Strain Counterstrain

What Is Strain Counterstrain?

Strain Counterstrain is used to treat new or long term muscle spasms any place in the body. This technique involves “hands-on” treatment that attempts to alleviate muscle and connective tissue tightness by the use of very specific treatment positions held for 90 seconds. This method is very gentle, and the patient often can barely feel the therapist working on their tissues.

The History of Strain Counterstrain

Strain Counterstrain was originally developed by an osteopathic physician, Dr. Lawrence Jones, in 1955. It has been expanded and refined by Brian Tuckey PT,OCS, JSCCI, and is now sometimes referred to as Fascial Counterstrain. This method of soft tissue manipulation can decrease swelling, improve blood flow, and calm irritated nerves. This treatment allows therapists to identify the underlying cause of a patient’s condition and treat it, rather than merely treating symptoms.

The Benefits

Strain Counterstrain has long lasting effects and has no side effects and can be used to treat many different body systems. This method lays the groundwork for rehabilitation of any painful condition. This technique is useful for both new and long term injuries. It may be used to release tension, improve joint movement and range of motion, make weak areas of the body stronger, increase blood and lymph flow, and improve nerve function.

Who Benefits From Strain Counterstrain?

Anyone with a new injury can benefit from this technique because it is extremely gentle and can decrease pain and speed healing. Patients with chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia, headaches, arthritis, etc. can also find significant pain relief with strain counterstrain.

What to Expect

Using their hands, the therapist finds the tight muscle or fascia, either by feeling a spasm in the muscle or by finding tender points in the patient. The therapist will gently shorten the muscle or fascia for several minutes, allowing it to relax. This process is so gentle that patients are often surprised by its effectiveness.

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Myofascial Release is a passive stretching technique that uses feedback from the patient’s tissues to determine the direction, amplitude, and length of the stretch. The therapist relies on this feedback to achieve maximum relaxation of the tight or restricted tissues without the discomfort often associated with intense active stretching. Learn more >>

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