Friday, June 10, 2011


I've been dealing with plantar fasciitis for around 6 months now. As part of my regimen, I frequently peruse the interwebs looking for new insight into treatments/cures I have not yet attempted. A few months ago, I encountered several recommendations for ASTYM treatment in the comment section following a post on about plantar fasciitis. Commenters claimed that one could run significant mileage while undergoing the treatment with successful results. Sounded pretty appealing to me!

So I found a local practitioner and scheduled an appointment. ASTYM involves using specific techniques and patented tools to do soft tissue work that is intended to break up scar tissue and promote healing. Practitioners must be certified in the principles and techniques to get the tools and only the certified individual is allowed to use them. There is only one certified individual in the Tacoma area though so I had to drive all the way to Spanaway for my appt.

My physical therapist did a quick eval and then set to work rubbing these rigid plastic tools all over my legs. I had read that the treatment can be painful but did not find it overly so. I suppose this may vary from PT to PT depending on how aggressive they are (I.e, how much pressure they apply).

One of the things that appealed to me about the ASTYM philosophy is that even though I have a specific injury in my foot, treatment addresses the entire kinetic chain. I figure I have had so much wear 'n' tear on my legs resulting from various over-uses that I may benefit from an entire leg 'makeover'!

Well, my last treatment was last week and while my PF has improved, I am not sure it was the ASTYM. I definitely did not get the miraculous ability to run all I want pain free within several treatments as some have reported. Integral to the treatment were some calf strengthening exercises and various leg stretches, which may have done as much good as the 'tooling' treatment itself. However I have noticed less muscle tenderness and pain in other areas (e.g. Tibialis anterior and posterior) and I can only assume that the ASTYM treatment did bring about some of these benefits.

So in conclusion, I found ASTYM treatment to have some benefit generally (for an active person) but it did not cure my plantar fasciitis.