Carolinas HealthCare System
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Counterstrain is a effective method of reducing musculoskeletal pain. It is a soft smooth technique that derives from Osteopathic Manipulation and is without any forceful or rapid adjustment. The physician gently places the patient's body in a position of function that shortens the painful muscle and stops the pain-spasm cycle. It is fast acting and can relieve pain within minutes. Another benefit is that the patient and their family can be taught the positioning to use at home should the situation recur. Using Counterstrain can decrease the need for medication and x-rays, as well as improve function and range of motion.

The key to Counterstrain is in correctly identifying these tender points and slowly moving the patient into a neutral position without pain. It is the slow, fluid movement of this technique that helps to set Counterstrain apart from many adjustment techniques and helps to reduce pain in cases where other techniques have previously been ineffective.

Some of the conditions for which Counterstrain can be used include:

  • Migraine or tension headaches
  • Chronic shoulder muscle pain
  • Chronic neck pain
  • Knee pain
  • Low back pain
  • Lower leg cramps
  • Sciatica
  • Tendonitis pain
  • Carpal tunnel discomfort
  • Ilio-tibial band syndrome
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Temperomandibular joint pain
  • Myofascial pain


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