Astym® Compared Eccentric Exercise for Chronic Mid-substance Achilles Tendinopathy

This study is currently recruiting participants. (see Contacts and Locations)
Verified September 2014 by University of Indianapolis
Performance Dynamics
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Emily Slaven, PT, PhD, University of Indianapolis Identifier:
First received: July 15, 2013
Last updated: September 21, 2014
Last verified: September 2014

The purpose of this study is to compare the changes in pain and self-perceived function between two different treatments for Achilles tendinopathy: the Astym® protocol (a form of soft tissue mobilization using instruments) and a specific exercise protocol that involves strengthening the calf and Achilles tendon. Astym® (A-stim) is not an acronym, but rather stands for "A Stimulation" of the body's healing response, describing the physiologic process which occurs with Astym treatment. Astym is the trademark name of a non-invasive treatment where instruments are applied topically to locate unhealthy soft tissue, and to transfer mild to moderate pressure to the underlying soft tissue structures. The aim of Astym treatment is to eliminate scar tissue and stimulate tissue regeneration. Both the principal investigator and co-investigator have been trained and certified in administering the Astym treatment. The specific exercise protocol will involve exercises that strengthen the Achilles and calf through eccentric exercise. Eccentric exercise is a form of exercise where the benefit comes from applying a controlled lengthening stress to the muscle and tendon.

Condition Intervention
Achilles Tendon Pain
Procedure: Astym

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Astym® Treatment Compared With Eccentric Exercise in the Management of Chronic Mid-substance Achilles Tendinopathy: A Multisite a Randomized Controlled Trial

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by University of Indianapolis:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • VISA-A [ Time Frame: 1 year ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Numeric Pain Rating Scale [ Time Frame: 1 year ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Estimated Enrollment: 50
Study Start Date: August 2013
Estimated Study Completion Date: October 2015
Estimated Primary Completion Date: August 2015 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Astym
A form of soft tissue mobilization using instruments
Procedure: Astym
Active Comparator: Eccentric Exercise
Eccentric exercise is a form of exercise where the benefit comes from applying a controlled lengthening stress to the muscle and tendon.
Procedure: Astym


Ages Eligible for Study:   20 Years to 60 Years
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria

  • Pain for 3 months or longer in the mid portion of only one Achilles tendon.
  • Must read, speak and understand English

Exclusion Criteria

  • Previous surgery to the Achilles tendon that is currently painful
  • An injection into the Achilles tendon in the previous 4 weeks
  • Have symptoms in both Achilles tendons concurrently
  • Have taken fluoroquinolone antibiotics in the past 6 months
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01902433

Contact: Emily J Slaven, PhD 317-788-3305

United States, Arizona
Spooner Physical Therapy Withdrawn
Scottsdale, Arizona, United States, 85260
United States, Iowa
Stadia Sports Medicine Withdrawn
West Des Moines, Iowa, United States, 50266
United States, Kansas
Preferred Physical Therapy Recruiting
Sterling, Kansas, United States, 67579
Contact: Tad Wrench, PT    620-204-6116   
Principal Investigator: Tad Wrench, PT         
United States, New York
Orthosport Withdrawn
Snyder, New York, United States, 14226
United States, Oregon
Oregon Health and Science University Withdrawn
Beaverton, Oregon, United States, 97006
Oregon Health and Science University Withdrawn
Portland, Oregon, United States, 97239
United States, Tennessee
Alliance Physical Therapy Recruiting
Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States, 37404
Contact: Jeff Poteralski, PT    423-702-9984   
Principal Investigator: Jeff Poteralski, PT         
United States, Utah
Mountain Land Rehabilitation Recruiting
Lehi, Utah, United States, 84043
Contact: David Butler, PT    801-602-8803   
Principal Investigator: David Butler, PT         
United States, Virginia
Rockingham Memorial Hospital Withdrawn
Harrisonburg, Virginia, United States, 22801
United States, Washington
Elite Physical Therapy Withdrawn
Tacoma, Washington, United States, 98407
Sponsors and Collaborators
Emily Slaven, PT, PhD
Performance Dynamics
Principal Investigator: Emily J Slaven, PhD University of Indianapolis
  More Information

No publications provided

Responsible Party: Emily Slaven, PT, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Indianapolis Identifier: NCT01902433     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: ASTYM2013
Study First Received: July 15, 2013
Last Updated: September 21, 2014
Health Authority: United States: Institutional Review Board processed this record on March 30, 2015