Meeker Memorial Hospital’s understanding of chronic soft tissue injuries such as tendonitis has evolved. Areas of the body that are prone to developing chronic tendon problems are the shoulder, elbow (tennis and golfers elbow), wrist, hip, knee and ankle.

What was once called “chronic tendonitis”, is now called “tendonopathy” because it is now known that the chronically painful tissue may no longer be inflamed; rather it may have either healed improperly after an acute injury, or be degenerative from repeated wear and tear over time.

Why is this an important distinction to make? More acute injuries that are inflamed are traditionally treated with a goal of decreasing the inflammation and setting the foundation for proper healing to take place. This anti-inflammatory approach is not always effective for chronic soft tissue injuries if the underlying issue is scarring and degenerative tissue. This will be addressed with a different approach with the goal to facilitate the body’s natural healing response.

Meeker Memorial Hospital’s treatment approach is called Astym® (Augmented soft tissue mobilization). Astym® treatment is a therapy that regenerates healthy soft tissues (muscles, tendons, etc.) and eliminates or reduces unwanted scar tissue that may be causing pain or movement restrictions. Astym® treatment is highlight effective and even works when other approaches routinely fail. One of the many reasons it is more effective than other treatments is that it was scientifically developed to resolve the underlying cause of soft tissue problems, rather than temporarily relieving symptoms. It does this by stimulating the body’s natural healing process, by initiating the first stage of healing: inflammation.

What to expect with Astym® treatment?

  • Although treatment may be a little uncomfortable, you should not experience increased pain or a decrease in your ability to function
  • You may bruise slightly in the areas of treatment
  • Astym® is the only effective if followed up by the stretching and strengthening program your therapist has prescribed to you.
  • You will be asked to try to be as active as you can in your work, sport or other activities. This will help you to remodel the new tissue as the injury heals.
  • The treatment generally takes place two times a week for four weeks.
  • Most patients are 50-80 percent better after four weeks. The remaining healing will continue to take place over the next few weeks.

For more information about Astym® or outcomes information, visit

Find Your Physician or Program Specialist
612 South Sibley Ave.
Litchfield, MN 55355
Phone: (320) 693-4528
Fax: (320) 693-4561