The Do’s and Don’ts of Using IASTM Tools Safely and Effectively

IASTM or Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization is becoming increasingly popular among therapists and trainers to treat various musculoskeletal injuries. These tools aid in the treatment of fascial restrictions, myofascial adhesions, and scar tissue, which can lead to pain and soreness in the body. However, improper use of these tools can lead to severe injuries, iastm tools which is why it is essential to know the do’s and don’ts of using IASTM tools safely and effectively.


1. Learn the Proper Technique

The most crucial aspect of using IASTM tools safely and effectively is to learn the proper technique. It would be best to seek training from a certified professional to guide you through the right technique for using these instruments. Incorrect use can lead to injuries to both the therapist and the client.

2. Use the Right Tool for the Right Area

Different IASTM tools work on different body parts. For instance, thicker tools are best for larger muscle groups like hamstrings and calves, while narrower tools are ideal for smaller muscle groups like the hands and feet. Always use the right tool for the right area to ensure optimal results and avoid injuries.

3. Use Adequate Pressure

While using IASTM tools, it is essential to use adequate pressure to break up adhesions in the muscles and increase blood flow. However, excessive pressure can lead to severe injuries. Therefore, it is essential to regulate the pressure while using the tool and start with low pressure, gradually increasing it as needed.

4. Monitor the Client’s Response

To ensure maximum effectiveness and safety, it is crucial to monitor the client’s response to the treatment during the session. Signs of discomfort or pain should prompt you to reduce the pressure or change the technique accordingly.

5. Use Lubrication

Using lubrication like lotion, oil or cream ensures smoother movement of the IASTM tools and reduces the friction between the tool and the skin, which can lead to injuries. Lubrication also helps in achieving deeper penetration into the muscle tissue, leading to better results.


1. Don’t Use IASTM Tools on Fractured Areas

Using IASTM tools on broken or fractured areas can cause more damage, leading to more pain and complications. It is essential to wait for the fracture to heal before using IASTM tools near or around the affected area.

2. Don’t Use IASTM Tools Over Nerves or Blood Vessels

IASTM tools should not be used over nerves or blood vessels as they can cause nerve damage and bruising. Before using IASTM tools, it is essential to be familiar with the anatomy of the area and avoid sensitive areas.

3. Don’t Use IASTM Tools for Prolonged Periods

Using IASTM tools for a prolonged period can lead to muscle fatigue and overstimulation, leading to pain and soreness that can last for days. Avoid using the IASTM tools for more than 10-15 minutes in one particular area during a single session.

4. Don’t Use IASTM Tools on Clients with Skin Conditions

Clients with skin conditions like eczema, rashes or psoriasis should avoid IASTM treatment, as the tools can worsen skin irritation, leading to more pain and discomfort.

5. Don’t Use IASTM Tools on Bony Areas

IASTM tools should not be used on bony areas as they can cause bruising and tissue damage. Using a tool with a blunt edge or using it at an angle can help prevent injuries in such areas.


IASTM tools are an effective way to treat musculoskeletal injuries but using the tools safely is crucial to prevent injuries and complications. Always use proper technique, choose the right tool for the right area, use adequate pressure, monitor the client’s response, and use lubrication. Avoid using IASTM tools on fragile or broken areas, over nerves or blood vessels, for prolonged periods, on clients with skin conditions, and on bony areas. With these tips in mind, using IASTM tools can be a safe and effective approach to improving the musculoskeletal function of your clients.