CAN ASTYM® THERAPY HELP YOU?

3D illustration of a tennis elbow with close-up.

By Daniel Alvarez, DPT

 

What is ASTYM® Therapy?

ASTYM® is a form of therapy that helps regenerate soft tissue such as muscle, tendons and ligaments. In general chronic soft tissue problems are due to scarring and tissue degeneration.
Degenerated tissues are much weaker and prone to injuries and can be caused by many factors including: age, intense use, disease, improper movement patterns etc. Scar tissue that forms inside the body around joints, muscles, and tendon/ligaments is in response to some form of irritation or injury. This scar tissue is meant to reinforce an area of injury to protect it, but often causes restriction in mobility and pain. ASTYM® works to help restore healthy tissue and remove or reduce internal scar tissue.

How does ASTYM® work?

Using specifically designed tools a Physical Therapist will perform what is called microtrauma to the region where the damaged, scarred or overused tissue is located. Through the process of microtrauma, blood flow is increased which helps regenerate new healthy tissue. It is normal to experience some redness and bruising in the area, which is a sign of blood flow. Your therapist will determine the frequency of treatment and what, if any stretches should accompany your ASTYM® treatment.

Is ASTYM® a good solution for you?

This form of therapy has shown excellent results for a number of injuries. If you are suffering from any of the injuries listed below you could potentially benefit from ASTYM® therapy:

• Tennis elbow
• Scar tissue
• Trigger finger
• Chronic ankle sprains
• Shoulder pain
• IT band syndrome
• Low back pain
• Golfers elbow
• Carpel Tunnel Syndrome
• Tendonitis

For more information about this BaySport therapy service or to learn how our physical therapy programs can help you, go to www.baysport.com or call (408) 395-7300.

Thomann A, Sevier TL, Wilson JK. Treating soft tissue fibrosis: A new rehabilitation technique for the treatment of various soft tissue injuries. Physical Therapy Products. 1999; 10(5): 56-58.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel was born and raised in the Bay Area. He graduated from San Jose State University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology. In 2013, he received his Doctorate degree in Physical Therapy from the University of St. Augustine. Daniel brings experience in various settings including outpatient orthopedic and hospital inpatient care. In his spare time he enjoys watching sports, staying active and spending time with family and friends. In addition to English, he speaks Spanish fluently.

Are you in pain? Physical Therapy can help.

National Physical Therapy Month is an opportunity for BaySport to recognize physical therapy as an ideal solution to manage pain caused by an injury and get the patient back to work or play in a timely manner. Our licensed physical therapists have a common goal: to provide individual attention and quickly get the
patient back to optimum health and function. “Treating the cause of the pain can accelerate the healing process as opposed to simply treating the symptom“ says, Daniel Alvarez, D.P.T. “We spend one-on- one time with the patient to learn their history, concerns and goals for recovery.”

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) states the following advantages for working with a physical therapist to reduce pain:

Exercise – You can lessen the chronic widespread of pain by 28%, if you exercise more than 3 times per week.

Manual Therapy: From carpal tunnel syndrome to low back pain, this type of care can effectively reduce your pain and improve your movement.

Education: Physical Therapists will hep you to understand your pain history, and help set realistic expectations about your treatment.

Teamwork: Your Physical Therapist is able to directly work with you and assess how your pain responds to treatment.

If you’re in pain from an injury or have ongoing pain and you don’t know why, give us a call and schedule a complimentary injury assessment. You will have one-on- one time with a physical therapist to assess your injury. BaySport Physical Therapy Clinics are conveniently located near highways in Los Gatos, Santa Clara and Redwood Shores within facilities that provide top of the line fitness equipment, locker rooms, showers, and aqua therapy.

For more information about our physical therapy programs and to learn more about BaySport services, go to www.baysport.com or call (408) 395-7300.

Your Body Before and After Baby

By Tegan Johnson-Galvez, DPT, CCI, CSCS and Amy Lee, SPT

With pregnancy, women experience many changes to her body whether it’s physically or physiologically. For example, with approximately 25-30 lb. weight gain, the female body begins to produce various pregnancy hormones, such as the relaxin. Relaxin increases the elasticity of ligaments around the pelvic as well as other areas to accommodate for the pregnancy. As the women enter further into her trimester, their center of gravity shifts which can cause an increase in the lower back curve thus putting excessive strain on the sacroiliac joints and ligaments. Generally, our sacroiliac joints are very stable but the shift in the body’s center as well as the production of pregnancy hormones can alter the laxity of the joints causing pain.

Diastasis Rectus Abdominis
Another common occurring during pregnancy is Diastasis Rectus Abdominis (DRA). Rectus abdominis is a muscle in our body that attaches from our sternum and rib cage all the way down to our pubic bone. DRA is the separation of the rectus abdominis at the midline which is not an indication of a muscle tear nor a lesion. It is simply a separation of the connective tissue fibers that are able to come back together. You can check the width of separation by placing your fingers 4 cm from the belly button. Lift your head and if the width is two fingers or less, it is normal.

Exercise During Pregnancy
Exercise is an important component during pregnancy. According to Department of Health and Human Services, 50 minutes of exercise is recommended with moderate intensity. There is no heart rate restriction but it is not the time to pick up new cardio program. It is advised to avoid supine exercises during the first trimester due to the possible pressure of the enlarged uterus and the fetus on the inferior vena cava.

Examples of exercises you can perform are:

❏ Squats with variation
❏ You can hold a dumbbell for weighted intensity

 

 


 

❏ Lean on a swiss ball against the wall to go into a squat
*Use the counter for assistance as you progress through your pregnancy

 


❏ Bridges
*Keep the core engaged
*Lower yourself slowly so that your bottom is last to touch

 


❏ Standing Rows with Resistance Band

 

 

 



❏ Abdominal Crunch
❏ You may “splint” the abdominal wall with a towel to provide additional support to the linea alba to prevent further diastasis rectus abdominis.

 


Remember to stretch throughout your pregnancy in addition to the above exercises.

Post Natal Exercise
Wait approximately 6-8 weeks before returning to exercise after pregnancy. You can start pelvic floor exercises immediately to help prevent stress incontinence (ie. kegels exercise). Pregnancy hormones affect you over 6 months after birth, so avoid high impact exercise during this period.

Post-Natal Ergonomics
It is important to maintain good body mechanics and posture during and even after pregnancy to prevent injuries. Here are several tips regarding post-natal ergonomics:

Carrying the Baby
❏ Carry the baby at the center of your body
❏ Helps keep your center of balance
❏ Reduces strain on your back
❏ Do NOT carry your baby on your side with your hips out

Diapering/Bathing
❏ Table height should be slightly below elbows
❏ Place all necessary diaper materials within arm’s reach
❏ Place one leg on stool to relieve strain on low back

Car Seat Carry
❏ Always use two hands
❏ Keep infant carrier close to body
❏ Prop one foot on the floor of the car to reduce reaching
❏ For large vehicle, prop knee onto seat
❏ Brace abdominal muscle!!
❏ Don’t bend or twist spine too much

Pushing Stroller
❏ Adjustable handles are recommended
❏ Elbows slightly bent and shoulders relaxed
❏ Keep wrist straight
❏ Pull shoulders down and back
❏ Lead with chest with stroller close to body

Blocked Milk Ducts
When milk gets backed up, the duct can become swollen and inflamed causing a blockage. It may typically mean the breasts are not getting emptied regularly. If you are also stressed, it can lead to decreased production of oxytocin which is what helps produce milk.

Typical signs:
❏ Small, hard lump that are sore/tender to touch
❏ Redness
❏ Relief of symptoms after breast feeding
You can treat this through frequent pumping, breast massage, anti-inflammatory meds, or contacting your local lactation specialist at: www.ilca.org/home

About the Author:

Tegan encourages her patients to incorporate their rehabilitation and fitness goals into their daily activities. Tegan uses a multitude of treatment techniques including but not limited to manual therapy, Pilates-based exercise, therapeutic exercise, manual lymphatic drainage, multi-layered bandaging, taping techniques, custom orthotic evaluation, habituation exercises, gait training, sports specific injury prevention, and postural education. At home, Tegan is a wife and mother of three very active and healthy children.

Specialties include: General Orthopedic, TMJ Dysfunction, Vestibular and Lymphedema Care.

Professional Honors and Credentials: Credentialed Clinical Instructor, Member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)

Amy is a student at University of St. Augustine in San Marcos, CA who will be receiving her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in Dec of 2017. During her time in school, she worked as a student physical therapist in various rehabilitation settings including skilled nursing facility, workers’ compensation, and an outpatient orhopedic. When she is not busy studying for school, she enjoys outdoor rock climbing and looking up new recipes for baking.