3 Things to Know About Astym!

What is Astym?
Astym is a treatment technique that utilizes specially designed tools to work on soft tissues such as muscles, tendons, and ligaments to promote healing and tissue regeneration. It is used when soft tissues have excessive scarring or fibrosis, are damaged or dysfunctional, are restricted in mobility, or have an acute injury.

How does Astym work?
Astym works to restore normal movement patterns by breaking down restrictive tissues, releasing growth factors, and increasing blood flow for healing of the damaged or dysfunctional tissues. Muscles are comprised of thousands of fibers which, in healthy and normal muscles, should all run parallel to each other. Many times, when there is injury, damage, or dysfunction in a muscle, the muscle fibers will no longer run in the same direction throughout the entirety of the muscle. The use of the Astym tools on a dysfunctional muscle can help to straighten those muscle fibers back out to restore normal movement and function of that muscle.

What should I expect for my Astym treatment?
Astym usually takes about 10-15 minutes depending on the body part(s) being treated. If there is fibrotic tissue in the area being treated, it often feels bumpy or “crunchy” as the tool glides over the area and can sometimes be a bit uncomfortable. Sometimes patients experience mild soreness after the first three to four visits, but also should notice improved function and decreased pain within those same three to four visits. If there is soreness in the treated area, then stretching can help minimize this. Because Astym works to bring blood flow to the area being treated, many times the spetechiae appear. Sometimes small red dots called petechiae appear and may bruise the next day. Bruising varies from person to person and is more common in people who bruise easily.

Astym can be used to treat a wide variety of diagnoses from acute muscle strains to healed incision sites from operations. Each one of our Advanced Physical Therapy locations has clinicians that are certified in the Astym treatment technique. Ask your physical therapist if you could benefit from Astym!

Content provided by Myranda Griebel, PTA