Side Bar Top Bar Active Recovery  Logo

The Gaia Centre for Holistic Therapy,

17 Frederick Street, Loughborough,

Leicestershire, LE11 3BH


Tel: 01509 556101

© Copyright 2012 - Active Recovery - All Rights Reserved.

massage case studies

Medical Benefits of Deep Tissue Massage

Case History Two

Author Tanya Milne MDip DTM, Dip SRM, MISRM, MSMA

Massage Practitioners and/or Complimentary Health Providers, are aware of, and believe in, the efficacy and benefits of the treatments they provide and practice. Yet many in mainstream western medical practice, due to a lack of ‘empirical scientific evidence’, dismiss or even rubbish these treatments as merely psychological or the result of a placebo effect. The following case study is presented as an addition to growing base of anecdotal evidence.


Female Age 73; Occupation - Retired; Previous medical history - degeneration of right hip joint, had been awaiting surgery for two years.


Pain in the leg, back and shoulder regions.


High blood pressure and circulatory problems.


The client had been suffering from a degenerative hip and had to use a walking stick to get around. As a consequence she was experiencing acute back and shoulder pain together with pain in the leg of the unaffected hip. She received physiotherapy treatment, but was advised that the problem was predominantly muscular, due to the hip condition. The physiotherapist referred the client for massage, advising that this would probably help.


After receiving consent for treatment from the client’s MD, a physical assessment was carried out. Most of the muscles in the upper and lower back, shoulders, and neck appeared affected. All were tight and knotted. In addition, the left leg and Gluteal muscles (backside) were generally tight. The client reported she now had to lean quite heavily on her stick, as the speed of deterioration in the hip had increased over previous six months (surgery was scheduled at the end of the next six months). It was noted that the stick appeared to be too long, which could have been a contributing factor to the shoulder and neck problem. The client was advised to check the stick with the issuing hospital.

The massage treatment provided incorporated general maintenance massage and trigger point therapy with some soft tissue release to the leg, Gluteal, back, and shoulder muscles. Deep tissue techniques were applied in the Lumbar region, concentrating on Perispinalis and Quadratus Lumborum, and also to the Rhomboids, Upper Trapezius, and Levator Scapulae. Depth was monitored to take into account the age and condition of the client. After each treatment the client experienced giddiness and required a 10-15 sec recovery period.

Treatments continued for six weeks, by which time the client’s pain had been greatly reduced, although she still experienced pain in the affected hip. The client continued to attend for maintenance treatment until the hip replacement operation. The walking stick had been made shorter by two inches; the client consequently found it much easier to use.


Post-operative massage treatment recommenced eight weeks after the operation following a post-operative check and consent from the client’s surgeon. Treatment techniques were as previously stated, generally maintenance massage, but incorporating treatment to the site of the operation to limit scar tissue build up and help disperse bruising. Advice and assistance with post-operative exercises was also provided. The client quickly returned to an active and pain free life and continues with occasional massage treatments.

Case Study One