Study Examines Massage Therapy for Dystonia

Many individuals with dystonia seek out complementary and integrative therapies to help manage symptoms, including massage. However, the use of massage for dystonia is not well documented or studied. A recent case report, using objective rating scales, suggests that massage can temporarily reduce pain intensity, pain and spasm frequency, and dystonia symptoms in activities of daily living. Results pertaining to pain noted a significant decrease in frequency of nighttime sleep disruptions caused by pain. The study describes a single dystonia patient who underwent five massage treatments over six weeks. Techniques applied include Swedish massage, hydrotherapy, and myofascial release. The patient was also assigned exercises to complete at home. The study suggests that further research is needed to determine how effective massage therapy for dystonia may be and to determine efficient and safe treatments.

Lipnicki, M. Massage Therapy for Dystonia: a Case Report. Int J Ther Massage Bodywork. 2020 May; 13(2): 33–44.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, consult your doctor and public health officials for guidance on the safety of local massage services.


The Dystonia Medical Research Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to advancing research for improved dystonia treatments and ultimately a cure, promoting awareness, and supporting the well-being of affected individuals and families.