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Flashcards in Friction Massage Deck (11)
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Types of Friction Massage

Cross-Fiber Friction

Circular Friction

Linear/Parallel Friction

Cyriax Friction



trigger points Purpose of Friction Massage

To mobilize adherent tissue / Reduce scar tissue

Reduce / Mobilize trigger points

Increase local circulation

Decrease pain


Cross Fiber

Deep friction applied perpendicular to the direction of the fibers.



Deep friction applied in the same direction as the fibers,




Repeated circular motion, distal to proximal considered



Deep Transverse Friction Massage (DTFM)

also known as Cyriax Friciton - technique popularized by physician James Cyriax.

Used for pain and inflammation relief in musculoskeletal conditions.

Technique  attempts to reduce abnormal fibrous adhesions and make scar tissue more mobile in sub-acute and chronic inflammatory stages by realigning normal soft tissue fibers.


Effects of DTFM (Cyriax's)

Mechanical - Mobilization of damaged tissue over a small area. Elongation of tissue fibers.

Physiological - Localized Hyperemia

Histological - Prevents or slows scar formation. Stimulates collagen orientation along lines of stress

Neurological - Pain inhibition via stimulation of mechanoreceptors.


Indications of Friction Massage

Promote Healing of connective and contractile tissue

To retain or regain mobility

Pain Modulation


Contraindications of Friction Massage

Acute Inflammation


Conditions that increase bleading (Hemophilia, Pts on anti-coagulation, pts on steroids)

Debilitated / Open skin


Positioning For DTFM

Muscles - should be supported in a position of relaxation or reduced muscle tone.

Tendons - Position of tension

Ligaments - Taunt, as far as the ROM allows.



Treatment Protocol

Initial treatment - 5 - 6 min

first 1-2 min patient will feel mild to moderate tenderness, within 2 mins the pain should subside,

Once pain subsides, gradually increase the pressure, checking in every 2 min. Increased by 3 inutes each session reaching a maximum session length of 12-15min 

Wait at least 48 hours betweeen treatment sessions.