Strain Counterstrain technique was originally called positional release technique. It is an osteopathic manual therapy technique that 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 an 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.
Counterstrain is a technique used by Integrative physical therapists to treat somatic dysfunction. It is a system of diagnosis and treatment that uses tender points, which are considered to be produced by inaccurate neuromuscular reflexes.