Category Archives: Astym vs. IASTM (Graston, etc.)

Astym vs. IASTM (Graston, etc.)

What is Astym treatment?

Astym treatment is a physical therapy treatment that regenerates healthy soft tissues (muscles, tendons, etc.), and eliminates or reduces unwanted scar tissue that may be causing pain or movement restrictions.

Astym treatment is highly effective for restoring movement and reducing pain from soft tissue injury/dysfunction, and Astym even works when other approaches routinely fail.  One of the main reasons for this is that Astym was designed to target the underlying cause of many soft tissue problems, rather than just trying to relieve symptoms.  Here are some of the diagnoses where patients have demonstrated excellent clinical results when treated with Astym:

• Lateral epicondylosis, chronic lateral epicondylitis
• Carpal tunnel syndrome
• DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis
• Wrist sprain
• Plantar fasciopathy/heel pain/chronic plantar fasciitis
• Achilles tendinosis and chronic achilles tendinitis
• Shin splints
• Patellar tendinosis, chronic patellar tendinitis/tendonitis (jumper’s knee)
• IT band syndrome
• Chronic hamstring strain
• Joint contractures
• Overuse injuries
• Pain or loss of motion & function following surgery, trauma or overuse injury

Here is a full listing of diagnoses that have been monitored and the outcomes (treatment results) tracked.

Astym treatment is non-invasive, which means there are no injections or incisions.  Instruments are applied topically (on top of the skin) to locate dysfunctional (unhealthy) tissue, and to transfer mild to moderate pressure to the underlying soft tissue structures.   Astym treatment stimulates tissue turnover, scar tissue resorption, and the regeneration of tendons, muscles and other soft tissue structures.

Astym treatment  is typically provided twice weekly for four to five weeks (about 9 total treatment sessions) and is done in conjunction with eccentric loading, stretching, and functional exercises. Unlike other treatments, Astym encourages patients to active, workers to stay on the job, and athletes to stay in their sport during treatment. The Astym process actually makes the tissues of the body stronger, and allows a patient’s body to become adapted to greater stress without injury.  Patients are very satisfied  and enthused with the results they see from Astym

Astym is used in settings ranging from therapy clinics to hospitals to industrial rehabilitation to elite/professional athletics. This highly-effective, proven treatment helps countless patients every day. Astym is scientifically based and supported by clinical research and extensive outcomes.

Astym therapy vs. IASTM: What’s the difference?

Astym therapy resulted from a groundbreaking research endeavor undertaken by a multidisciplinary research team including well-known scientists, therapists, and physicians, with support from major universities and hospitals.  In this Astym Research Project, the team had the unique advantage of being able to combine knowledge of physiology, cellular biology, and emerging scientific discoveries into the development of a whole new approach in the treatment of soft tissue dysfunction.  Astym therapy continues to forge new ground in the treatment of injuries and also expand the boundaries of physical therapy into new patient populations.  The Astym Research Project developed entirely unique new theories on how to engage soft tissue healing, and changed the actual paradigm on how to treat soft tissue dysfunction.

Astym therapy, evidenced to engage the regenerative mechanisms of the body and promote the healing of soft tissues, has repeatedly been shown safe and effective in controlled clinical trials, clinical study, and large population outcomes studies.

Astym treatment is different in goals and application from the Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) techniques.  IASTM uses tooled friction massage to mechanically break apart tissue, whereas Astym therapy’s aim is to engage the regenerative mechanisms of the body to repair damaged tissue and resorb scar tissue.  IASTM’s role in the treatment of soft tissue dysfunction is unclear, as IASTM has been shown to (a) not improve treatment results for ankle injury, (b) be comparable to no treatment being provided in elbow tendinopathy, and (c) result in a significant increase in pain and a significant decrease in the perception of function, where the ability to perform activities of daily living (ADL) decreased following IASTM.  There have been case studies suggesting IASTM may have a role in treatment, however, those studies have largely been multimodal, so conclusions from those are difficult or impossible to draw.  The research that has isolated IASTM for study suggests that clinical use may not be beneficial.

For a fully referenced summary of research on Astym therapy and IASTM, please read this Research Overview.

 

What is IASTM? Is it different than Astym?

Astym treatment is very different from IASTM.   Astym is a highly effective and safe soft tissue therapy.  Astym was scientifically developed, has a sound research base, and has standardized, highly-effective protocols – all of which make it different and a much better treatment than IASTM. Continue reading What is IASTM? Is it different than Astym?

Astym and Soft Tissue Mobilization are Very Different

Soft tissue mobilization (STM) is a very broad term. It can include all types of manipulating or “mobilizing” soft tissue in an effort to decrease pain and improve movement. Recently, tools have been added to soft tissue mobilization which is called IASTM or Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (Graston, St3 Fuzion, etc. are brands of IASTM). The goal of instrumented STMs, or IASTM, is clear and simple: to mechanically break apart adhesions.

Continue reading Astym and Soft Tissue Mobilization are Very Different