Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) massage for the treatment of congenital muscular torticollis (CMT) in infants and children: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Shu Cheng Chen, Yuen Shan Ho, Lorna Kwai-Ping Suen, Juan Yu, Wei Tang, Jin Feng Jiang, Xiao Yong Qu, Wing Fai Yeung

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Background and purpose: Congenital muscular torticollis (CMT) is a musculoskeletal condition occurring in infants and children. This systematic review is conducted to summarize the current evidence on the effects and safety of TCM massage therapy for the treatment of CMT in infants and children. Methods: We searched for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-RCTs on TCM massage for CMT in PubMed, Embase, CENTRAL, CINAHL, AMED, PsycINFO, Ovid MEDLINE, TCMLARS, ICTRP, CSTJ, CNKI, Wanfang Data, CBM, Taiwan Electronic Periodical Services, and the Index to Taiwan Periodical Literature System. Two reviewers conducted the data collection and analysis separately. Cochrane's collaboration tool was used to assess the risk of bias, and GRADEpro was used to assess the overall quality of the evidence. RevMan 5.3 software was used for data analysis with a random-effect model. Results: A systematic review of six RCTs and one quasi-RCT was conducted with a meta-analysis of two of the RCTs. Pooled analysis showed that TCM massage has similar effects to those of stretching therapy on CMT symptoms in terms of effective rate (risk ratio: 1.00, 95% CI: 0.94–1.06; I2 = 0%; P = 0.99). Conclusion: Evidence suggests that TCM massage therapy is beneficial for treating CMT in infants and children. Further clinical trials with high-quality methodologies need to be conducted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101112
JournalComplementary Therapies in Clinical Practice
Publication statusPublished - May 2020


  • Complementary therapy
  • Congenital muscular torticollis (CMT)
  • Meta-analysis
  • Systematic review
  • Traditional Chinese medicine
  • Traditional Chinese medicine massage
  • Tuina

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine

Cite this