Transverse friction massage : general references |

Transverse friction massage : general references

More specific references on deep transverse friction massage

Interesting reference material on the effect of movement on soft tissue during the inflammation, repair and remodeling phase can be found e.g. in "The human extremities, mechanical diagnosis and therapy, McKenzie and May, Spinal publications New Zealand, 2000, p 22-36"

More specific and general references on transverse friction massage can also be found in following publications :

• A system of Orthopaedic Medicine, first edition, Ombregt et al., Saunders 1995, p 71-77

• Orthopaedic medicine, a practical approach, 2nd edition, Kesson-Atkins, Elsevier 2005, p 65-82


More references... 

Joseph Michael F. et al, “Deep friction massage to treat tendinopathy : a systematic review of a classic treatment in the face of a new paradigm of understanding”, Journal of Sport Rehabilitation, 2012, 21, 343-353

“The analysis of articles revealed evidence for the incorporation of DTM in the treatment of tendinopathy.  Comparison of studies was made difficult by the varied location of tendinopathies, confounding cotreatments in comparison groups, and varied outcome measures used. 

Much of the original rationale for the use of DFM remains valid in light of a complete shift in understanding of the pathogenesis of tendinopathy.

Future randomized comparison studies are necessary that incorporate true control groups and compare DFM in isolation with other modes of treatment. 

Studies such as these are very difficult to undertake, as they inherently deny treatment to a group of participants.”


“Recent studies using light microscopy, electron microscopy and immunoelectron microscopy have shown that after friction massage there is fibroblastic proliferation and realignment of collagen fibers

Davidson CJ, Ganion LR, Gehlsen GM, et al. Rat tendon morphologic and functional changes resulting from soft tissue mobilization. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 1997;29(3):313-319.


“They believe that friction massage causes a microtrauma to an area of excessive soft tissue fibrosis or scar. They state: "The micro-injury causes microvascular trauma and capillary hemorrhage, resulting in a localized inflammatory response which serves as the stimulus for the body's healing cascade and immune/reparative system." The fibroblastic proliferation is responsible for the repair and regeneration of collagen, since fibroblasts produce fibronectin and synthesize collagen.”

Roush MB, Miller KW, Stover SA, et al. Augmented soft tissue mobilization in the treatment of chronic achilles tendinitis. Muncie, IN: Performance Dynamics, Research Binder, 1998.


“A study by Gehlsen et al. demonstrated that the fibroblastic proliferation was directly dependent upon the magnitude of the applied pressure by their instrument”

Gehlsen GM, Ganion LR, Helfst R. Effects of pressure variations on tendon healing. Muncie, IN: Performance Dynamics, Research Binder, 1998.


Brosseau et al. “deep transverse friction massage for treating tendinitis”, Cochrane database Syst Rev 2002, (4), CD003528. Review

Chamberlain G. “Cyriax friction massage : a review”, J Orthop Sport Phys Ther 4:16-22, 1982

De Bruijn R., “Deep transverse friction : its antalgic effect” International Journal of Sports Medicine, 5:35-36, 1984

De Coninck S-Meeus K. “Is it possible to use friction massage as a differential diagnostic medium : a test-retest experimental study”, 2005, online publication – presentation Physiokongress Aachen 2006

Schwellnus M.P. et al., “Deep transverse frictions in the treatment of the iliotibial band friction syndrome in athletes : a clinical trial”, Physiotherapy, august 1992, vol 78 nr8

Walker H., “Deep transverse frictions in ligament healing”, J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 6(2):89-94, 1984

Dolunay E., “the effect of transverse friction massage in physiotherapy and rehabilitation of shoulder impingement syndrome”, Ankary Univ, Dikimevi Journal of the School of health care professions, vol 7, Nr 1, june 2005, p11

Christie W. et al. :”Cross-frictional therapy and stretching for the treatment of palmar adhesions due to Depuytren’s contracture : a prospective case study”, Manual Therapy 17 (oct 2012), 479-482

  •  …removal of adhesions by DF
  • DF enhances the proliferation of extracellular matrix fibroblasts, improves ion transport and decreases cell matrix adhesions (Howitt et al. 2006)
  • Stimulates healing by initiating a focal inflammatory response (Perle-Lawson 2004)

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