Sometimes after a surgery or injury to the arms or legs you can lose some of your range of motion. That might be because of damaged or scarred tissue. Now, CNOS is using a new therapy to help its patients regain that movement.
It may look like a relaxing massage, but ASTYM therapy is goes deeper than that. "You're using different instruments to contact the dysfunctional tissue, kind of that bad tissue that's scarred down, and trying to stimulate the body to promote the healing, to get the good tissue there to re-heal," said Physical Therapist Brandee Koedam. It's a soft tissue, non-invasive, therapy that uses inflammation to stimulate the body to get rid of the dysfunctional tissue, and re-grow new functional tissue; getting patients more motion and flexibility, but less pain. Certified therapists use specific instruments to pass over the affected area at a certain pace and pressure. "It uses a certain direction of a stroke in a certain protocol format, and a depth of pressure. You want that to be firm. If you don't perform it correctly you'll miss the dysfunctional tissue or you won't provide the effect that we want to stimulate the body," said Koedam. And if done properly, both the patient and therapist can feel it. "We as the evaluator can feel it as we're going over the patient, and the patient can typically feel a grainy kind of texture feeling when they're going over fibrotic tissue instead of the healthy tissue," said Occupational Therapist Angie Reinhardt.
But the therapy goes beyond the instruments. "We also follow that up with stretching, exercise, functional activity. That's the key," said Reinhardt. That stretching and activity helps the new tissue lay down properly.
On the legs, ASTYM therapy works the best after surgery, or on 'itises' like plantar fasciitis, tendonitis and hamstring strains. In the arms, it can help heal carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, and golf or tennis elbow. It takes about 6 to 9 visits to see results. If you think you may benefit from ASTYM therapy, talk to your doctor, or call CNOS in Dakota Dunes, South Dakota.
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