The effect of deep cross friction massage on spasticity of children with cerebral palsy

The objective of this study was to find out the effect of deep cross-friction massage on spasticity in children with cerebral palsy. This double-blind randomised controlled trial was conducted at the National Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, Islamabad, Pakistan, from January to July 2013, and comprised paediatric patients with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy. The participants were equally divided into control and treatment groups by a staff member unaware of the treatment (allocation ratio 1:1). The control group received routine physiotherapy, while the experimental group was additionally given deep cross-friction massage for 30 minutes, 5 times a week lasting 6 weeks. The outcome was measured using Modified Ashworth Scale and functional level scale before the treatment and 6 weeks later. Baseline information and characteristics of the patients were also recorded. SPSS 20 was used for data analysis.

Of the 60 patients, there were 30(50%) in each group. The control group consisted of 14(46.7%) males and 16(53.3%) females compared to 16(53.3%) males and 14(46.7%) females in the experimental group (p=0.72). The overall mean age was 6.03±1.73 years. All patients (100%) were followed up for a period of 6 weeks and there was not a significant (p=0.26) improvement in experimental group compared to control group evident on Modified Ashworth Scale. The experimental group, however, had significant improvement after 6 weeks compared to the baseline values (p<0.001). However, functional level did not improve (p=0.55) by the end of study.

Deep cross-friction massage is an efficacious treatment option for the management of spasticity in children with cerebral palsy.

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February 14, 2017 at 8:15 pm

How is the Deep cross friction massage is performed?

Yvonne Frizzell

I haven’t been able to access the full text. I am would like to know if pain was expereinced and monitored ?

Joanne Rouvali
Joanne Rouvali
March 10, 2017 at 8:27 pm

I am a physiotherapist in Finland with massage training from the USA. I am trained in Deep tissue massage. Cross friction refers to the direction of working on the fibers. The massage is very slow and specific and a good feel of what is going on under the fingers/arm/elbow is necessary and requires feedback from the client. The client should not feel “bad pain” but may feel “good pain” or relief so to speak. The majority or nearly all of my clients are adults however and the area to work for example both hips may take up to 45 min. depending on the issue. (I have not read the full text either)

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