Matt Clark
January 30, 2023

How Can the Pact Sense Measure the Effects of Delos Therapy?

Pact Sense is a handheld device that mechanically perturbs soft tissue to quantify its mechanical properties. It does so through a method of system identification (see information on this process here). By doing so, the Pact Sense is able to provide the user with four objective values indicating the quality of the soft tissue being examined. These values are Stiffness, Damping, Stiffness Slope, & Damping slope (See parameter descriptions here). Because of their direct relationship to tissue health/quality, we can use these values to understand the mechanical changes caused before and after a session of Delos Therapy. Delos Therapy is a massage technique that aims to massage fibrotic tissue through the combination of three-dimensional pressure and three-dimensional shearing forces. Doing so, will increase tissue pliability, and over time will help to increase range of motion, improve skeletal alignment, maximize muscle recruitment, enhance muscle activation, and improve overall health. Using the Pact Sense, we can directly observe the changes before and after a session of Delos Therapy to determine how effective it was.

A Small Study: 

12 healthy individuals (male & female) randomly received one of two treatments (Delos Therapy & Stretch or Delos Therapy) for a short 5 minute bout on their left calf. Prior to receiving treatment, three scans using the Pact Sense were collected on both calves. Immediately following the treatment, three additional scans were taken on the calves to observe changes caused by the techniques.

Pact Sense Results:

Delos Stretch & Therapy Results: Following Delos Stretch & Therapy on 6 subjects, changes were observed to stiffness. Looking at stiffness, five of the six individuals experienced a decrease in stiffness on their left calf, while 4 also experienced a decrease on their right side. The maximal decrease in stiffness shown on the treated side was 156 N/m and only 114 N/m on the non-treated side. 

Delos Therapy Results: Following Delos Therapy on six individuals, Pact Sense again detected differences to Stiffness. Looking at stiffness, four out of six subjects experience a decrease in their left side, and three experience it in their right side as well. The maximum decrease in the treated side was 130 N/m, while the maximum decrease observed in the right side was 120 N/m after 5 minutes of Delos Therapy. Among those who experienced a decrease, the average change in the left side was 88 N/m, while in the right side it was only 70 N/m. 

What does this mean:

Using the Pact Sense, we were able to detect decreases in stiffness following Delos Therapy. Because of the science backed by their technique, we expect to see decreases in stiffness following treatment of unhealthy tissue, no change in unaffected tissue, and increases in overworked tissue. Therefore, we observe in the case of Delos Therapy & Stretch, 5 of the 6 subjects received an effective treatment, as noted by the decrease in stiffness. Only 1 in this group saw no effect from the treatment. In the case of Delos Therapy, only 4 of the 6 subjects received an effective treatment, while 2 were overworked. 

How can I use this knowledge for monitoring my own tissue health:

Insights like this are extremely important into how we guide treatments, warm up, & recover. For 9 of the 12 individuals, we saw the expected change indicating an effective session. However for 2 individuals, we saw they were overworked, indicated by the increase in stiffness. Therefore, we can leverage this knowledge to how we treat them in the future (ex. Less pressure, different techniques, slower motions, ending treatment plan early, etc.). By having this objective measure, we can see when our current course of action may not be the most beneficial to us and make a change to continuously improve towards our goals.