Augmented Soft Tissue Mobilization (ASTYM) treatment is a therapy that regenerates healthy soft tissues, and eliminates or reduces unwanted scar tissue that may be causing pain or movement restrictions. Chronic soft tissue problems are generally due to scarring or degeneration. Soft tissues include muscles, tendons and ligaments. Both scarring and degeneration are common and can result in pain and limitations in movement.
The body's soft tissues degenerate when inadequate healing occurs, and over time the tissues degrade. Degenerated tissues are weak and more prone to injury. Degeneration can be caused by many factors including age, intense use, improper movement, weakened muscles putting extra stress on other tissues, disease, etc. Most chronic tendinopathies are primarily degenerative in nature.
Scarring can occur on top of the skin, but often the biggest problems come from scar tissue that forms inside the body around joints, muscles, tendons and/or ligaments. The body naturally lays down some scar tissue in response to irritation or injury. The fibrous, strong scar tissue is meant to reinforce an area, but often it ends up restricting movement and causing pain. Scar tissue can be the result of an injury (such as a sprained ankle, car accident), surgery (the surgery may be successful, but the body's response with scar tissue can prevent a full recovery), or overuse of soft tissues (through sports, repetitive work, activity beyond your fitness level).
An Astym® certified therapist follows specific treatment parameters to initiate the healing process. She or he will run instruments firmly along your skin, following the direction of the muscle, tendon or ligament. You will feel bumps as the instrument moves along your skin. These bumps are the defective soft tissue. The first couple of treatments may range from being only slightly noticeable to mildly uncomfortable — but stick with it. As your body heals, those bumps will decrease and the area around your old injury will smooth out nicely, indicating healing. There also may be some mild bruising in the area being treated, but don't worry! That is one indication that the body is hard at work, absorbing the old tissue and laying down healthy new tissue.
Stretching and Strengthening Program
It's up to you to guide how your body heals. Your therapist will give you a customized stretching and strengthening program designed to encourage your body to heal correctly. Stretching tells the new fibers to line up properly, in nice parallel lines. Strengthening makes the fibers stronger, allowing your symptoms of pain and discomfort to go away.
Continuing to work, play sports or do your favorite activities while you are enrolled in Astym® , therapy allows the tissue remodeling to occur in a way that supports these activities. The great news is that the Astym® treatment allows you to participate in these activities without the pain you previously felt. By remaining active during the Astym® process, your old injured area will become stronger.
Astym treatment is highly effective and even works when other approaches have previously failed. It is one of the most researched and effective therapy treatments available. Astym treatment is unmatched in its ability to resolve tendinopathies, scar tissue problems, and other soft tissue dysfunctions. Doctors regularly prescribe Astym treatment specifically for their patients, athletes, and knowledgeable patients seek out Astym treatment for superior results.