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A nerve conduction test was also performed at start and finish of study. This involved stimulation of median sensory nerves through electrodes placed on each subject's index finger and wrist. Peak sensory latencies were recorded to test for nerve compression at carpal tunnel. Median peak latency was primary outcome measure.
Assessments were also made before and after massage sessions on first and last days of study, including Perceived Grip Strength Scale; VITAS, a pain assessment using a visual analogue scale; state anxiety inventory; and Profile of Mood States.
Results of study showed that subjects in massage group had significantly less pain and reduced carpal tunnel symptoms, as well as shorter median peak latencies and increased grip strength.
"Functional activity also improved as noted in reduced pain and increased grip strength in massage therapy group, both immediately after first and last massage therapy sessions and by end of study," state study's authors. "Finally, massage therapy group reported lower anxiety and depressed mood levels both immediately after first and last sessions and by end of study."
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*Source: Touch Research Institutes at the University of Miami School of Medicine in Miami, Florida. Originally published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 2004, Vol. 8, pp. 9-14.