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Massage for cerebral palsy

Published February 2013

Download the full evidence summary PDF: Massage for cerebral palsy

PLEASE NOTE: This summary was produced more than 4 years ago. Information provided may be out of date. If you think it would be helpful to update this summary please contact us at

What were we asked?

A sibling of a young person with cerebral palsy was interested to know whether massage is beneficial for children with cerebral palsy. In this case, we were open to any outcomes that had been measured in studies that evaluated massage for cerebral palsy.

Key findings

One small randomised controlled trial reported some positive benefits of massage, but the results were inconsistent.

A qualitative study that asked children with cerebral palsy about their experiences of massage suggests they enjoyed the relaxing nature of the massage and experienced benefits.
The evidence is too limited to draw reliable conclusions about the effectiveness of this therapy.

Note: This information is produced by PenCRU researchers and reviewed by external experts. The views expressed are those of PenCRU at the University of Exeter Medical School and do not represent the views of the Cerebra charity, or any other parties mentioned. We strongly recommend seeking medical advice before undertaking any treatments/therapies.