The authors conducted this study with the intention of comparing the clinical outcomes of classic massage to massage based on the tensegrity principle for patients with chronic idiopathic shoulder pain. 30 individuals with chronic shoulder pain symptoms were separated into 2 groups, 15 subjects received classic (Swedish) massage to tissues surrounding the glenohumeral joint and 15 subjects received the massage using techniques based on the tensegrity principle. The tensegrity principle is based on directing treatment to the painful area and the tissues (muscles, fascia, and ligaments) that structurally support the painful area, thus treating tissues that have direct and indirect influence on the motion segment. Both treatment groups were given 10 sessions over 2 weeks, each session lasting 20 minutes. The McGill Pain Questionnaire and glenohumeral ranges of motion were measured immediately before the first massage session, on the day the therapy ended 2 weeks after therapy started, and 1 month after the last massage. Subjects receiving massage based on the tensegrity principle showed a statistically substantial improvement in the passive and active ranges of flexion and abduction of the glenohumeral joint, with both groups seeing a lessening of pain.
The authors concluded that their study had shown increased passive and active ranges of motion for flexion and abduction in individuals who had massage based on the tensegrity principle. They added however that both classic and tensegrity massage groups demonstrated improvement in relation to pain outcomes.