Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday Favorites: Astym Therapy Review

In a bit of a departure today, I am going to review a service instead of a product.  

Back in 2011, I developed a nasty case of what they now call Plantar Fasciopathy.  I tried all kinds of treatments - wearing a boot at night, buying expensive orthotic inserts and shoes, endless stretches and exercises, ice treatments and massage.  One thing I didn't try was rest.  I was (and still am) a recovering food-a-holic, and 6-8 weeks with no exercise seemed like a disaster waiting to happen.

After about 8 months of this misery, my Zumba instructor shared with me the success she was having rehabilitating her previously torn calf muscle using a therapy called Astym.  At that point I was willing to try anything, so I called and made an appointment.

Good things about Astym:

1) It actually works!  It did take me about 12 sessions (6-7 weeks) due to the severity of my PF, but after treatment the pain was gone and has stayed gone for almost 2 years!

2) You can keep exercising while you heal - in fact, my therapist insisted on it!

3) Your insurance may pay for it.  Mine did.  I only had the office co-pay so ended up spending less for this than all the other things I had tried (that had failed) before.

Bad thing about Astym:

1) It hurts!  Do not be fooled by the cute videos showing what looks like a gentle massage.  The first few passes do feel kind of nice - but by the 100th you are ready to rise up off the table and smack your therapist!   However, the pain didn't seem to linger after the actual treatment - so if you can grin and bear it for 30 minutes, you are good to go.  Remember - no pain, no gain!

Sooooo.... fast forward to June 2012.  
I had just started running and my right ankle (not the foot I already had Astym on) was giving me fits.  This was not surprising.  I had torn some ligaments in this ankle (on a trampoline) when I was 15, and it had been flaring up and giving me problems off and on for 30 years!  I knew that if I kept running, it would only get worse, so I made an appointment with my Astym guy, Bryan.
Three weeks and 6 treatments later I was fixed!  It hasn't given me one lick of trouble in the past year since!

Conclusion:  I am totally and completely sold on Astym for soft tissue repair.  Honestly, I don't know how it works - and I don't even care.  I just know that, FOR ME - it has been a miracle.

Every time I read about another runner with a chronic case of plantar fasciopathy, achilles tendinitis, patellar tendinosis, shin splints, i.t. band syndrome, ankle sprains - or any other kind of sprains I want to hit the caps key and comment: "GET ASTYM NOW!!!"  However, I often keep my mouth shut because after a dozen or so pitches for Astym, I'm sure everyone in blog-land thinks I work for the company or something**. (because, you know everyone reads everyone else's comments and they all KNOW!)  I kid!

But seriously:  What are you waiting for?

** I received no compensation for this ringing endorsement other than a pain free foot and ankle.  However, if the Astym Powers That Be ever stumble upon this blog and want to shower me with unlimited future visits I will gladly accept!


  1. I love astym! I really helped my knee injury last year!

  2. totally cool! Usually, when I talk about Astym other runners just look at me blankly!

  3. I have chronic PF and have had about 10 treatments, however I still am not finding any relief after runs :( during your treatment did your feet feel ok during runs or did they still flare up? I hope that it will help soon. I miss running freely.

    1. I am so sorry you are having PF problems. I know how hard it can be to get over.
      I cannot comment on running while undergoing treatment (since I did not start running until 2012) However, I did continue to take Zumba classes 4 to 5 times a week. Yes, it did still flare up, although it got less severe over time. If you have been suffering with PF for quite some time, you may have to have more treatments than an ordinary case. Does your therapist give you "home work" assignments? I know you still have to continue stretching the calf etc. to aid in treatment. I hope you get relief soon and are able to run your heart out!!!

  4. Thank you so much! Yes, she does give me strengthening and stretching exercise. I hope that I just need more treatments and then it will get better.
    Thanks again!