Skip to main content

What is strain-counterstrain therapy and how can it help you?

What is strain-counterstrain therapy and how can it help you?
2 minutes, 9 seconds

Strain-counterstrain therapy is a specific form of physical therapy. It is designed to treat patients who suffer from muscle strain. Strain-counterstrain therapy was developed by a physician named Lawrence Jones. Jones developed the technique over a 40-year period to help reduce his patients' muscle and joint pain. His goal was to use gentle methods that would not result in unwanted side effects. Strain-counterstrain techniques are a form of manual therapy. A physical therapist uses their hands or special instruments to gently manipulate the soft tissue of the body. Strain-counterstrain therapy uses gentle movements to direct dysfunctional muscles and joints toward positions of comfort. These movements cause the tissue in the body to relax, which helps relieve pain and helps stiff muscles and joints to move easily again.

What are the benefits of strain-counterstrain therapy?

One of the main benefits of strain-counterstrain therapy is that it is so gentle that it can be used to treat almost any patient, even those with severe injuries. Here are just a few of the other benefits that this form of physical therapy can offer:

  • Reduces anxiety ” When a person is injured, the hormones cortisol and epinephrine are released. These are the hormones responsible for stress and anxiety. Strain-counterstrain therapy can help by reducing inflammation and pain. It also helps by encouraging the release of calming hormones in the body.
  • Treats myofascial pain ” The myofascial system is a network of tissue that surrounds our muscles and organs. When that tissue becomes tense, it often results in muscle and joint pain, as well as myofascial trigger points. Strain-counterstrain can help unwind and relax the myofascial tissue and prevent trigger points from forming.
  • Takes pressure off joints ” Patients who suffer from joint pain due to osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis can greatly benefit from strain-counterstrain therapy. This therapy helps to mobilize joints gently, without the need to place pressure upon them, which might cause pain.
  • Speeds healing ” For patients who are healing from an injury or surgery, strain-counterstrain can contribute to faster healing. This method improves circulation to the affected area, which helps to speed the healing process naturally.

Alliance PTP is ready to help you find top-notch PT for gentle and effective pain relief

At Alliance Physical Therapy Partners, we're proudly bringing together physical therapy practices across the country to help people get the high-quality PT they need. Want to see a physical therapist in person? We can put you in touch with an Alliance PTP partner that's close to you and who can help you address the cause of your muscle and joint pain. Not keen on in-person PT sessions or not close to an Alliance PTP partner? No worries. We also offer effective and affordable virtual physical therapy through our Agile Virtual Physical Therapy platform. Contact our team today so we can help you find the most effective physical therapy services for your injury or condition.

Get Help at a Location Near You

Find a Location