Introduction to ASTYM

What is ASTYM?

You may have heard of instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) techniques or foam rolling but ASTYM is different! ASTYM stands for Augmented Soft Tissue Mobilization. This differs from foam rolling and IASTM as it utilizes handheld instrumentation to engage dysfunctional tissue with the goal of stimulating a physiological response creating resorption of the dysfunctional tissue. What does that mean? Instead of “breaking up” that tissue with friction techniques we are teaching it to heal itself and realign to how it was prior to the dysfunction. This makes ASTYM a much less painful technique than traditional friction techniques.


ASTYM works well with tendinopathies such as lateral epicondylitis, plantar fasciitis, achilles tendonitis and rotator cuff tendinopathy. ASTYM can also be used for other orthopedic conditions whether acute or chronic such as frozen shoulder. ASTYM also does well with “old” scar tissue or with chronic conditions that have not responded well to “traditional” therapies. ASTYM also works fast! Typically you will see improvements in 3-4 treatments!

In 2014, a randomized controlled trial ASTYM showed a 78% resolution of problems in comparison to 40% resolution in the group undergoing traditional therapy for the treatment of tendinopathies. A 2018 systematic review also showed that ASTYM can help patients after a total knee replacement to improve range of motion and decrease pain. In the same review ASTYM showed to improve ROM in patients following mastectomy and improved pain and stiffness in patients with foot and ankle injuries.

If you are someone who has suffered from these chronic issues ASTYM could be just what you need! With ASTYM treatment, followed by an individualized treatment plan involving strengthening, stretching and neuromuscular re-education to help teach the new regenerated tissue how we want it to work properly we can get you back to doing what you love!

Abdominal Surgeries

Abdominal surgeries impact the way your lumbopelvic system functions – including your low back, abdominal muscles, hips and pelvic floor. However, it is rare patients receive any post-operative treatment. Whether you’ve had a surgery a couple months ago or years ago, if you are experiencing dysfunction in this lumbopelvic system, you may be the perfect candidate for some physical therapy.

Your abdomen houses your vital organs, so this area needs to have a rich blood supply so that these organs can get the blood and nutrients needed. This is a wonderful thing because this area heal very well after surgery, however this may also lead to copious amounts of scar tissue.

Most people receiving abdominal surgeries do not receive preoperative education or post-operative care leading scars to be mismanaged or not managed at all. The appearance of a scar can be deceiving. You can think of a scar as an iceberg. On the surface the scar may look small and well healed, but under the surface the scar may contain deep adhesions wrapping around the organs and affecting the underlying fascia, skin or muscle. The research demonstrates that 50-100% of patients will develop adhesions after any abdominal/pelvic surgery. Scar tissue is a normal part of healing, however when there’s too much of it there can be limitations in mobility affecting function.

Scar tissue formation in the abdominal region can contribute to low back pain, pelvic pain, pelvic floor dysfunction (constipation, incontinence), muscular coordination issues.

This scar tissue formation does not have to be permanent! Some options include soft tissue mobilization, scar tissue massage and visceral mobilization which can all happen in the physical therapy setting. Surgery is also an option, but there is a risk of creating more scar tissue.

It’s not too late! Even if a scar is 20 years old, we can help.


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