Acute Radial Neuropathy at the Spiral Groove Following Massage: A Case Presentation

PM R. 2017 Oct;9(10):1042-1046. doi: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2017.03.010. Epub 2017 Apr 9.


Massage-related nerve injury is an uncommon, rarely reported complication. We report an unusual case of radial nerve neuropathy at the spiral groove in a 58-year-old woman that resulted from a single episode of deep tissue massage. Although the spiral groove is known as the most common site implicated in radial nerve neuropathy, to our knowledge, there have not previously been any reports of massage-related spiral groove radial nerve neuropathy. Electrodiagnostic and ultrasound examinations were used to localize the nerve lesion at the spiral groove and also to provide prognostic evaluation. Serial follow-ups demonstrated concomitant improvement in clinical symptoms and electrodiagnostic parameters. A near-total recovery was achieved after 6 months. This case presentation aims to increase awareness and early recognition of massage-related nerve injuries.

Level of evidence: V.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arm
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy / methods
  • Electromyography / methods
  • Exercise Therapy / methods
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Massage / adverse effects*
  • Massage / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Myalgia / diagnosis
  • Myalgia / rehabilitation*
  • Neural Conduction / physiology
  • Radial Neuropathy / diagnosis
  • Radial Neuropathy / etiology*
  • Rare Diseases
  • Risk Assessment
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Shoulder Pain / diagnosis
  • Shoulder Pain / rehabilitation*
  • Treatment Outcome