Muscle Stripping uses instruments to achieve the effects and benefits of soft tissue mobilization. With muscle stripping, there are specifically designed stainless steel instruments that a therapist uses to aid in finding and treating soft tissue problems. It is an evidence-based method of IASTM (instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization) that is used in combination with rehabilitative exercises to improve musculoskeletal function and loosen up tight muscle groups.
Not only has muscle stripping been found to provide patients with quicker and improved outcomes, but it also provides patients with the opportunity to be active in their treatment, because they are able to feel abnormal tissue texture. Combined with exercise, muscle stripping helps break up scar tissue or muscle “knots,” which increases range of motion of joints, helps facilitate and quicken the healing process, increases the strength of muscle fibers, and reduces pain.
At the first muscle stripping session, the therapist will evaluate where the patient is indicating pain, as well as the tissues above and below the affected area. The therapist will determine where the greatest restrictions are and how the patient tolerates the pressure, checking for any signs of bruising. The therapist will then prescribe exercises to be completed that will provide the maximum benefit of treatment. The length and number of sessions varies with each patient and each individual diagnosis, but muscle stripping has been shown to shorten the overall duration of care needed.