Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Osteopathic manual medicine technique: Strain /Counterstrain Technique Development

"If You listen to the body it will tell you all you need to know!"
L. H. Jones D.O.

Strain Counterstrain is an Osteopathic manual medicine technique. It emphasizes correction of abnormal neuromuscular reflexes rather than simply addressing painful, postural or structural problems. Counterstrain recognizes that these structural, postural and painful problems are a result of the abnormal reflexes. Until these abnormal neuromuscular reflexes are addressed significant healing is difficult.

Dr. L.H. Jones initially discovered Strain Counterstrain accidentally while trying to achieve a successful treatment of a patient suffering from psoasitis. He was able to help this patient by simply applying a position of comfort for a short period of time while the patient remained passive.

It was approximately 2 years later that a second experience with this new technique helped him to understand the meaning of tender points. These are extremely useful findings in somatic dysfunctions.

Tenderpoints are manifestations of somatic dysfunction much as are the other TART changes. TART changes are seen as tissue Texture changes, Asymmetry, altered Range of motion, and Tenderness. The tenderpoint is a discrete pea sized area of tenderness that is uniquely a part of a somatic dysfunction. Each tenderpoint is a manifestation of a specific abnormal reflex that allows the practitioner to fashion a specific treatment for each patient.

Dr. Jones developed a whole system based on understanding the tenderpoint. It is a unique finding with Strain/Counterstrain that the tenderpoint is found in the shortened muscle group, not in the muscle groups that most commonly present with pain. The treatment is achieved by placing a mild over stretching on the painful muscle thereby shortening the truly dysfunctional muscle group allowing for a reset of this abnormal reflex to a normal level.

For more information see Jones Strain/CounterStrain, by L.H. Jones DO, Randall Kusonose PT, and Edward K. Goering DO.
Published by Jones Strain/Counterstrain Inc.

Dr. Jones worked within the osteopathic and physical therapy profession to develop a coherent method to teach and standardize Strain/Counterstrain techniques. Strain/Counterstrain is considered one of the primary osteopathic manual medicine techniques and as such is taught in all the osteopathic schools worldwide. The American Academy of Osteopathy and the Jones Institute offer courses throughout the United States for qualified health care professionals. Please see course page for more information.


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