Neuromuscular Therapy and Strain Counterstrain

How it Works

Strain Counterstrain is a manual therapy technique, meaning the therapist uses only her hands for the treatment of muscle and joint pain. It uses passive body positioning of hypertonic (spasmed) muscles and dysfunctional joints toward positions of comfort or tissue ease that compress or shorten the offending muscle. The purpose of movement toward shortening is to relax aberrant reflexes that produce the muscle spasm forcing immediate reduction of muscle tone to normal levels. This allows the joint influenced by the now relaxed muscle to function optimally increasing its range of motion and easing muscle and joint pain. Strain Counterstrain is an effective but extremely gentle technique because its action for treatment moves the patient’s body away from the painful, restricted directions of motion.


Patient instructions following a Strain Counterstrain treatment:

  1. Drink 8-10 glasses of water a day, especially after being treated. This will reduce soreness by flushing out toxins. You should avoid drinks high in sugar because they will dehydrate your system
  2. Avoid exercise involving resistance such as lifting heavy weights, cleaning house or doing heavy yard work. Exercising too soon following treatment can re-injure healing tissue
  3. Try to prevent any quick movements, especially of the body part being treated. Move in a slow and deliberate manner for two days following treatment
  4. Despite the gentle nature of the Strain Counterstrain technique, patients may possibly experience soreness, especially following the first treatment. The soreness can last for 1-2 days. This is a normal response from your body getting accustomed to the new range of motion. You can use heat for 10-15 minutes (moist heat is best) or ice for 10-15 minutes to reduce soreness in the area that was treated
  5. Avoid other forms of treatment such as chiropractic care for 3-4 days after treatment.