Soft Tissue therapies
Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (similar to Graston)
This modality can improve lymphatic drainage, help mobilize matted-down and adhesed areas of fascia away from muscle tissue, improve over all function of soft tissues, help reduce pain sensation, and finally help neurologically reduce the amount of base level tension in a muscle.
In a nut shell, this can both help with the healing process in an acute injury as well as alleviate symptoms including pain.
Pin and Stretch / Myofascial Release
Similar to Active release technique (ART)
This type of soft tissue work has a similar effect on the body as IASTM, however, it is a bit of a different approach. In some situations, the protocols of both types of soft tissue work are combined for even greater results. This type of myofascial release typically requires more patient involvement including moving the affected body part through a full range of motion while applying pressure over areas of adhesed and matted-down fascia.
In a nutshell, this is a potentially more active version of IASTM with no instrument assistance.
A form of Instrument Assisted
Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM)
Instead of using a compressive force to mobilize the fascia and other soft tissues in the two previous forms, cupping uses a decompressive force (suction) to achieve change in the tension of the fascial network.
This kind of therapy can help with dysfunctional joints, improve range of motion, and reduce pain in localized areas.