Jacey Small

Major: Health Services Management
Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health
Supervisor: Dr. Loghmani
Department: Department of Physical Therapy

The Reproducibility and Consistency of Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Manipulation

Soft tissue therapy is commonly used to treat musculoskeletal (MSK) pain and discomfort. MSK pain has become a chronic pain that affects more people in the United States than other chronic conditions like cancer and cardiovascular disease. To treat MSK pain, many clinicians choose to use instrument-assisted soft tissue manipulation (IASTM) in order to get a more concentrated treatment. Using IASTM is an effective way of treatment but there is currently no way to measure how consistent clinicians are with others. There have been inconsistencies in forces applied, rate, and patterns between clinicians so the purpose of the study is to develop more comprehensive parameters of treatment. To make these parameters more accessible, the lab is developing quantifiable soft tissue manipulation (QSTM) which is a technology that works with therapy instruments to track progress and changes in clinicians. QSTM is currently being applied to two different tools that are connected onto a specific software called Q-Ware which shows the forces, angles, stroke number, and many other comparable factors in soft tissue manipulation application. This software could then be used to help treat the millions of Americans with MSK discomfort.