An Interview With Dr. Robert Crowley (RockDoc Rob)
Why is Instrument assisted soft tissue manipulation (IASTM) Increasing in popularity?
Dr. Robert Crowley: IASTM has become popular for a number of reasons: First, the vibratory properties of a quality IASTM tool allow the practitioner to feel areas of facial restriction or loss of fascial glide as the tool vibrates over areas where the skin and fascial layers becomes glued.
Second, the tool saves our hands, elbows, shoulders etc. Many of my Chiropractic technique professors taught me to take care of yourself first in order to be able to take care of your patients. When IASTM is performed properly it allows you to use a lot less force and keep you in a more ergonomic position saving the therapist from wear and tear. The improved comfort and efficiency for the therapist is most notable at the end of a busy day in clinic.
Finally, after taking our RockBlade courses, many therapists realise how effective the technique is in such a short time. This allows them to spend less time performing soft-tissue work. The rest of the time can be used to perform rehab which will ultimately lead to better treatment outcomes. In essence, it's a passive treatment tool that supports exercise rehabilitation by allowing more time for it.
How long have you been using Tools in your Chiropractic treatment room?
Dr. Robert Crowley: Originally I trained in the Graston Technique at Chiropractic school. I had used tools on and off over the last 15 years, but didn't quite buy into the mechanical deformation model. Therapeutic Bruising was not my thing. Recently I have been using tools more consistently and successfully thanks to the more modern neuro-sensory approach. My patients prefer it!
Are there different ways to use tools?
Dr. Robert Crowley: Rockblades/IASTM can be used in a number of ways. They can be used with fast/light techniques to stimulate or up-regulate the nervous system. Light feathering techniques can also be used to decrease pain in acute settings. Slower-deeper techniques to down-regulate, relax, and decrease pain. The tools can also be used to capture fluid to decrease swelling or enhance lymphatic drainage. Shearing techniques can be used to improve myofascial glide as well.
People are talking about 'scanning' the tissue...what do they mean?
Dr. Robert Crowley: Scanning tissue is used prior to initiating treatment by using the tool lightly over tissue looking for areas of redness, pain, or areas where fascial glide is compromised. I typically will ripple up and down stream along Anatomy Trains.
Please can you outline one of your favourite techniques?
I can't say I have a favourite technique, but on our courses we use various markers or screens prior to treatment. These can be orthopedic tests, or movement screens that illustrate an impairment or re-create pain. I love it when I screen the patient, treat, and show an improvement in the marker. Not only does it give me feedback on the affect of treatment, but the patient sees the change. This creates buy in' from the patient, motivates the patient to be compliant, and ultimately gets results.
Dr Robert Crowley BSc DC
Chiroprcator & RockTape Instructor
Rob completed his Doctorate of Chiropractic degree at the National University of Health Sciences in America and is now registered with the General Chiropractic Council, is a member of the British Chiropractic Association and European Chiropractic Union, he currently works in private practice in Norwich. Robert is involved in Crossfit as a competitive athlete, coach, rehabilitator and Chiropractor.
Don't miss Robs presentations at the RockTape Movement summit during Therapy Expo 2017!