Utilizing Massage to Improve Grip Strength

Updated: Mar 25, 2018

Grip strength is involved in a wide variety of activities, including everyday occurrences such as opening a door and carrying a suitcase or handbag, to sports like tennis and basketball. When people lose grip strength, whether because of chronic conditions like arthritis or acute injuries to the hand or wrist, handling mundane tasks or participating in sports can be severely impacted.

Some recent research has shown that massage therapy can be of some help for those who need to increase their grip strength.

The Study

A 2016 study1 looked at the immediate effects that a single massage could have on both hand grip strength and endurance in 44 healthy men between the ages of 18 to 25. Participants were assigned to either a massage therapy group or passive movement group. The massage protocol included five minutes of deep effleurage and kneading of the dorsal and ventral surfaces of the forearm and hand. Passive movement was performed for the shoulder, elbow, forearm, wrist and fingers, with each joint being moved within its normal limits. Each passive movement was performed five times.