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Can IASTM Therapy Improve Long COVID Symptoms?

With the COVID-19 virus infecting millions of people worldwide, finding an effective treatment is more important than ever. 

Thankfully, most people recover from COVID-19 after a few weeks. For some patients, recovering from the virus does not always mean getting rid of the symptoms. Long haul COVID symptoms affect about 10% of COVID patients. With long COVID or post-COVID syndrome, patients can experience lingering symptoms for weeks or months following their recovery.

Living with long COVID often means having to deal with a variety of symptoms. While some patients seek relief from their symptoms through medication, others turn to natural options, such as Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization therapy.

Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization therapy includes a hands-on treatment to help patients alleviate pain, headaches, and other physical ailments. Now, many healthcare providers recommend that patients living with long COVID try the healing and pain-relief effects of IASTM therapy.


What Is IASTM Physical Therapy?

Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization, or IASTM, is a form of occupational therapy technique that focuses on relieving pain through light pressure on the nervous system. IASTM sessions are similar to a traditional massage appointment; however, specialized instruments are used in place of a physical therapist’s hands.

During an Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization physical therapy appointment, the physical therapist applies light to medium pressure to various areas around the spine, neck, and head. Doing so helps the physical therapist find fascial system disruptions, which could be contributing to pain symptoms. The fascial system is a layer of strong, stretchy tissue that holds the muscles, blood vessels, and nerves.

Physical therapists use IASTM sessions to help the patient relax. The aim is to help the patient find relief by relaxing the muscles and finding pain points.


Who Is a Good Candidate for IASTM Therapy?

One of the benefits of IASTM therapy is that it addresses many physical ailments. For example, several patients suffering from chronic pain, fibromyalgia, migraines, and multiple sclerosis find relief by attending IASTM therapy sessions. Other candidates for the therapy include patients with epilepsy and stroke.


What Are the Long-Term Effects of COVID?

Unfortunately, COVID patients can continue to feel the effects of the virus for weeks after their recovery. Patients suffering from long COVID symptoms are also called long haulers.

Long haulers can experience several different symptoms.

  • Significant fatigue or tiredness
  • Brain fog
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Fever
  • Body aches and pains
  • Post-exertion malaise
  • Lack of smell or taste
  • Struggles with physical activity


Although older patients appear more likely to suffer the persistent symptoms of long COVID, these long-term consequences can affect anyone of any age.


How Can a Physical Therapist Use IASTM Therapy To Help Patients With Long COVID?

Several of the common symptoms of long COVID involve pain or discomfort. Many patients living with long COVID claim to find significant relief with IASTM therapy.

Along with pain relief, IASTM therapy aims to help patients improve their activity levels. Fatigue remains one of the most common symptoms among long COVID survivors, preventing them from performing their usual activities throughout the day or spending extended periods of time in bed.

Many COVID-19 patients can improve mobility through exercise interventions and graded exercise therapy. Physical therapists can examine their patients’ mobility by using the six-minute walk test and helping them perform various exercises. Patients with long COVID should consult their physician before scheduling an Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization therapy appointment.

IASTM therapy for COVID aims to provide patient care that relieves headaches, body aches, and other common symptoms. However, IASTM therapy is not a traditional long COVID treatment and needs more research to determine true outcome measures.


IASTM Physical Therapists in Miami, FL

Although Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization therapy still requires additional health research, many patients and long COVID survivors find pain and fatigue relief through this therapeutic treatment. Hands-on Therapy Services helps patients around Dora and Miamil, FL  with various health-related issues.

Our clinic values the safety of our patients and health care professionals, which is why we ask that everyone follow the Center for Disease Control, or CDC, guidelines for COVID-19 safety procedures.


Written by Hoang Tran


About the author – Hoang Tran 

Hoang Tran is a certified hand therapist, the owner of Hands-on Therapy Services and author of the book “The Hands-On Approach”. She loves helping people with hand, neck and shoulder problems, because she knows how bad and debilitating they can get if not addressed and treated properly (once and for all!).

The aim of her Miami occupational therapy is to bring patients back to full functionality, without pills, injections or surgery. Occupational and Physical Therapy are both offered at Hands-On Therapy by our experienced therapists who provide a comprehensive approach to your care. 


When it comes to the benefits of physical therapy, long COVID patients can find significant relief that puts them on the path to recovery. If you have spent time dealing with the lasting effects of COVID-19, call Hands-on Therapy Services in Miami, FL at 786-615-9879 to schedule an appointment and learn more about our services.


We also invite you to take advantage of the FREE Discovery Visit so you can talk to our certified therapists. 

Talk to our specialist first before booking any paid session. We like to ensure that we can help you before taking you on as a client.


In these difficult times, we are here to help. Telehealth and online sessions are available!



The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

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