The medical health experts have identified several trusted methods over the years to relieve neck pain; the list includes massage therapy, acupuncture, spinal manipulation, and exercise-based physical therapy. However, a recent advancement includes Advanced Soft Tissue Release (ASTR), a holistic approach to treating soft tissue injuries. The main elements of this therapy are manual treatments that have more than 125 unique maneuvers to deal with soft tissue dysfunctions. In addition, this therapy is proven to address fibrosis, muscle spasms, trigger points, and myofascial points. All the issues related to neck pain and muscle injuries in ASTR are treated using a unique combination of specific exercises, neuromuscular re-education, and habit modifications.
Some experienced researchers have already analyzed the long-term and short-term effects of the ASTR approach on patients experiencing neck pain. The study was conducted on many patients who received treatment from a Physical Therapy Clinic from March 2013 to April 2015. These patients suffered neck pain caused by soft tissue, muscle spasms, fibrosis, or some trigger points. The diagnosis of pain and the disease was made based on the pain occurring in the neck area, soft tissue dysfunction in the neck, and reduced range of motion. Patients involved in this study have not received any manual therapy elsewhere for their ongoing pain condition.
Patients suffering neck pain due to severe comorbidities were excluded from this study because many such pains are not related to soft tissue dysfunction. As ASTR treatment is relevant to soft tissue dysfunction, it cannot deal with a structural deformity. The study also didn’t focus on patients who have received other modern age treatments for neck pain such as pulsed electromagnetic therapy, ultrasound, laser, electric stimulation, chiropractic care, massage, acupuncture, and other physical therapies. After applying all inclusion, exclusion criteria, 105 patients were selected for this study, and results of ASTR treatment were analyzed over them.
There were few essential factors regarding which data was collected from the patients; it included gender, age, type of symptoms, previous treatments, length of symptoms, the visual analog scale for pain before and after ASTR treatment. The researchers also collected information on the total number of ASTR treatments, the number of sessions for ensuring complete relief from pain, the number of sessions for noticing some improvement in pain, and follow-up pain levels. The treatment led to two primary outcomes: the first represented the short-term results of ASTR treatment on patients suffering from neck pain. The analysis also included the change in pain over the time of treatment. The second primary result of this treatment was the long-term effects of the treatment, and it also had the effects at the initial stage and after few months of regular treatment. Other than this, the secondary outcome obtained from this study was the details about several treatments required for treating neck pain. As already mentioned, the results of this treatment can be generalized for people experiencing pain related to soft tissue dysfunction instead of any structural deformity. The best part is that the reliability of this treatment is supported by the fact that a single physical therapist performed all the treatments on concerned patients in this study. Moreover, they were provided with the same set of tools, protocols, and performance measurement criteria to treat neck pain. The data from patients were also collected by the same assistants via phone calls and emails to ensure enhanced accuracy.
The study shows long-lasting and efficient results for neck pain relief using ASTR treatment. Most of the patients reported a reduction in pain even after the first treatment session, and the condition was further improved with the follow-up sessions. All patients experienced pain relief by the third ASTR session, and surprisingly, 85% of the patients reported complete relief from neck pain by the last ASTR treatment session. Moreover, almost 87% of patients reported no neck pain even after a year of the follow-up. Experts reveal that to receive complete relief from neck pain, it is necessary to take almost 4.3 ASTR treatment sessions that also include manual therapy and 2.2 treatment sessions without any manual therapy.
It is observed that several factors lead to neck pain and soft tissue dysfunction in the modern generation. In most cases, the repeated poor posture while sitting causes scar tissue formation that can further increase pain in the neck area. It is important to mention that ASTR treatment is effective enough to treat soft tissue dysfunction and pains caused by poor posture habits. Even after obtaining several valuable results from this study conducted on the effectiveness of ASTR treatment, it is still important to lead further analysis on other aspects affecting the success rates of this therapy.
With the higher effectiveness and better outcomes obtained with ASTR treatment, it can be said that this method can change the way physical therapies are applied to patients. This holistic approach can offer some revolutionary solutions to pain management and to deal with muscle and joint-related injuries. The great news is that this treatment is not limited to neck pain only; instead, it can be applied to other focus areas of the body. The results can be effective enough in the short-term and long-term as well. Therefore, the ASTR treatment can be definitely recommended to deal with neck pain and other soft tissue-related pains experienced by people worldwide.