: About as big as a CD/DVD and is made from solid 6061 T3
aluminum and is hard anodized to give it a smooth satin finish. Note: The
hard anodizing will not wear off and is almost impossible to scratch. So the
"aluminum" never really comes in contact with the patient.
Q: Who can benefit from the STARR Tool?
A: Anyone who wants to start using IASTM without spending thousands of $$$ and a
weekend in another seminar. Providers who are interested in
learning the Graston Technique®, ASTYM® or SASTM®
but are just not ready to make the financial and time commitment.
Q: What kind of conditions can IASTM treat?
A: Patients with a soft tissue disorder. Especially fascial adhesions and restrictions, acute and chronic conditions. Cervical
sprain/strain (neck pain), Lumbar sprain/strain (back pain), Carpal Tunnel
Syndrome, Plantar Fasciitis, Lateral Epicondylitis (tennis elbow), Medial
Epicondylitis (golfer’s elbow), Rotator Cuff Tendinitis (shoulder pain),
Patellofemoral Disorders (knee pain), Achilles Tendinitis, Fibromyalgia, Scar
Tissue, Trigger Finger, Shin Splints, surgical scars and more.
Q: How many treatments are needed?
A: Everyone responds differently. 99.9% of my patients report significant
improvement after the first treatment! Most conditions resolve in 3-5
treatments. Treatment should be scheduled 1-2X a week with 2-3 days between
sessions. Older patients with complications (diabeties) and chronic conditions
tend to take a little longer.
Q: How Does it work?
A: The STARR tool makes it easy to locate soft tissue adhesions and
restrictions. When you feel a vibration or "roughness" you have found the target
(problem) tissue. The tool is then used to break up fascial restrictions and
scar tissue adhesions restoring normal function. This initiates reabsorption of
fibrotic or excessive scar tissue and triggers healing activities. Read
The Benefits of IASTM, Warren Hammer, DC, MS, DABCO
Q: Why is scar tissue a problem?
A: Scar tissue has a tendency to contract and restrict normal range of motion and normal soft tissue and joint function.
This restriction is usually accompanied by (and the cause of) pain.
Q: Is the treatment painful?
A: That depends on you and how much pressure you use and the patients
pain tolerance. The tool provides a mechanical advantage making it easy
to use too much pressure. The new tool has 2 different edges. One is
more rounded and is for patients who can not comfortably tolerate the
normal edge. I always tell the patient to let me know if the treatment
becomes too painful so I can ease up a little or switch edges. It may
take 2-3 treatments before a patient can tolerate the pressure needed
to get results. You will learn this with experience.
Q: What CPT codes can I use to bill for treatment?
A: See this article in Dynamic Chiropractic (Included on CD)
Codes for Soft-Tissue
Q: What is the difference between the aluminum and stainless steel tools?
A: They both work the same and give the same feel. The aluminum tool weighs
about 8 ounces and the stainless steel tool weighs about 12 ounces. The
stainless steel tool looks much better and contributes to a professional image.
I have used both and like the aluminum tool better only because it weighs less.
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