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IASTM and Older Adult Fall Patients

Looking for information on IASTM and older adult falls? Then check out this great blog by Joe Fleming.

Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilisation, or IASTM, has been growing in popularity in recent years. Practitioners use it for a variety of goals including “loosening up” tight muscles, helping treat pain and injury or changing movement. But how does it apply to fall related injuries? First here’s some important information relating to falls.

Falls and Their Dangers

When you hear that a person fell, what comes to your mind? Clumsiness? Recklessness? Do you worry and wonder how bad the fall has been? The height of the fall should be taken into consideration when determining whether the fall could be fatal or not. A fall from a height of 6 feet is significant and could lead to more severe injuries like fracture and dislocation. In these cases, you should seek immediate medical attention.

In the younger population, the incidence of falls may due to occupational accidents. However, sometimes  it’s just bad luck. But in older adults, the situation is different. In the case of the older population, research shows that falls are the most common cause of unintentional injuries. It is widely known that as you grow older, your reflexes become weaker and not as sharp as during your youth.

According to the World Health Organization, the following factors contribute to the incidence of falls in older adults:

  • Medical conditions such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, depression, incontinence and Alzheimer’s disease

  • Sedentary lifestyle and alcohol intake

  • Certain physical conditions like muscle weakness, impaired balance, visual problems, hearing impairment and limited mobility

For these reasons, experts advise necessary precautions to prevent falls. The safety of the house should be taken into consideration. These measures could include providing adequate lighting, securing stairs with rails, removing clutter from the floor, installing grab bars in the bathroom or, better yet, getting a shower chair (see this article for more information).

Limited mobility and muscle weakness are major risk factors of falls. Fortunately, IASTM is here to help address this matter.

IASTM and How it Works

So how does Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilisation or IASTM actually work? The soft tissues and muscles underneath your skin are covered and separated by fibrous connective tissue called fascia. Your fascia is responsible for the stability and flexibility of your tissues such as muscles, ligaments and tendons. It is the fascia that enable your muscles to slide smoothly and without restriction, allowing you to move freely. IASTM practitioners can use tools to work on the fascia and other soft tissue structures.

IASTM and Fall Prevention

Loss of mobility is a common problem of older adults. As you get older, your body’s cells are aging too and your tissues lose the tone and elasticity you once enjoyed when you were younger. IASTM intervention could help in loosening the tightness and stiffness in your soft tissues, improving your mobility and thereby decreasing your risk of sustaining an injury due to a fall.

IASTM and Treatment of Fall-Related Injury

When you suffer trauma or injury to your soft tissues, your body attempts to repair it. However, this could lead to the development of ridges, fascial adhesions and scar tissues, which can restrict muscle movement and subsequently, limit your range of motion. You could also suffer from pain, tightness and some degree of discomfort.

IASTM helps to change these adhesions and ridges in older adults through the use of specialized instruments and techniques. This could be achieved by applying pulling and stretching movements to release fascial tissue adhesion.

This process could increase blood flow in the affected region, which would initiate the healing process of the body. Additionally, it may stimulate the nerves in the area to improve muscle tone and mobility. Research shows that IASTM could help to decrease pain, improve range of motion, and facilitate faster healing processes of both acute and chronic injuries.

Conclusion

IASTM could decrease the risk of falls in older adults. Also, those who suffer injuries could have a faster recovery through IASTM. Certain modifications in the technique, however, must be done to ensure that no further trauma occurs during the process. In every medical procedure, special care and considerations are always observed when handling older adult patients. For this reason, it is important that you visit a trained and highly qualified IASTM practitioner.

About the Author

Joe Fleming is the President at ViveHealth. Interested in all things related to living a healthy lifestyle, he enjoys sharing and expressing his passion through writing. Working to motivate others and defeat aging stereotypes, Joe uses his writing to help all people overcome the obstacles of life. Covering topics that range from physical health, wellness, and aging all the way to social, news, and inspirational pieces…the goal is help others “rebel against age”. Want to find out more? check out the ViveHealth website using the link above or by clicking their logo below.

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