Strain counter-strain is an intervention based on relaxing painful muscle areas related to restricted, impinged peripheral or spinal joints. The treatment involves positioning the restricted joint in a way that relaxes and shortens the painful muscle associated to the joint. Once the muscle is relaxed, the strain of the joint is released, and the joint motion is restored; freeing up the impingement. Strain –counterstain is valuable because it is so gentle. It works well for patients that are irritated by direct pressure to the spine or extremity joints or who are in acute pain

Lawrence Jones DO, FAAO developed strain-counterstain in 1955.  He originally discovered this technique after helping a patient with low back pain and psoas spasms position to sleep comfortably.  He left the patient in that position while attending another patient. He returned to find that the patient he had positioned had normal posture restored, no resting pain, and almost no pain in active range of motion. Dr. Jones also discovered tender points in muscles near painful joints that were relieved by specific positioning. Dr. Jones theorized that a muscle undergoes a quick stretch during an accident. The muscles receptors then give the brain aberrant information. The brain reflexively keeps the muscle too tight. The tight muscle then pulls the joint it attaches to out of alignment.  By positioning the muscle to relieve tender points, the brain gets the correct input and relaxes the muscle. Dr. Jones spent over ten years mapping out these points and positions

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