The present study is an investigation of the theory that some muscular pains, so- called fibrositis, muscular rheumatism, etc., are of "psychogenic" origin.
That psychological factors are involved in the causation of muscular pain is supported by considerable evidence. There is the relative absence of tissue pathology in these muscular pains; there is the fact that a muscle is almost, if not quite, painless to direct muscle stimu- lation, i.e. cuttin$,pushing needles through, burning, scratching etc. (although it may become a source of pain under other conditions) ; there is the unanimous opinion that the main symptom in muscular pain is muscle spasm; and finally there is the empirical observation that patients with muscular pains located in similar structures display similar behavioural patterns and that pain "fluctuates" from day to day in accordance with fluctuations of life situations.
All this supports the proposition that a behavioural investigation of muscular pain would be best suited to
solve many problems, about which numerous speculative theories have been advanced.
In order to make it possible to formulate a hypo- thesis and submit it to a scientific test, two preliminary investigations were carried out:
i. Physical Investigation
2. Physchological Investigation
The clinical findings from these two investigations were conceptualised and a hypothesis and a working plan for testing it were elaborated.
The present investigation was primarily a psycho-physical investigation but it differed from the prevailing psychosomatic approach in breaking with the tradition of mind-body dualism. The individual was instead regarded as a biological organism operating in, and by means of, an individually- determined physical and social environment.
The postulated aims of this inquiry were: (a) to establish the most probable relationship between muscular spasm (a symptom widely observed) and muscular pain; (b) to find out what stimulus was most likely to bring about this "involuntary" muscle contraction; (c) to examine the relationship between muscular pain and life situations; (d) to make inferences as to the underlying neuro-physiological mechanisms involved in muscular pains.
As the investigation was based on clinical material, the prevailing method had to be the clinical method - a procedure directed towards the individual and his "problems ". This method seemed to be a suitable basic method for obtaining the necessary information as to when and under what conditions behaviour occurs,
The obtained results confirmed the assumption that muscular pain may constitute a behaviour disorder, although physical factors cannot be excluded from the aetiology of pain. It is the interplay between behavioural and physical factors that is responsible for muscular pain occurrence.
In addition this investigation has thrown some light on the neuro -physiological factors involved in
muscular pain and has also furnished some practical information as to the most successful approach in treatment of muscular pain.