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All About ASTYM

April 30, 2021   |   By Jacqui Monahan

The name…what do those letters stand for?

“ASTYM” is simply short for “a stimulation.” So named because the treatment aims to stimulate tissues to move better, regenerate, and heal. This treatment has been proven highly effective at treating tendonitis, chronic tendonosis, scar tissue adhesions, and plantar fasciitis.

The tools…what are those weird looking things?

The tools used for ASTYM are ergonomically designed instruments that the therapist uses to perform the soft tissue mobilization, and to effectively identify areas with increase fibrosis/dysfunctional tissue.

The treatment…how is the treatment performed?

The ASTYM system has a very specific protocol for delivery. A typical ASTYM treatment session looks like this:

  1. Active warm up and stretching of involved tissue
  2. ASTYM
  3. Post stretching and appropriate strengthening
  4. Patient instruction for regular stretching and specific exercises to aide in remodeling of tissues.

The soft tissue mobilization (ASTYM) portion of the treatment is performed in a specific pattern working above and below the affected area in order to affect change in the surrounding myofascial system. Patient’s being treated with ASTYM usually come 2 times per week for 4-8 weeks, and subjective improvement is often seen after the first session (seen clinically, not proven by research).

Who should get ASTYM?

ASTYM is a very beneficial treatment but there are some people who should at least temporarily steer clear. Contra-indications include severe pain, open wounds, acute fractures, contagious skin rash, skin infections, thrombosis, bleeding disorders, and neurologic conditions with significantly altered sensation. Precautions include flu like illness, pregnancy, use of blood thinners, diabetes, cancer, hypertension, post steroid injection, lymphedema, osteoporosis, circulatory disorders, easy bruising.

Research shows that ASTYM is most effective for tendonitis and tendonosis, especially at the knee, elbow, ankle, and foot. In my clinical experience with ASTYM, I have seen great outcomes with medial and lateral epicondylitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and biceps tendonitis.

Have questions? Want to see what ASTYM feels like? Contact us and we will get you scheduled with our physical therapist!