Research: DANNECKER and others,

Listed in Issue 112


DANNECKER and others, Department of Physical Therapy, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri 65211-4250, USA,, have investigated self-treatment of muscle pain.


This investigation examined self-treatment behaviours for muscle pain because of the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain and the substitution of self-treatment for formal medical treatment.


In Study 1,187university students completed a questionnaire about self-treatment for muscle pain. In Study 2, muscle pain was experimentally induced in 79university students with subsequent measurement of self-treatment.


In both studies, stretching and massaging were the most frequently performed behaviours, and consuming analgesic medication was the least frequently performed. In Study 1, the perceived effectiveness of behaviours and level of pain required to perform self-treatment accounted for 12% to 32% of the variance in behaviour frequency. In Study 2, pain ratings and pain during activities were higher among those who performed self-treatment.


These studies indicated that self-treatment is performed for both naturally occurring and experimentally induced muscle pain. However, both studies determined that the performance of self-treatment did not always correspond with current evidence of treatment effectiveness for muscle injuries.


Dannecker EA, Gagnon CM, Jump RL, Brown JL, Robinson ME. Self-care behaviors for muscle pain. Journal of Pain 5 (9): 521-527, Nov 2004.

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