Scar tissue treatment – IASTM

No one likes thinking they are full of scar tissue, but you most likely are. When you think of the words “scar tissue”, you probably think of some scar on your body where you injured your skin somehow and the healing process that left you with with a nice battle wound. I’m not talking about that scar tissue in this post though. Although, similar in nature, scar tissue (or adhesions) in your muscles and fascia is a completely different ball game. This post will focus on a specific type of effective scar tissue treatment.

Scar tissue treatment and myofascial release

At Cascade Chiropractic & Wellness, we offer instrument assisted massage. Often called IASTM (instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization). Most often, my patients just refer to them as “your special tools”. These tools are incredibly effective for scar tissue treatment.

scar tissue adhesion treatment portland oregon chiropractor


These “special tools” are made from medical grade stainless steel. Their purpose is to break up and loosen scar tissue and adhesions that build up in your muscles and fascia. IASTM has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine (called Gua Sha), and have been further developed and improved in recent years by Adhesion Breakers, Graston Technique, and FAKTR tools. During the scar tissue treatment the patient and doctor will feel the scar tissue underneath the skin. After 1-5 treatments the number and size of adhesions is dramatically reduced.

Adhesion development

I often get asked how scar tissue and adhesions develop. The biggest cause of scar tissue build up is following an injury. A whiplash accident, ankle sprain, sports injury, or a slip and fall are among the most common injuries I treat with IASTM. Another cause of adhesion build up in the muscles and fascia is postural strain.

When we use a computer, phone, or tablet, our head has a tendency to drift forward. This is commonly called forward head posture (or anterior head carriage). Forward head posture overtime will lead to creep of the fascia into this new position. Adhesions begin to form and can cause a feeling of stiffness and tightness. Usually with forward head posture, you will feel the ache, tightness, and stiffness in your neck and upper back.

The adhesion breaker tools will loosen the fascia and muscles so your body can return to normal function again.

Listed below are other common uses for the adhesion breaker tools.

  • Surgical scar tissue treatment
  • Chronic muscle pain
  • Referred pain
  • Tennis elbow
  • Knee pain
  • Tight hamstrings
  • IT band pain
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • TMJ pain

Ask your natural healthcare provider for more information on myofascial release and scar tissue treatment.

The Cascade Chiropractic and Wellness Blog is written by Chris Cooper, DC.

Portland OR Chiropractors at Cascade Chiropractic and Wellness provide customized chiropractic care to the Portland OR, Gresham OR, Clackamas OR, Beaverton OR and Vancouver WA communities.  Visit our main website at

Choose several options to schedule your appointment: call (503) 257-1324 or request with our online form.


Adhesion Breakers
Gua Sha (wikipedia)
IASTM technique

By |2017-07-17T11:46:43+00:00April 8th, 2014|Categories: Muscle health|Tags: , , , , |4 Comments

About the Author:

I am a chiropractor who specializes in headaches and vertigo. I’ve had so many people come into my office with chronic headaches that won’t go away. They’ve tried the pills, they’ve tried the nerve blocks, they’ve tried massage. Some even have tried other chiropractors. Many of my patients tell me the headache and dizziness are gone after one treatment. My goal is to help everyone feel their best.


  1. Jake Edward Brooks May 10, 2016 at 1:02 pm - Reply

    This is a really awesome article, I have never seen this tool before but I am looking forward to using it on my clients. I shared the article to so more wellness enthusiasts can learn from it.

    • Dr. Chris Cooper May 10, 2016 at 4:37 pm - Reply

      Thanks Jake, the IASTM tools have been fantastic for helping with deep chronic muscle related pain. Good luck!

  2. Lisa Miller July 14, 2017 at 3:11 pm - Reply

    I have severe abdominal adhesions from several abdominal surgeries. I am in constant pain. Can you help with this type of adhesion? I’m not even sure I could tolerate it…any kind of pressure is agonizing. Thank you.

    • Dr. Chris Cooper July 17, 2017 at 11:43 am - Reply

      Hi Lisa,
      Adhesions in the abdominal cavity from surgery are more difficult to treat due to the organ tissue surrounding the area. The superficial scar tissue would be easier to treat. If you ever wanted a free consultation about this please call the office and we can see we could help you. (503) 257-1324 -Dr. Cooper

Leave A Comment