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Massage for mechanical neck disorders

  • Review
  • Intervention




The prevalence of mechanical neck disorders (MND) is known to be both a hindrance to individuals and costly to society. As such, massage is widely used as a form of treatment for MND.


To assess the effects of massage on pain, function, patient satisfaction, global perceived effect, adverse effects and cost of care in adults with neck pain versus any comparison at immediate post-treatment to long-term follow-up.

Search methods

We searched The Cochrane Library (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, EMBASE, MANTIS, CINAHL, and ICL databases from date of inception to 4 Feburary 2012.

Selection criteria

Studies using random assignment were included.

Data collection and analysis

Two review authors independently conducted citation identification, study selection, data abstraction and methodological quality assessment. Using a random-effects model, we calculated the risk ratio and standardised mean difference.

Main results

Fifteen trials met the inclusion criteria. The overall methodology of all the trials assessed was either low or very low GRADE level. None of the trials were of strong to moderate GRADE level. The results showed very low level evidence that certain massage techniques (traditional Chinese massage, classical and modified strain/counterstrain technique) may have been more effective than control or placebo treatment in improving function and tenderness. There was very low level evidence that massage may have been more beneficial than education in the short term for pain bothersomeness. Along with that, there was low level evidence that ischaemic compression and passive stretch may have been more effective in combination rather than individually for pain reduction. The clinical applicability assessment showed that only 4/15 trials adequately described the massage technique. The majority of the trials assessed outcomes at immediate post-treatment, which is not an adequate time to assess clinical change. Due to the limitations in the quality of existing studies, we were unable to make any firm statement to guide clinical practice. We noted that only five of the 15 studies reported side effects. All five studies reported post-treatment pain, discomfort and soreness as a side effect and one study (Irnich 2001) showed that 22% of the participants experienced low blood pressure following treatment.

Authors' conclusions

No recommendations for practice can be made at this time because the effectiveness of massage for neck pain remains uncertain.

As a stand-alone treatment, massage for MND was found to provide an immediate or short-term effectiveness or both in pain and tenderness. Additionally, future research is needed in order to assess the long-term effects of treatment and treatments provided on more than one occasion.








開始日から2012年2月4日までのThe Cochrane Library (CENTRAL)、MEDLINE、EMBASE、MANTIS、CINAHLおよびICLデータベースを検索した。






15件の試験が選択基準に適合した。評価した全試験の全般的な試験方法は、GRADEレベルで低いまたは非常に低かった。いずれの試験も、GRADEレベルで強い~中等度のものはなかった。結果から、エビデンスのレベルは非常に低いが、一部のマッサージ法(伝統的な中国のマッサージ、従来および改良版のストレイン/カウンターストレイン法)は機能や圧痛を改善するのに対照治療やプラセボよりも有効であることが示された。エビデンスのレベルは非常に低いが、マッサージは疼痛に対する短期間の教育よりも有益であることが示された。また、エビデンスのレベルは低いが、疼痛緩和のための虚血性圧迫および受動的ストレッチは、単独よりも併用で行う方が有効であることが示された。臨床適応性の評価では、15件中4件の試験のみがマッサージ法を適切に記載していることが示された。試験の大半が治療直後にアウトカムを評価しており、これは臨床的変化を評価する上で適切な時期ではない。現存する試験の質の制限のため、臨床診療を指導する上で断定的な結論は出せなかった。15件中5件の試験のみが副作用について報告していた。5件の試験すべてで、副作用として治療後の疼痛、不快感およびヒリヒリ感を報告しており、1件の試験(Irnich 2001)では、参加者の22%が治療後の血圧低下を経験したことが示された。

















15个试验符合纳入标准。整体而言,所评估的所有试验的方法都是低或非常低的GRADE等级。这些试验都不足以达到中等GRADE水平。结果表明,极低等级的证据证明某些按摩技术(传统的中国按摩、经典和改良的牵引/反向牵引技术)在改善功能和促进颈肌柔软方面可能比对照组或安慰剂更有效。有非常低等级的证据表明,对于疼痛不适,按摩在短期内可能比教育更有益。并且,有低等级的证据表明,在缓解疼痛方面,缺血性压缩疗法和被动伸展联合应用可能比两者单独应用更有效。临床适用性评估表明,只有4/15的试验充分了描述了按摩技术。大多数试验都是在治疗后立即评估结局,这就没有足够的时间来评估临床变化。由于现有研究的质量限制,我们未能做出任何明确的声明以指导临床实践。我们注意到15项研究中只有5项报告了副作用。这5项研究都报告了治疗后的疼痛、不适和酸痛为副作用,1项研究(Irnich 2001)显示,22%的受试者在治疗后经历了低血压。




Plain language summary

Massage for mechanical neck pain

Neck pain is common and can limit a person's ability to participate in normal daily activities. Massage is a widely used treatment for neck pain. In this review, it was defined as touching or manipulating the soft tissues surrounding the neck with the hand, foot, arm or elbow. There are a number of different types of massage. This review included studies that looked at Traditional Chinese massage, ischaemic compression, self-administered ischaemic pressure using a J-knob cane, conventional Western massage and occipital release, among other techniques. It did not include studies that examined techniques such as Reiki or Polarity.

We included 15 trials in this review that assessed whether massage could help reduce neck pain and improve function. Results showed that massage is safe, and any side effects were temporary and benign. However, massage did not show a significant advantage over other comparison groups. Massage was compared with no treatment, hot packs, active range-of-movement exercises, acupuncture, exercises, sham laser, manual traction, mobilization, and education.

There were a number of challenges with this review. Overall, the quality of the studies was poor and the number of participants in most trials was small. Most studies lacked a clear definition, description, or rationale for the massage technique used. Details on the credentials or experience of the person giving the massage were often missing. There was such a range of massage techniques and comparison treatments in the studies that we could not combine the results to get an overall picture of the effectiveness of massage. Therefore, no firm conclusions could be drawn and the effectiveness of massage for improving neck pain and function remains unclear.







《注意》この日本語訳は、臨床医、疫学研究者などによる翻訳のチェックを受けて公開していますが、訳語の間違いなどお気づきの点がございましたら、eJIM事務局までご連絡ください。なお、2013年6月からコクラン・ライブラリーのNew review, Updated reviewとも日単位で更新されています。eJIMでは最新版の日本語訳を掲載するよう努めておりますが、タイム・ラグが生じている場合もあります。ご利用に際しては、最新版(英語版)の内容をご確認ください。

Laički sažetak

Masaža za bol u vratu

Bol u vratu je česta i može ograničiti sposobnosti pojedinca da sudjeluje u normalnim aktivnostima svakodnevnog života. Masaža se naveliko koristi za liječenje boli u vratu. U ovom Cochrane sutavnom pregledu literature je definirana kao dodirivanje ili manipulacija mekim tkivima koja okružuju vrat koristeći se dlanovima, stopalima, rukama ili laktovima. Postoji mnogo različitih tipova masaže. U ovaj pregled literature su uključena istraživanja koja su proučavala tradicionalnu kinesku masažu, ishemijsku kompresiju, samoprimjenjeni ishemijski pritisak koristeći štap u obliku slova J, konvencionalnu zapadnu masažu, okcipitalno oslobađanje te druge metode. Nisu uključena istraživanja koja su ispitivala metode poput Reiki-a ili Polarnosti.

U ovaj pregled literature smo uklučili 15 studija koje su istraživale učinkovitost masaže u ublažaanju boli u vratu i poboljšanju funkcije. Rezultati su pokazali da je masaža sigurna te da su eventualne nuspojave bile prolazne i benigne. Međutim, nije se pokazalo da masaža ima značajnu prednost u odnosu na kontrolne intervencije. Pacijenti tretirani masažom su uspoređivani s grupama bez ikakve intervencije, pacijentima tretiranim vrućim omotima, aktivnim vježbama opsega pokreta, akupunkturom, vježbama, laserom, manualnom trakcijom, mobilizacijom i edukacijom.

U ovom pregledu literature u pronađenim studijama uočeni su brojni problemi. Kvaliteta uključenih studija je bila slaba i broj ispitanika u većini studija je bio malen. Većina studija nije dala jasnu deficiniju, opis niti jasan cilj primijenjene tehnike masaže. Detalji o edukaciji ili iskustvu osobe koja je provodila masažu su često nedostajali. Budući da je proučavan velik broj različitih tehnika masaže i kontrolnih metoda, nismo mogli kombinirati sve rezultate i dobiti cjelovitu sliku o učinkovitosti masaže. Stoga nije moguće izvući jasan zaključak o učinkovitosti masaže u olakšanju boli u vratu i poboljšanju funkcije.

Bilješke prijevoda

Hrvatski Cochrane
Prevela: Dora Jakus
Ovaj sažetak preveden je u okviru volonterskog projekta prevođenja Cochrane sažetaka. Uključite se u projekt i pomozite nam u prevođenju brojnih preostalih Cochrane sažetaka koji su još uvijek dostupni samo na engleskom jeziku. Kontakt: