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The Effect of Deep Friction Massage on the Achilles Tendon Blood Flow (Friction)

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
University Ghent Identifier:
First received: October 12, 2011
Last updated: November 7, 2011
Last verified: November 2011

Background: There is a hypothesis in literature that the mechanical action of deep transverse friction massage (DTF) produces vasodilatation and increases blood flow. But as yet, no experimental study has confirmed the effect of DTF on blood flow in the Achilles tendon. Objective: The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether one session of DTF can influence the Achilles tendon blood flow.

Design: a randomized pre- posttest trial was set up. Patients: Sixty-two healthy participants volunteered. Each person underwent the following four steps of the procedure: 1. Measuring the tendon blood flow (PRE), 2.fifteen minutes of DTF on the Achilles tendon, 3. Measuring of the tendon blood flow (POST), 4.follow - up measurement after 20 minutes of rest (POST20).

Intervention: one leg of each person was randomly assigned to deep transverse friction session, the other leg was used as a control leg. Friction was applied continuously for a total of 15 minutes. Measurements: the microcirculation was determined at 2 and 8 tissue depths at the distal and the proximal midportion of the Achilles tendon. For each level, the capillary blood flow, the tissue oxygen saturation, and the postcapillary venous filling pressure was registered.

Condition Intervention
Healthy Situation
Other: deep transverse friction massage

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Single Blind (Participant)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: The Effect of Deep Friction Massage on the Achilles Tendon Blood Flow

Further study details as provided by University Ghent:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Blood flow of the Achilles tendon [ Time Frame: after 15 minutes of friction ]
    Blood flow of the Achilles tendon will be measured with the oxygen-to-see.

  • Blood flow of the Achilles tendon [ Time Frame: After 20 minutes of rest. ]
    Blood flow of the Achilles tendon will be measured with the oxygen-to-see.

Enrollment: 62
Study Start Date: November 2010
Study Completion Date: July 2011
Primary Completion Date: June 2011 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Deep transverse friction massage
Massage technique will be used.
Other: deep transverse friction massage
For the application of the deep transverse friction massage, the participants were positioned supine with the ankle in 90 ° of dorsiflexion, in order to bring some tension on the tendon. The treating clinician stabilized the subject's foot with one hand while applying the DTF with the other hand. The deep friction massage is a pinching technique with thumb and index finger, reinforced by the middle finger.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 60 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Exclusion Criteria:

  • a history of lower leg injury
  • systematic disease
  • persons using drugs
  • subjects with circulatory disorders or cardiovascular diseases
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01453543

Ghent University
Ghent, Belgium, 9000
Sponsors and Collaborators
University Ghent
Principal Investigator: Erik Witvrouw, MD, PhD University Ghent
  More Information

Responsible Party: University Ghent Identifier: NCT01453543     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 2010/460
Study First Received: October 12, 2011
Last Updated: November 7, 2011 processed this record on April 28, 2017