Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms are lessened following massage therapy

Tiffany Field, Miguel Diego, Christy Cullen, Kristin Hartshorn, Alan Gruskin, Maria Hernandez-Reif, William Sunshine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Objective. To determine the effectiveness of massage therapy for relieving the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Methods. Sixteen adults with CTS symptoms were randomized to a 4-week massage therapy or control group. Participants in the massage therapy group were taught a self-massage routine that was done daily at home. They were also massaged once a week by a therapist. The participants' diagnosis was based on a nerve conduction velocity test, the Phalen test, and the Tinel sign test performed by a physician. The participants were also given the state trait anxiety inventory (STAI), the profile of mood states (POMS), a visual analog scale for pain and a test of grip strength. Results. Participants in the massage therapy group improved on median peak latency and grip strength. They also experienced lower levels of perceived pain, anxiety, and depressed mood. Conclusion. The results suggest that symptoms of CTS can be relieved by a daily regimen of massage therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-14
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004


  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Grip strength
  • Massage therapy
  • Self-massage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Health Professions(all)


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