Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM): Comprehensive Skills Course


Soft tissue pathology plays a primary role in limiting mobility, often resulting in profound loss of function for those with injuries. This course covers the theory and intervention strategies for identifying and treating soft tissue restrictions utilizing Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) techniques. This comprehensive case-study-based course uses a lab-focused teaching format, covering the upper quarter for the first half, and the lower quarter for the second half; allowing for upper extremity specialists to attend the portion of the course relevant to their area of specialty. In addition to instruction in basic treatment techniques, this course includes the utilization of motion with IASTM and the use of IASTM over nerves and nerve beds.

Lab attire consisting of shorts, as well as swimsuit or halter-tops for women is required to allow for proper practice of techniques. Tools will be provided for use during the course.

Course Prerequisite: EB abstracts will be emailed to participants prior to the course.


During hands-on lab sessions, the course instructor(s) will evaluate each participants techniques/skills learned to determine proficiency for course completion. If 3/5 criteria are not attained the instructor will work with the attendee until all the criteria is met.  Post test at end of course will be used as a tool to review answers and rationale, ensuring attendees have gained all content knowledge.

This course content is not intended for use by any participants outside the scope of their license or regulation.

You will be required to:
review several abstracts prior to the start of the live course. Abstracts will be emailed to you upon completion of registration.
wear shorts and a halter top or tank top for lab sessions.
wear comfortable clothing over lab attire, so you are not cold during lecture sessions.

Upon completion of online registration, you will be emailed a course receipt. This is NOT a course confirmation. Your course confirmation will be sent separately. It is recommended that you wait for written course confirmation prior to booking non-refundable travel or lodging. If you have not received course confirmation 10 days prior to your live CE course, please contact Rehab Education, LLC to check on status of your registration.

In-Person Course Update and Covid-19 Policy

Rehab Education, LLC is offering live, in-person courses again. We have made this decision with health and safety as our utmost concern. We look forward to seeing you when you are ready to return to in-person learning.

Your safety and the safety of our instructors is our priority. To that end, the following Covid-19 Course Entry Policies will be in effect at all of Rehab Education’s live, in-person CE courses:

  • CDC and local government regulations will guide policy at each course. Course entry requirements will be based on host site's Covid-19 policies and screenings for entering the facility.
  • Masks will be required to be worn at all times during Rehab Education’s live, in-person CE courses while inside the course facility. Mask must completely cover your nose and mouth.
  • You must be Covid-19 symptom-free.

We strongly encourage participants to:

  • be fully vaccinated or have a negative Covid-19 test prior to attending.
  • wear a face shield or goggles, in addition to wearing a mask, when not able to socially distance during lab sessions.

If you are not able to comply with these entry policies, please do not proceed with registration. Instead, please contact Rehab Education or consider registering for Rehab Education's hybrid online CE courses.

Please note that an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. By attending Rehab Education, LLC's Live Onsite CE courses, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.

At the completion of this program the participant will be able to:

  • Identify 3 precautions for IASTM use with overuse injuries in the patient with orthopedic problems such as tennis elbow or forearm strain.
  • Identify 3 contraindications for IASTM use with scar management in the patient with orthopedic problems such as De Quervains tenosynovitis.
  • Given a patient scenario in which the patient demonstrates movement dysfunction from fascia restrictions incorporate 2 appropriate IASTM techniques into the plan of care.
  • Given a patient scenario for a patient with shoulder pain, justify the following choices: concave vs convex, broad vs small contact and single vs double
  • Following the course and given 3 case scenarios the participant will match all appropriate strokes from the following list of basic IASTM strokes (sweeping, fanning, brushing, strumming, framing, rolling and fileting) to each case
  • Given the result of a case scenario justify the use of 2 advanced IASTM strokes (tack and mobilize, fascia torsion).
  • Justify based on evidence how each IASTM intervention (proprioception, soft tissue movement based restrictions) can be integrated into the overall treatment program for patients with Upper Extremity Nerve Entrapment.
  • Describe 3 testing techniques used to identify neural tissue involvement in patients with Lower Extremity Peripheral Nerve Entrapment.

Day 1 Upper Quarter Focus

7:30 - 8:00am Registration - sign in
8:00 - 8:45 Introduction - Theoretical basis of IASTM, review of current literature
8:45 - 10:00 Basic handling, tool selection, and basic treatment strokes lab
10:00 - 10:15 Break
Case Study Teaching Labs:The remainder of Day 1 will consist of a series of Case Studies selected to teach basic to intermediate skills needed to become proficient in the application of IASTM treatment. Participants will be presented with learning objectives and problems that they will work through in small groups. Each case study will be reviewed and treatment skills demonstrated by the instructor to be practiced during hands-on Labs.
10:15 - 12:00 Basic case studies teaching lab 1:

  • Forearm Strain (Flexor or extensor)
  • Tennis Elbow / Golfer’s Elbow
  • Wrist fracture
  • de Quervains
  • Finger injuries
12:00 - 1:00 Break for Lunch
1:00 - 2:30 Basic case studies teaching lab 2:

  • Scar management
  • Shoulder Pain
2:30 - 3:15 Basic case studies teaching lab 3 – neck and head

  • Neck pain
  • Headaches
  • Facial pain – TMJ dysfunction
3:15 - 3:30 Break
Integration and Advanced Techniques Lab:
This session builds on the basic skills learned in the earlier labs by adding advanced treatment strokes – tack/mobilize, treatment with motion added, and complex stroke techniques to target specific tissues. Participants will re-visit earlier case studies of their choice and integrate the new strokes for problem solving.
3:30 - 4:45 Advanced treatment strokes lab – Tissue planes, treatment with motion

  • Lab – revisiting case studies with advanced treatment strokes – synthesis and problem solving
  • Lab – integrating exercise into treatment – synthesis and problem solving
4:45 - 5:00 Documentation: Suggestions to maximize documentation skills for reimbursement and recording treatment

Day 2 Complete UE portion and move to lumbar/lower quarter focus

Upper Extremity Peripheral Nerve Entrapment Case Studies Teaching Labs:
This session consists of upper extremity case studies designed to integrate the use of IASTM techniques in managing these challenging patients. Participants will be taught assessment techniques to effectively assess post treatment changes in test, treat, and re-test clinical principles. Each case study will be reviewed and treatment skills demonstrated by the instructors to be practiced during hands-on Labs.

8:00 - 9:30 Treating nerves and nerve beds lab – Upper Quarter Case Studies

  • Brachial plexopathy
  • Radial tunnel syndrome
  • Cubital tunnel syndrome
  • Carpal Tunnel syndrome
Integration, Synthesis, and Application Lab:
The following lab will consist of assigned complex case studies that incorporate all the components of IASTM-based treatment covered over the upper quarter portion of this course. The class will be divided up into small groups to work through one case study each on an independent basis. Each group will then present to the class their comprehensive treatment program to address the case study patient’s clinical deficits. Relevant evidence will be reviewed and discussed for each case study.
9:30 - 10:00 Putting it all together – Complex patient independent problem-solving lab
10:00 - 10:15 Break
Trunk and Lower Quarter Lab:
This lab will consist of case studies to teach IASTM intervention strategies for the trunk and lower quarter.
10:15 - 11:00 Thoracic and lumbar Case Studies Teaching Lab

  • Costal Chondritis, intercostal strain
  • Disorders of lumbar spine and SI region
11:00 - 12:00 Proximal lower quarter case studies

  • Snapping Hip Syndrome – Trochanteric Bursitis – Hip Pain
  • Thigh strain - quads, adductors, hamstrings, and IT band
  • Patella Femoral Syndrome – Anterior knee pain
12:00 - 1:00 Lunch
1:00 - 2:00 Distal lower quarter case studies

  • Calf Strain
  • Achilles tendinopathy
  • Plantar fasciitis/heel pain
Peripheral Nerve Entrapment Case Studies Teaching Lab – Lower Extremities:
This lab will mirror the format used in the upper extremity nerve and nerve-bed lab by using case studies to teach IASTM management of these challenging patients. Included will be novel testing techniques to identify neural tissue involvement and test-treat-retest principles.
2:00 - 2:45 Treating nerves and nerve beds lab – Lower Quarter

  • Piriformis syndrome – sciatica
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Fibular nerve entrapment
2:45 - 3:15 Putting it all together, course wrap up – Complex patient problem-solving lab – Group Review

13.5 contact hours

BOC Skill Level: Essential

This course is accepted by many professional credentialing organizations and state professional regulatory boards. Rules and regulations change frequently without notification, and apply differently to live and online courses. Please check with your state board to confirm accuracy of this list and acceptance of contact hours. Certificate of Attendance will be issued to all participants upon completion of the course and may be used for CEU verification of credits. CE credits vary by state. Please check with your state board/certifying agency to confirm conversion of contact hours to CE. See links below.

Rehab Education, LLC is recognized as:

  • AOTA approved provider of OT and OTA continuing education (#6177)
  • approved provider of PT and PTA continuing education by the NY State Education Department Board of Physical Therapy.
  • approved provider of PT and PTA continuing education by IDFPR/ Illinois Board of Physical Therapy (#216000227).
  • approved provider of PT and PTA continuing education by Oklahoma State Board of Medical Licensure & Supervision (BAP202310008).
  • American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA): Rehab Education, LLC is an AOTA Approved Provider of professional development. Provider # 6177. This live CE course is offered at 1.35 CEUs  | Intermediate level | OT Service Delivery/Foundational Knowledge. The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA or indicate AOTA approval of a certification or other professional recognition. (Course must be completed prior to 7/31/2025)

  • Board of Certification, Inc (BOC) Approved Provider #P8271: Rehab Education, LLC (BOC AP#: P8271) is approved by the Board of Certification, Inc. to provide continuing education to Certified Athletic Trainers. This program is eligible for a maximum of 13.5 Category A hours/CEUs. ATs should claim only those hours actually spent in the educational program.

  • Physical Therapy Board of CaliforniaPhysical Therapy Board of California: The Physical Therapy Board of California recognizes Rehab Education, LLC as an approval agency to approve providers offering continuing competency courses for CA licensed PTs and PTAs. This course is approved for 13.5 contact hours.

  • California OT Board: This course and instructor have been approved by the CA Board of OT for 8.75 contact hours of post-professional education in the advanced practice area of hand therapy. Approval #22-H19.

  • Illinois State Board of Physical Therapy: Approved CE Sponsor by Illinois State Board of Physical Therapy, Division of Professional Regulations, Approval #216.000227. (Course must be taken prior to 09-30-2024)

  • New Jersey State Board of Physical Therapy Examiners: This course has been approved by the New Jersey State Board of Physical Therapy Examiners for 13.5 continuing education credits, Approval #2201-36. (Course must be taken prior to 01-31-2026)

  • NY State Physical Therapy Board: Rehab Education, LLC is recognized as an approved provider of PT and PTA continuing education by the NY State Education Department Board of Physical Therapy. (Course must be taken prior to 05-10-2025)

  • Oklahoma State Board of Physical Therapy: Rehab Education, LLC is an approved CE provider by the Oklahoma State Board of Medical Licensure & Supervision. Provider #BAP202310008. (Course must be taken prior to 01-31-2024)

  • AOTA Approval States

    The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA. At the time of listing, these states currently recognize AOTA Approved Providers for OT continuing education either in regulatory language or by formal written communication to AOTA. For an up-to-date list, see the AOTA website.

    District of Columbia
    Florida **(self-report to CE Broker)
    New Hampshire
    New Mexico
    New York
    North Carolina
    North Dakota
    Rhode Island
    South Carolina*
    South Dakota
    Wisconsin (self study courses only)

    *see CE Broker
    **FL licensees may need to self-submit courses in CE Broker

    Disclaimer: Rehab Education LLC provides this list for your convenience. At the time of listing, the following state boards accept courses by virtue of approval by other organizations. It is the responsibility of the participant registering for a course to check with their state board to confirm rules and regulations regarding acceptance of contact hours for live and online courses.

    The following PT Boards accept courses approved by other PT State boards*:

    District of Columbia
    North Carolina
    North Dakota

    The following PT Boards accept courses approved by other APTA state associations*:

    District of Columbia
    Florida **(self-report to CE Broker)
    North Carolina
    North Dakota
    Rhode Island
    South Dakota

    The following PT Boards do not require pre-approval for continuing education activities as long as they are “directly related to the licensee’s practice of physical therapy” and/or meet the guidelines established by the board.

    New Hampshire

    *NBCOT…National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapy (view PDU requirements)

    +HTCC… Hand Therapy Certification Commission (view recertification requirements)
    Hand Therapy Certification Commission (HTCC): This course is accepted by HTCC towards re-certification.

    State PT Boards
    State OT Boards

Fast Facts

Skill Level: All Levels
Delivery Method: Live, On-site

Who Should Attend:
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Occupational Therapy Assistants
  • Physical Therapists
  • Physical Therapist Assistants
  • Certified Athletic Trainers
  • Doctors of Chiropractic


May 6 - May 7, 2023
New Brunswick, NJ


Mark W. Butler, PT, DPT, OCS, Cert. MDT

is a board certified Orthopaedic clinical specialist and Mckenzie certified specialist for mechanical diagnosis and treatment of the spine. He started his own practice eighteen months after graduating from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science (now the University of Science in Philadelphia), which he sold to NovaCare in 1997.

He is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at UMDNJ, guest lecturer at Stockton College in New Jersey, and Medical College of Virginia where he lectures on Advanced Orthopedics, Neural Mobilization, Radiology, and Evaluation and Treatment of TMJ Disorders. Mark is also a continuing education speaker on Evaluation and Treatment of Brachial Plexopathies, Neural Mobilization, the lumbar spine, and the shoulder. He was honored in 2006 with the James Tucker Excellence in Clinical Practice and Teaching Award by the APTAnj. He presented at the national conference in Hollywood of the American Society of Hand Therapists on Evaluation and Treatment of the Brachial Plexopathy Patient. His lecture series was selected as the featured topic on CD ROM to be available to the ASHT membership.

Mark is a frequent presenter at conferences, including the APTAnj annual conference, the InNovations and Sports Medicine conferences at the Philadelphia Eagles Complex, and the Cincinnati Fracture conference. He authored the shoulder chapter in the textbook Fundamentals of Hand Therapy: Clinical Reasoning and Treatment Guidelines for Common Diagnoses of the Upper Extremity, which was published in 2014. Mark continues to manage the NovaCare Medford outpatient clinic, where the majority of his caseload is brachial plexopathy, shoulder, and spine patients.


What Students are Saying:

Great course. Great instructor.

Mark Butler was fabulous. Great format, well organized.