The next issue is the lack of research on exam measures and intervention techniques that we use in the clinic. We have had our mentors and fellow clinicians comment on where the evidence is for some of our treatment styles. A perfect example is Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM). While there is some initial research out there currently, there is hardly enough evidence to prove that IASTM is a high-quality, proven treatment. That being said, the results can be impressive. The key comes back to test and re-test your patients after a treatment. This applies to more than just IASTM. With your corrective exercises, joint mobs/manips, etc., assess your patient first (pain, ROM, strength, symptoms, SFMA) and re-check afterwards. Going back to IASTM, we have had particular success improving ROM without neural provocation using IASTM. Utilizing the neural tension test as our base and then follow-up, we have seen gains in ROM by as much as 45 degrees after simply a few minutes of IASTM. Basically, if you can prove that a treatment works by doing this, why stop it? Of course, we can't forget about incorporating these changes into our care and reinforcing them to lock in the changes, but the lesson is we shouldn't limit ourselves by what the literature is (or isn't) saying at the time.
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