Strain Counterstrain

Strain Counterstrain, is a method of passive positional release, which can effectively correct dysfunction and significantly reduce pain in the body. Osteopathic Physician, Dr. Lawrence Jones, developed the technique in 1955.

Sometimes if a muscle is overstretched or strained, the sensory nerves can get stuck sending a message to the muscle to contract or shorten. The practitioner identifies the muscle in spasm or specific tender point in the body. Next, he or she puts the body in a position so as to shorten the muscle and holds it in this position for 90 seconds and if necessary up to 5 minutes. This sends a signal of relaxation to the nervous system and the muscle stops the spasm and rests. Range of motion is enhanced and pain is alleviated.

The technique when applied correctly and effectively is very gentle. While it has broad application, strain counterstrain is especially beneficial for the following:  injury from motor vehicle accidents, post -surgical conditions, sports related injuries, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, TMJ pain.

Physiotherapists, osteopaths, and registered massage therapists offer strain counterstrain as a method for reducing chronic and/or acute muscle spasm.

Specific Techniques


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