Massage Therapy for Spastic Neurological Patients: A Systematic Review


  • Tochaiwat K, Predeekanit K, Udom T, Srisubat A, Thaiyakul A


Massage, Massage therapy, Neurological, Neurological patient, Spastic


Muscle spasticity condition is a chronic disease caused by abnormalities of neurological problem. It is frequently found in Neurological rehabilitation causing disability of extremity, ambulation problem, pains during daily-living activities and disturbed sleep. It is commonly found in patients with neurological conditions such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury and spinal degenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis and familial spastic paraparesis. There are several ways to treat muscle spasticity. For massaging, it is believed that it can help to reduce muscle spasms from the use of external force to stretch the muscles. In addition, force created from a skin massage can reduce pains according to the Gate control theory. This work studies the effectiveness of massaging compared to the different ways of spasticity treatment in patients with neurological disorders. By searching the database MEDLINE via PubMed, 90 studies out of the relevance of 93 studies were excluded because the treatments were not a massage, not a treatment for neurological patients, or not measurable neurological symptoms of spasticity. The study reports and evaluates total 3 studies that met selection criteria. The results showed that massage therapy in various forms to relieve spasticity and pain had statistical 95% CI equal to -0.45-0.34 and -2.44 - 4.44, respectively, when compared with other methods of treatment. Therefore, patients with neurological diseases such as stroke and multiple sclerosis with symptoms of muscle spasticity and had massage therapy in various forms showed effective results in reducing spasticity and pain compared to other treatments, such as physical therapy, exercise and a sham massage. But the results were significant difference. However, measures to reduce pain are still controversial in the selected study.Keywords: Massage, Massage therapy, Neurological, Neurological patient, Spastic


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How to Cite

Tochaiwat K, Predeekanit K, Udom T, Srisubat A, Thaiyakul A. Massage Therapy for Spastic Neurological Patients: A Systematic Review . j dept med ser [Internet]. 2019 Feb. 1 [cited 2023 Feb. 6];44(1):42-6. Available from:



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