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Urtication for Musculoskeletal Pain?


Les Alford, MSc, BAppSc(physio), School of Physiotherapy, University of East Anglia, Earlham Road, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK. Tel: 01603-593318; Fax: 01603-593166; E-mail:


Urtication refers to the deliberate stinging of the skin with nettles. Throughout history urtication has been used for a range of different purposes. This case describes an interesting clinical encounter in which a patient with recurring low back pain reports using urtication to help with pain control. Some recent research into this previously more widespread pain-relieving strategy is also discussed.