Astym therapy improves function and range of motion following mastectomy

This article was published by the following Dove Press Journal:

Breast Cancer: Targets and Therapy

8 March 20016


  • Claire C Davies
  • Dorothy Brockopp
  • Krista Moe

Abstract: Hypersensitive scar tissue formation along the incision line and drain site is a common side effect following mastectomy. If this scar tissue is not addressed, it can lead to decreased flexibility and function in the involved upper quadrant. Astym® treatment is a new approach to soft tissue injuries, and is evidenced in animal studies to promote the healing and regeneration of soft tissues. It has also been found to reduce pain and increase function in people with soft tissue dysfunction. The aim of Astym treatment is to engage the regenerative mechanisms of the body in order to resorb scar tissue, stimulate tissue turnover, and regenerate soft tissues. Handheld instrumentation is applied topically to locate and treat the underlying dysfunctional soft tissue through specific protocols for the application of particular pressures and shear forces. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of Astym treatment on activities of daily living in women who had undergone a mastectomy following a diagnosis of breast cancer. A quasi-experiment involving 40 women, following a mastectomy, evaluated five outcome measures pre- and post-Astym treatment. All five measurement scores: Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand Outcome Measure; a clothing questionnaire on their ability to wear a bra; Patient-Specific Functional Scale; active range of motion of shoulder flexion; and active range of motion of abduction were also measured and all demonstrated significant changes. In this study, Astym treatment improved active range of motion in the involved quadrant and also improved function in patients following a mastectomy.

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Post-Mastectomy Physical Therapy ‘Widely Improves’ Quality of Life

The American Physical Therapy Association’s PT in Motion reports that Postoperative physical therapy that begins as early as 2 days after surgery significantly improves joint mobility and “widely improves the quality of life” for women who underwent mastectomies, according to a new study.

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Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the clinical efficacy of manual therapy interventions for relieving the signs and symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) by comparing 2 forms of manual therapy techniques: Graston Instrument–assisted soft tissue mobilization (GISTM) and soft tissue mobilization administered with the clinician hands.

Read the full article here: Burke et al-2007-J Manipulative Physiol Ther

Utilization of an Anti-Gravity Treadmill in a Physical Activity Program with Female Breast Cancer Survivors: A Pilot Study

The Ohio State University, Department of Kinesiology. 2 School of Health and Kinesiology, Georgia Southern University, 3Western Kentucky University, School of Kinesiology, Recreation, & Sport

Breast Cancer survivors can experience a myriad of physical and psychological benefits as a result of regular exercise


International Journal of Exercise Science 9(1): 101- 109, 2016. Breast Cancer survivors

can experience a myriad of physical and psychological benefits as a result of regular exercise. This

study aimed to build on previous research using lower impact exercise programs by using an anti-
gravity (Alter-G®) treadmill to administer cardiovascular training. The purpose of this study was

to determine the effectiveness a physical activity program, including an Alter-G® treadmill, for

improving physiological and psychosocial measures in female breast cancer survivors. A 14-week

intervention using an AB-AB study design was employed. Six female breast cancer survivors were

recruited to participate in the study. Participants attended three 60-minute sessions per week,

consisting of a combination of muscular strength/endurance, and cardiovascular endurance

exercises. Consistent with current literature and guidelines, exercise interventions were

individualized and tailored to suit individuals. Data was collected and analyzed in 2013. Visual

inspection of results found improvements in cardiovascular endurance and measures of body

composition. Quality of life was maintained and in some cases, improved. Finally, no adverse

effects were reported from the participants, and adherence to the program for those who completed

the study was 97%. The results of this study suggest that the use of a physical activity program in

combination with an Alter-G® treadmill may provide practical and meaningful improvements in

measures of cardiovascular endurance and body composition.

Read the full report: Pilot Study

The use of Augmented Soft Tissue Mobilization (ASTYM®) as a Conservative Treatment for Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome.

Soft tissue mobilization can normalize the altered tensile loads and biomechanical dysfunction associated with patellofemoral pain syndrome by promoting proper tracking of the patella within the trochlear groove. Augmented Soft Tissue Mobilization (ASTYM®) is a form of instrument-assisted soft-tissue mobilization that promotes the remodeling of soft tissue through controlled tissue damage to promote tissue healing, release adhesions, and improve tissue extensibility.

Read the full report by Joe Johnson, SPT: ATYM PFPS