Massage Therapy: Neck Pain

This systematic review evaluated the evidences supporting the effectiveness of massage therapy for neck pain; 15 RCTs were included.


Conclusions #1: Massage therapy is effective for relieving neck pain in the short term


Conclusions #2: Massage therapy has not yet been shown to improve neck dysfunctions (e.g. ROM)

So what can we learn from all these studies?

Massage therapy is a great adjunct to other physiotherapy interventions but perhaps for better long term recovery, it should not be used alone.


I have personally found cupping to be the fastest method of reducing myofascial related neck pain. Sorry only anecdotal evidence thus far. Read my article on Tissue Distraction Release on


Reference: Cheng YH et al Efficacy of massage therapy on pain and dysfunction in patients with neck pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014;2014:204360.

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