alexa Quantifiable Soft Tissue Manipulation (QSTM): A Requisite to Advance the Field of Manual Therapy
ISSN: 2165-7025

Journal of Novel Physiotherapies
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Opinion Article

Quantifiable Soft Tissue Manipulation (QSTM): A Requisite to Advance the Field of Manual Therapy

Marry Terry Loghmani1*, Bruce Neff1, Ahmed M Alotaibi2, Sohel Anwar2, Stanley Chien3 and Keith March4

1Department of Physical Therapy, Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis, USA

2Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis, USA

3Department of Electrical Engineering, Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis, USA

4School of Medicine, Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis, USA

*Corresponding Author:
Marry Terry Loghmani
Department of Physical Therapy
Indiana University Purdue University
114O W. Michigan St. CF326, Indianapolis
IN 46202, USA
Tel: +1-317-691-0175
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: November 29, 2016; Accepted date: December 23, 2016; Published date: December 30, 2016

Citation: Loghmani MT, Neff B, Alotaibi AM, Anwar S, Chien S, et al. (2016) Quantifiable Soft Tissue Manipulation (QSTM): A Requisite to Advance the Field of Manual Therapy. J Nov Physiother 6:326. doi: 10.4172/2165-7025.1000326

Copyright: © 2016 Loghmani MT, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



Quantifiable soft tissue manipulation (QSTM) that can characterize the motion and forces delivered during soft tissue examination and treatment of common musculoskeletal (MS) conditions in a real-time and clinically applicable manner is needed to achieve optimal outcomes. Soft tissue manipulation (STM), e.g. massage, is a type of mechanotherapy that has been used with benefit frequently by clinicians worldwide since ancient times. Instrument-assisted STM (IASTM) is a type of STM that uses rigid devices to assess and treat soft tissue abnormalities in a targeted and precise manner. Remarkably, however, the forces delivered during STM approaches have not been adequately quantified. Unlike other mechano-therapeutic approaches, e.g. ultrasound, traction, exercise, electrical stimulation, current manual therapy practice relies mostly on subjective description of STM evaluation findings and treatment parameters. This makes documentation, analysis, comparison, progression and optimization of this non-invasive intervention difficult to establish and validate. It is the authors’ strong opinion that there is need for QSTM to objectively measure, characterize and record the 3-dimensional (3D) forces and motion trajectories of STM evaluation and intervention. Innovative technology aimed to help address this void in research, educational and clinical practice has been developed by our research team and introduced in this article. The QSTM system has two components: an electronic, handheld device (applicator) for 3D characterization of force and a computer with software for data acquisition and analysis. Preliminary testing has demonstrated that the QSTM prototype can provide accurate sensed values and good intra-, inter-rater reliability. Device revisions are in progress and further testing is planned in animals and humans. QSTM is an essential technology needed for the standardization, comparison and optimization of STM therapies and a requisite to advance the field of manual therapy.


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