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Astym therapy improves function and range of motion following mastectomy

Authors Davies C, Brockopp D, Moe K

Received 16 December 2015

Accepted for publication 4 February 2016

Published 8 March 2016 Volume 2016:8 Pages 39—45

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/BCTT.S102598

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Tuhin Das

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Pranela Rameshwar

Claire C Davies,1 Dorothy Brockopp,2 Krista Moe2

1Baptist Health Rehabilitation, 2Research Department, Baptist Health Lexington, Lexington, KY, USA

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.

Keywords: breast cancer, quality of life, scar tissue treatment, physical therapy

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