From plantar fasciitis to tennis elbow, soft tissue injuries can sideline weekend warriors, as well as elite athletes. Few relish taking the time off to heal, which can often mean weeks to months away from doing the things you love.
With a physical therapy program called Astym, however, you can continue to be active during treatment. Offered exclusively by trained, certified providers, it’s completely noninvasive, so there are no injections or medications, and it has been proven to work quickly and safely.
Also important to note: Astym is typically covered by insurance as part of standard therapy care.
What Is Astym?
Astym is not an acronym. The name is a reference to stimulating the body’s natural healing response.
Beyond providing relief from symptoms, Astym actually addresses the underlying source of the pain. As a result, pain is greatly reduced or eliminated altogether, and range of motion and functionality improve. And because the therapy makes the body stronger, patients are much less likely to reinjure themselves.
Astym therapy has been shown to resolve more than 92% of conditions in more than 10,000 independently recorded patient cases. This includes severe conditions and cases where surgery failed.
What Is Astym Therapy Like?
“We start by applying some cocoa butter on the patient’s tissue,” said Nancy Clark, a licensed physical therapist with EmergeOrtho in the Wilmington region. “The point of this treatment is to decrease fibrosis in the tissue. We are actually trying to minimize the amount of restriction and tightness in the muscle fibers.”
The therapist then uses hard plastic, specially designed Astym tools to put mild to moderate pressure on the muscles, working in an elongated pattern along the muscle chain.
Clark explained that it’s important to treat all the muscles in the chain. For example, treatment for plantar fasciitis begins in the hamstrings and continues down to the back of the knee, the calf and ultimately to the foot. The therapist then continues to work deeper on the affected area, in this case the heel.
How Many Treatments Will I Need?
Your physician and physical therapist will devise a treatment plan just for you. Usually it takes about nine treatments, or about two a week for four or five weeks, to see full results.
As part of your treatment, your therapist will also develop strengthening and stretching exercises for you, which are tailored to the type and severity of your diagnosis. Best of all for many of us, staying active is an important part of the treatment plan.
What Injuries and Conditions Does Astym Treat?
Astym treatments have shown excellent results treating tendon injuries, soft-tissue dysfunctions and scar tissue, as well as pain or loss of motion/ function following surgery, trauma or overuse injuries.
Among the common diagnoses for which patients have realized excellent results from Astym therapy include:
- Achilles tendinitis
- Anterior and posterior tibialis tendinitis
- Back pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Chronic ankle pain and stiffness
- Chronic wrist pain and stiffness
- DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis
- Golfer’s elbow
- Hamstring strain
- IT band syndrome
- Joint contractures
- Patellar tendinitis / Jumper’s knee
- Plantar fasciitis
- Post-surgical scarring / fibrosis
- Rotator cuff tendinitis
- Scar tissue / fibrosis
- Shin splints
- Tennis elbow
- Trochanteric bursitis
How Do I Learn More?
If you’d like to be evaluated for Astym therapy, request an appointment at your nearest EmergeOrtho office online, or call us at 910.332.3828.