What is ASTYM?
ASTYM is a specialized tool-assisted treatment that works on soft tissue structures such as muscle, tendon, and ligament to promote healing and tissue regeneration, allowing for improved mobility and decreased pain. ASTYM therapy works by allowing your therapist to easily identify dysfunctional tissue and utilize the highly specialized tools to increase blood flow, reduce scar tissue and soft tissue adhesions, thus improving pain and mobility.
How does ASTYM work?
Following many injuries, including post-surgical, traumatic, repetitive and overuse injuries, the body responds by laying down fibers to assist in the healing process. Often this results in scar tissue and excessive fibrosis that restricts normal mobility and mechanics and can result in pain and dysfunction. The ASTYM technique works by producing controlled microtrauma into the tissue, increasing blood flow and allowing for regeneration of healthy tissues. Paired with specific stretching and exercises, ASTYM works to restore healthy tissues and decrease pain.
What to expect from your ASTYM treatment?
While every case is different, there are a few things all patients should expect during and following an ASTYM treatment. Contrary to popular belief, more is not always better. Your physical therapist will determine the appropriate pressure and duration for your session based on their initial evaluation and specific training. As with any treatment, it is important to always let your therapist know what you are feeling – while some discomfort is common, ASTYM treatments should not be intolerable. Additionally, it is common and actually a positive sign when redness occurs (indicating blood flow) and not uncommon to have some bruising in the days following ASTYM treatment. Typically ASTYM therapy is performed every other day or every two days to allow for optimal healing, but be sure to make your therapist aware of any bruising or skin sensitivities to best determine their plan of care. While there are no quick fixes in the world of health and healing, many report improved symptoms immediately following a single bout of ASTYM and many report resolved symptoms in 6-8 visits when combined with a specific exercise and stretching program.
What conditions are treated by ASTYM?
ASTYM therapy can assist in treating a variety of conditions, including those stemming from overuse, prolonged immobilization, and post-surgical in addition to chronic injuries. Many common diagnosis successfully treated by ASTYM include achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, patellar tendonitis, IT band syndrome and lateral epicondylitis.
ASTYM in Physical Therapy
ASTYM is one of the many manual therapies that Stride Strong physical therapists provide to our patients to help tendons and soft tissue dysfunctions heal. ASTYM therapy has proven repetitively in the clinic to improve function, range of motion, and assist in nerve and scar tissue healing. The ASTYM treatment only takes about 15 to 30 minutes on a single limb and ASTYM can be done on all ages of patients, on most physical therapy injuries.
For more info on ASTYM, click here for their official website.
Doctor of Physical Therapy, Director at Stride Strong Physical Therapy