Defense Date


Graduation Date

Fall 2014


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Rehabilitation Science


Rangos School of Health Sciences

Committee Chair

RobRoy L Martin

Committee Member

Amy L Phelps

Committee Member

F. Richard Clemente

Committee Member

Christopher R Carcia


isometric squat test, soft-tissue mobilization, Strength


Purpose: Astym treatment is a manual therapy intervention that stimulates tissue regeneration and treats pain, limited mobility, and muscle weakness associated with musculoskeletal pathology. The purpose of this study was to determine if Astym treatment administered to the lower extremity would result in an immediate change of maximal force output during a unilateral isometric squat test among individuals with a lower extremity injury.

Methods: Forty-five subjects (14males; 31females) aged between 18-65 years participated in this study. The subjects were randomized into 3 treatment groups: 1) Control group - received no treatment 2) Placebo group - received a sham Astym treatment 3) Astym treatment group- received Astym treatment to the lower extremity. After familiarization to the operations of a computerized leg press machine, a baseline measure of maximal force output (pre-test) was determined by the average of 3 trials with a 30 second rest period between the trials. The subjects then received the designated treatment intervention. Immediately following the treatment intervention the subjects were retested (post-test) using identical testing procedures by an investigator who was blinded to the treatment intervention received by the subjects. The percent change of maximal force output from pre-test to post-test measures was compared using a one-way analysis of variance with alpha set at 0.05. A Tukey's post-hoc analysis determined the statistical differences between the groups.

Results: The treatment intervention had a significant effect on the percent change of maximal force output [F(2,42) = 7.91, p = 0.001]. Tukey's post hoc analysis demonstrated that the percent change of maximal force output was significantly greater in the Astym group (15+18%change) compared to the placebo (-6+11%change) and control (-1+17%change) groups. No significant difference (p=0.68) was noted between the control and placebo groups.

Conclusions: Astym treatment to the involved lower extremity increased maximum force output during an isometric squat test immediately following treatment. The results of this study suggest that Astym treatment can be used as an intervention for the immediate improvement of muscle performance for patients presenting with muscular weakness caused by a lower extremity musculoskeletal injury.