Tools to Improve your Moves

A physical therapist has many “tools” in their toolbox to help patients regain function after an injury, surgery, or setback.  Just like handyman tools, our tools have specific purposes and are very useful when used appropriately. One of the most common underlying limitations for our patients is soft tissue dysfunction. Soft tissue included muscles, ligaments, tendons, and fascia. If you have soft tissue limitations, you are most likely to experience decreased motion and pain.

Here are a list of tools that Apex physical therapists have to help improve the way you move!

ASTYM Therapy

ASTYM therapy

Asytm therapy uses specific tools that are designed to treat the underlying soft tissue dysfunction versus symptoms. As a physical therapist, I use these tools to help break down scar tissue, realign collagen fibers, and regenerate healthy soft tissue. Addressing the underlying soft tissue dysfunctions can help increase motion and progress other therapy interventions faster.

Kinesiology Tape

kinesio taping therapy

Kinesiology tape is a lightweight, elastic tape that is designed to provide support to soft tissue structures. When applied to the skin, the elastic recoils and gently lifts the skin.  It is believed that it creates space between the skin and underlying tissues to allow better circulation and blood flow. Kinesiology tape can also be used to either inhibit or enhance muscle performance depending on how the tape is applied. As a physical therapist, I use kinesiology tape with a lot of my patients to help reinforce soft tissue gains made in a therapy session, decrease pain and swelling, decrease bruising, support joints, and decrease muscle soreness.



Cupping is a manual therapy technique that dates back to ancient Egyptian, Chinese and Middle eastern cultures.  During this treatment, a physical therapist will place a cup directly on the skin and use a hand-held vacuum pump to create a negative pressure in the cup.  This negative pressure causes the skin and fascia to rise into the cup.  Benefits of cupping include increased blood flow and oxygen circulation, decreasing muscle spasms and pain, and decreased inflammation.  These benefits help the body move better and allows for quicker healing.

The important thing to remember, is these types of treatments for soft tissue are only a “tool” in the toolbox.  They have a specific purpose in your treatment and are very effective. However, they can’t be used alone.

It is important to follow an individualized exercise program and recommendations given to you by a trained professional to improve the way you move! If you feel that one of these therapies can help you or a different therapy can help, contact us for an appointment.

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