IASTM-1: Instrument-Assisted Soft-Tissue Mobilization for Spine & Extremity Conditions: An Evidence-Based Approach

This three-day (24 contact hours) hands-on, technique driven course will emphasize the use of instruments to assist with joint and soft tissue mobilization. Participants will learn to use Fibrosis Release and Myofascial Stretching (FRAMS™) tools, vacuum cups, and advanced therapeutic massage techniques to facilitate remodeling and healing at the tissue level. In addition, participants will review the properties of muscular and fascial tissue on a histological level and investigate their role in common spinal and extremity neuromusculoskelatal disorders. The current evidence surrounding the use of instrument-assisted soft-tissue mobilization (IASTM) in neuromusculoskeletal disorders will be comprehensively reviewed. Participants will learn how to detect myofascial dysfunction and appropriately select the tool and/or technique for the specific dysfunction. Particular emphasis will be placed on appropriately framing the use of IASTM techniques within an evidence-based approach.

The best available literature surrounding the use of Instrument-Assisted Soft-Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) for a spinal and extremity musculoskeletal disorders will be discussed. Participants will be exposed to providing FRAMS physical therapy using the 4-tool FRAMS™ system.  While the Fibrosis Release aspect of the FRAMS™ system has been implicated in faster healing times secondary to remodeling of scar tissue that is common in tendinopathies, muscles strains or other connective tissue disorders, instrument-assisted Myofascial Stretching is thought to realign the collagen matrix as the tissue heals. The result is a strong connective tissue, less scarring, and decreased pain and disability.


  1. Discuss the pain physiology, including the biomechanical, chemical, and neurovascular alterations, that occurs in patients with myofascial pain syndromes.
  2. Describe the indications, precautions and contra-indications (relative and absolute) for use of the FRAMS™ physical therapy and the FRAMS 4-piece tool set, vacuum cupping and therapeutic massage.
  3. Discuss the current evidence surrounding the use of soft-tissue mobilization, myofascial cupping and therapeutic massage for a range of spinal and extremity neuromusculoskeletal disorders.
  4. Identify and differentiate myofascial, joint, teno-osseous, and musculo-tendinous syndromes.
  5. Demonstrate advanced therapeutic massage techniques for spinal and extremity conditions.
  6. Demonstrate appropriate selection of, and actual use of, IASTM tools for a broad range of neuromusculoskeletal spinal and extremity disorders.
  7. Understand the clinical reasoning for the use of myofascial cupping techniques in a variety of spinal and extremity neuromusculoskeletal conditions.
  8. Utilize the best available evidence to facilitate integration of IASTM techniques with HVLA thrust manipulation, dry needling, exercise, and/or non-thrust mobilization techniques for a variety of spinal and extremity neuroumusculoskeletal disorders.

The 4-Piece FRAMS™ Instrument-Assisted Soft-Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) tool set is provided during the 3-day course; however, if participants want to provide FRAMS™ physical therapy services in their own clinic, they can purchase the 4-piece FRAMS tools after the course or online.

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