There are many forms of breast cancer treatment, from chemical and medicinal treatments to dietary changes and surgical options such as a mastectomy.
What is a Mastectomy?
A mastectomy is a surgical procedure that may be offered to a patient diagnosed with breast cancer. The procedure involves removal of the breast and underlying lining of the chest muscle.
This procedure is also used as a preventative measure for those individuals carrying an inherent gene mutation that places them at higher risk of breast cancer. As with any surgery, there are risks and secondary side effects that patients may experience, including the development of thickened scar tissue, shoulder stiffness and soreness.1
Scar tissue, when left untreated, can become thickened, hypersensitive and immobile. When this happens, the scar tissue development can begin affecting flexibility and range of motion. There are treatment options available that can treat post-surgical scarring, including Astym®.
Astym® is a specialized treatment that can be leveraged to remodel scar tissue and desensitize the surgical area. This is done through a cellular process that increases fibroblast number, fibroblast activation and fibronectin production. Astym® treatment is followed by soft tissue stretching and strengthening, which helps to properly load treated tissue to deposit new collagen. This helps to enhance regenerative properties of growth factor, which is a natural occurring substance in the human body. Growth factor is required to stimulate cell growth, proliferation, healing, differentiation and maturation within the human body to facilitate soft tissue regeneration and healing. This combination of physical therapy aids in post-mastectomy recovery by minimizing pain, improving range of motion and promoting overall functional mobility.1,2,3
Where to Find ASTYM®
It is important to note that a typical Astym® course lasts four to six weeks. While this treatment is an option for post-surgical scarring, it can also be a treatment option for a variety of other diagnoses, including trigger finger, wrist sprains, IT band syndrome, shoulder pain, plantar fasciitis and more.
Patients interested in taking advantage of Astym® can click the button below to request an appointment at one of our clinics offering the service.
The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.
1Davies CC, Brockopp DY. Use of ASTYM® Treatment on Scar Tissue Following Surgical Treatment for Breast Cancer: A Pilot Study. Rehabilitation Oncology. 2010;28(3):3-12.
2Davidson CJ, Ganion LR, Gehlsen GM, Verhoestra B, Roepke JE, Sevier TL. Rat tendon morphologic and functional changes resulting from soft tissue mobilization. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1997;29(3):313-9.
3Gehlsen GM, Ganion LR, Helfst R. Fibroblast responses to variation in soft tissue mobilization pressure. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 1999;31(4):531-5.