Updated: Mar 16, 2022
Counter strain is a system of assessment & treatment that considers the muscle to be in a continuing, inappropriate strain reflex, which is inhibited during treatment by applying a position of mild strain in the direction exactly opposite to that of the reflex (Bringing the irritated muscle closer together). After a counterstain point tender to palpation has been diagnosed, the identified tender point is treated by the osteopathic practitioner who, while monitoring the tender point, positions the patient such that the point is no longer tender to palpation. This position is held for ninety seconds and the patient is subsequently returned to their normal posture. Most often this position of ease is usually achieved by shortening the muscle of interest. Improvement or resolution of the tenderness at the identified counter strain point is the desired outcome. The use of counter strain technique is contradicted in patients with severe osteoporosis, pathology of the vertebral arteries, and in patients who are very ill or cannot voluntarily relax during the procedure.
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