This technique is very effective at Relieving or Reducing Headaches, Nerve Pain, Jaw Problems, Shoulder Pain, Foot & Ankle Pain, Whiplash, Loss or Decreased Mobility at the Joint,  Neck & Back Problems.

Strain Counterstrain is a passive technique that works by reducing or eliminating muscle tightness caused by an abnormal stretch reflex, or a shortened, tight and often painful muscle. When using strain counterstrain, the therapist will locate tender points by pressing gently on specific points in the body. (Tenderpoints are discreet, pea-sized areas of tenderness that are manifestations of specific neuromuscular dysfunctions. The tenderpoint is found in the shortened muscle group, which is not necessarily in the muscle groups that have pain.) After locating the tender point, the therapist will place the client in a specific position that makes the tender point go away or become less. At all times, the positions used are kept within the comfort range of the client. The position shortens the painful muscles which cause the point to be much less sensitive. The position is held for a specific length of time and then the therapist slowly moves the body back to neutral. The point is retested and often is no longer tender. When the tender point is resolved, the related muscle(s) relax and thus the pain and tension in the area is reduced or eliminated.

We use this technique in conjunction with  Myofascial release, spinal mobilization, and muscle energy techniques.  Our Physical, Occupational and Massage Therapists have training in this discipline.  If you want this specifically, please let us know we have experts in how to do Strain Counter strain. You can find us in the Spokane Valley.


Strain Counterstrain is an Osteopathic, manual medicine technique created in the 1950s by Dr. Lawrence Jones, DO. The therapists at Synergy have received their training directly from various Jones Institute instructors and from the Canadian College of Osteopathy.

Synergy Healthcare offers physical therapy, occupational therapy and massage therapy in Spokane Valley, WA. Our highly trained therapists are ready to get you back on track fast! We try to prepare helpful articles that can help enrich your life. Have a question you want answered? Email us at or call at 509-413-1630 for more information. Comment below or give us a shout-out on Facebook– we love to hear whats on your mind!

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8 thoughts on “Strain Counterstrain- What is it?

  1. Vancouver Orthotics

    Thanks for sharing! Great information!

    Dr. Michael Horowitz, Vancouver Orthotics

  2. Rakesh

    Hi Clarence I am very sorry for this extremely late reply -we were hvaing major web problems! You can absolutely improve your condition by strengthening muscles in your leg. If you think of those muscles like shock absorbers, then the stronger they are, the less stress you put on your knee.


    Hello there! This blog post couldn’t be written any better! Looking at this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept talking about this. I’ll send this post to him.

    Fairly certain he’s going to have a good read. I appreciate you for sharing!

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