Spinal cord patients benefit from massage therapy

Miguel A. Diego, Tiffany Field, Maria Hernandez-Reif, Sybil Hart, Bernard Brucker, Tory Field, Iris Burman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


The present study assessed the effects of massage therapy on depression, functionality, upper body muscle strength and range of motion on spinal cord injury patients. Twenty C5 through C7 spinal cord injury individuals recruited from a University outpatient clinic were randomly assigned to a massage therapy group or an exercise group. Patients in the massage therapy group received two 40-min massage therapy sessions per week for 5 weeks. Patients in the control group practiced a range of motion exercise routine targeting the arms, neck, shoulders, and back 2 times per week for 5 weeks. Although both the massage and exercise group appeared to benefit from treatment, only the massage group showed lower anxiety and depression scores and significantly increased their muscle strength and wrist range of motion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-142
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Neuroscience
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002


  • Massage therapy
  • Spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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