Reduction of experimental muscle pain by passive physiological movements

Michael Møller Nielsen, Anne Mortensen, Jakob Kierstein Sørensen, Ole Simonsen and Thomas Graven-Nielsen

The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of passive physiological movements (PPMs) on deep-tissue pain sensitivity. Seventeen healthy subjects participated in one session where an electrically driven bicycle performed 30 min PPM of the knee joint and another session without PPM which served as control. The effect of PPM on experimental muscle pain was assessed by inducing muscle pain with i.m. injection of hypertonic saline into the tibialis anterior muscle and the pain intensity was scored on an electronic visual analogue scale (VAS). Compared with the control session PPM demonstrated a reduction of the experimental muscle pain intensity and duration, lower MPQ score and a change in quality profile of experimental muscle pain and an increased PPT.

Passive physiological movements produce an immediate analgesic effect on deep-tissue pain indicating a possible involvement of neural inhibitory mechanisms.

Manual Therapy, 28 April 2008, online article ahead of press

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