The Role of the Astym® Process in the Management of Osteoarthritis of the Knee: A Single-Subject Research Design

We are excited to announce that a single-subject case study on “The Role of the Astym® Process in the Management of Osteoarthritis of the Knee: A Single-Subject Research Design” was recently published in the Journal of Student Physical Therapy Research. The study was conducted and published by Allison Tyler, SPT and by Astym-certified clinician Emily Slaven, PT, PhD, OCS, FAAOMPT who is a University of Indianapolis Assistant Professor and a clinician at Franciscan St. Francis Health (Mooresville, IN).

Reference information and the article abstract are listed below. You can also 
click here for an updated copy of the Astym Research Summary

Article Reference Information: Tyler A, Slaven E. The Role of the Astym Process in the Management of Osteoarthritis of the Knee: A Single-Subject Research Design. Journal of Student Physical Therapy Research. 2013;6(2):1-10.

Article Abstract: 
Study Design: This single-subject case study followed an A-B-C format. Phase A established the baseline phase, phase B consisted of a progressive stretching and strengthening program, and phase C added Astym to the stretching and strengthening program. Background: Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis and frequently affects the hip and knee joints. In 2008 the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence recommended manual therapy as an adjunct therapy to exercise for the management of OA. The Astym protocol is a form of manual therapy using instruments to assist with soft tissue mobilization that can be utilized in the management of limited and painful motion that can result from OA.

Case Description and Methodology: The participant was a sixty-one-year-old male with an eighteen-month history of right knee pain. During phase A, baseline measurements were obtained. In phase B, the participant attended two sessions per week of a stretching and progressive strengthening program and completed these exercises at home when he did not attend physical therapy. During phase C Astym® treatment was added to the exercise program from phase B.

Outcomes: Outcome measures used were the Ten-Meter Walk Test (10MWT), the Lower Extremity Functional Scale (LEFS), and the Visual Analog Scale (VAS); the 10MWT was completed weekly, and the LEFS and VAS were recorded at every session. Visual analysis of the data showed an upward trend in the LEFS Score and walking speed and showed a downward trend for the VAS.

Conclusion: The study concluded that a conservative management program for knee OA that systematically introduced stretching and strengthening and then the Astym® protocol led to gains in self-perceived function, walking speed, and a reduction in pain.

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