Effectiveness of massage therapy on the range of motion of the shoulder: a systematic review and meta-analysis

J Phys Ther Sci. 2017 Feb;29(2):365-369. doi: 10.1589/jpts.29.365. Epub 2017 Feb 24.


[Purpose] This study was conducted to identify and analyze the degree of effect of massage therapy on the range of motion of the shoulder. [Subjects and Methods] The database search was conducted using PubMed, CINAHL, Embase, PsycINFO, RISS, NDSL, NANET, DBpia, and KoreaMed. The meta-analysis was based on 7 studies, covered a total of 237 participants, and used a random-effects model. [Results] The effect size estimate showed that massage therapy significantly improved the shoulder range of motion, especially the flexion (SMD: 18.21, 95% CI 1.57-34.85) and abduction (SMD: 22.07, 95% CI 5.84-38.30). [Conclusion] The review findings suggest that massage therapy is effective in improving the shoulder flexion and abduction.

Keywords: Massage; Range of motion; Shoulder.

Publication types

  • Review