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

This study has been terminated.
(We were unable to recruit participants to the study)
Performance Dynamics
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Emily Slaven, PT, PhD, University of Indianapolis Identifier:
First received: July 15, 2013
Last updated: January 21, 2017
Last verified: January 2017
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
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single (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 Emily Slaven, PT, PhD, University of Indianapolis:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • VISA-A [ Time Frame: 1 year ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Numeric Pain Rating Scale [ Time Frame: 1 year ]

Estimated Enrollment: 50
Study Start Date: August 2013
Study Completion Date: January 2017
Primary Completion Date: January 2017 (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   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
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

United States, Indiana
IU Health
Indianapolis, Indiana, United States, 46254
United States, Utah
Utah Physical Therapy
Lehi, Utah, United States, 84043
Sponsors and Collaborators
Emily Slaven, PT, PhD
Performance Dynamics
Principal Investigator: Emily J Slaven, PhD University of Indianapolis
  More Information

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: January 21, 2017
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: Undecided
Plan Description: Only two participants were recruited to the study at the closure of the study

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Muscular Diseases
Musculoskeletal Diseases
Tendon Injuries
Wounds and Injuries processed this record on September 19, 2017