Many people suffer from chronic foot pain due to a condition called plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is a painful inflammation of the tissue running along the sole of the foot. Often with plantar fasciitis, people have severe pain when they first step out of bed in the morning, have limited tolerance to standing and walking, find it difficult to walk after sitting for extended periods, and are unable to participate in normal recreational activities. Initially, people with plantar fasciitis just hope it will go away. When that does not happen, they usually resort to conventional remedies to relieve the condition such as ice, medication, exercises, physical therapy, and/or alterations in foot ware. Unfortunately, for many individuals they continue to have pain. If this is the case a treatment called ASTYM (A-stim) may be just what they need to return to a normal, active lifestyle.
ASTYM is a therapy that initiates regeneration and reconstruction of dysfunctional tissue. What this means in simple terms is the treatment is designed to replace chronically injured tissue with new, healthy functional tissue. The therapy addresses problems such as fibrosis, scarring, and degeneration that occur in soft tissue. These problems may occur as a result of trauma, surgery, or overuse.
Therapist trained in ASTYM use a series of ergonomically designed instruments to provide the treatment. These tools are rubbed over not only the injury site but also the muscles, tendons, and ligaments on the rest of the extremity which is being treated. The therapist uses the tools to identify soft tissue adhesions and impart a microtrauma. ASTYM treatment stimulates tissue turnover, scar tissue resorption, and the regeneration of tendons, muscles and other soft tissue structures.
Therapists who provide ASTYM treatment will let patients know when they start treatment that they have to be committed to participating in the treatment. First off, the treatment can be uncomfortable....actually it can be downright painful. This makes sense since the purpose is to break down bad tissue and replace it with good tissue. Patients are instructed to stretch a minimum of four times a day and are instructed in strengthening exercises. They are also encouraged to continue doing their normal recreational activities. For instance, if the patient is a runner, they are encouraged to continue running. Regular stretching and stress of the injured area allows healthy tissue to take the place of injured, painful tissue. Patients follow the routine because they see a decrease in pain and are able to return to normal activities.
In addition to plantar fasciitis, other diagnosis that respond well to the ASTYM system include and not limited to: Achilles tendonitis, ankle sprains, knee tendonitis, IT band tendonitis, medial epicondylitis (golfer's elbow), lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow), shoulder tendonitis, hamstring strains, shin splints, wrist sprains, and individuals with post surgical scarring. In many cases, individuals who have failed treatment in the past and did not get relief see complete resolution of symptoms with ASTYM.