Cyriax Deep Transverse Massage

Fact CheckedMedically reviewedSources
This content is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure factually accurate information. With strict sourcing guidelines, we only link to academic research institutions and when research is available, medically peer-reviewed studies. The information in our articles is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. More…
Last Medical Review: April 8, 2020
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Luis Alberto Vallejo
Cyriax Friction Massage (April 8, 2020)

It is also known as deep transverse friction. Cyriax Deep Transverse Massage is a technique created more than 50 years ago by Dr. James Cyriax, based on applying the treatment at the exact point where the injury occurred.

The main objective of this specific type of massage is to produce a controlled inflammatory response near the joints where tendons and ligaments are inserted.

It aims to carry out a mobilization such that passive stretching or active exercises fail to achieve.

The purpose of cyriax deep transverse massage is to soften the fundamental matrix or introduce small inflammations that activate the restoration of connective tissue.

Time and Position

The time varies between 3-5 minutes for acute injuries and 15-20 minutes for chronic injuries.

The average time to obtain analgesia by friction is 10 minutes.

Sessions are held on alternate days, 6 to 12 treatment sessions are recommended.

The patient should be positioned so that the physiotherapist’s fingers reach the lesion.

The injured tissue must be with adequate tension, that is, neither too tense nor completely relaxed.

It is sought that neighboring joints cause maximum shortening of the muscle.


  • Reduces adhesions and scars that form with wounds.
  • Hyperstimulation analgesia.
  • Local Hyperemia
  • Mobilization of muscle fibers, ligaments or tendons.

Application Method

The massage is done directly on the painful area (in situ to the pain).

Deep transverse friction is applied to the lesion and perpendicular to the fibers.

If friction is performed on tendons with sheaths, they should be at moderate tension, just like the ligaments.

Cyriax deep transverse massage is performed with the index, middle or thumb finger.


  • Recent sprains
  • Sprain sequelae
  • Tendinosis
  • Sequelae of muscle fiber ruptures
  • Tears
  • Hypertrophy contractures.
  • Capsule-ligamentous pathology
  • Post traumatic stiffness


  • Septic arthritis.
  • Peri articular calcifications
  • Bursitis
  • Nerve compressions
  • Tumors
  • Areas with important vascular packages

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button