One article on PainSci cites McCormack 2016: Tissue Provocation Therapies
PainSci commentary on McCormack 2016: ?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided wherever possible.
A tiny, flawed test of scraping massage (Astym) for Achilles tendinopathy, comparing it to exercise (eccentric contractions). With just eight subjects given Astym, this is a seriously underpowered study, and Astym did not reduce pain significantly. The good news is that Astym results were better as measured by a questionnaire and the (notoriously unreliable) “global rating of change” scale. However, Astym subjects spent much more time with therapists, so there’s a strong chance they benefitted from those interactions — a well known effect — and not the Astym. The modestly positive results here simply cannot be trusted without backup.
~ Paul Ingraham
original abstract †Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.
BACKGROUND: Eccentric exercise is commonly used in the management of Achilles tendinopathy (AT) but its effectiveness for insertional AT has been questioned. Soft tissue treatment (Astym) combined with eccentric exercise could result in better outcomes than eccentric exercise alone.
HYPOTHESIS: Soft tissue treatment (Astym) plus eccentric exercise will be more effective than eccentric exercise alone for subjects with insertional AT.
STUDY DESIGN: Prospective randomized controlled trial.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level 2.
METHODS: Sixteen subjects were randomly assigned to either a soft tissue treatment (Astym) and eccentric exercise group or an eccentric exercise-only group. Intervention was completed over a 12-week period, with outcomes assessed at baseline, 4, 8, 12, 26, and 52 weeks. Outcomes included the Victorian Institute of Sport Assessment Achilles-Specific Questionnaire (VISA-A), the numeric pain rating scale (NPRS), and the global rating of change (GROC).
RESULTS: Significantly greater improvements on the VISA-A were noted in the soft tissue treatment (Astym) group over the 12-week intervention period, and these differences were maintained at the 26- and 52-week follow-ups. Both groups experienced a similar statistically significant improvement in pain over the short and long term. A significantly greater number of subjects in the soft tissue treatment (Astym) group achieved a successful outcome at 12 weeks.
CONCLUSION: Soft tissue treatment (Astym) plus eccentric exercise was more effective than eccentric exercise only at improving function during both short- and long-term follow-up periods.
- “The efficacy of instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization: a systematic review,” Scott W Cheatham, Matt Lee, Matt Cain, and Russell Baker, Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association, 2016.
This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights:
- Photobiomodulation therapy is not better than placebo in patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain: a randomised placebo-controlled trial. Guimarães 2021 Pain.
- No effect of creatine monohydrate supplementation on inflammatory and cartilage degradation biomarkers in individuals with knee osteoarthritis. Cornish 2018 Nutr Res.
- The CANBACK trial: a randomised, controlled clinical trial of oral cannabidiol for people presenting to the emergency department with acute low back pain. Bebee 2021 Med J Aust.
- Relationships Between Sleep Quality and Pain-Related Factors for People with Chronic Low Back Pain: Tests of Reciprocal and Time of Day Effects. Gerhart 2017 Ann Behav Med.
- Modulation in the elastic properties of gastrocnemius muscle heads in individuals with plantar fasciitis and its relationship with pain. Zhou 2020 Sci Rep.