Strain Counterstrain (SCS) is a gentle soft tissue manipulation technique developed by Dr. Lawrence Jones D.O. over a 40 year period. This technique is effective in treating pain, limitations in strength and range of motion, and allows a therapist to painlessly “release” muscle and connective tissue spasm from all areas and systems of the human body. Because Strain Counterstrain yields lasting results and has no side effects it has numerous applications in the rehabilitative setting.
The Jones Institute was established in 1988 by Dr. Lawrence Jones, D.O., F.A.A.O. and Randall Kusunose, P.T., O.C.S. The Jones Institute offers post-graduate SCS seminars for healthcare professionals throughout the United States.
What is SCS?
Originally called “positional release technique” it was developed in 1955 by an osteopathic physician named Lawrence Jones. Strain Counterstrain is a manual therapy technique, meaning the clinician uses their hands to treat muscle and joint pain and dysfunction. Strain Counterstrain uses passive body positioning of muscles in spasm and dysfunctional joints toward positions of comfort or tissue ease that compresses or shortens the offending structures. The purpose of movement toward shortening is to relax aberrant reflexes that produce the muscle spasm enabling an immediate reduction of tone to normal levels. This allows the joints influenced by the now relaxed muscle to function optimally increasing its range of motion and easing muscle pain. Strain Counterstrain is an effective but extremely gentle technique because it’s action for treatment moves the patient’s body away from the painful, restrictive directions of motion.
Who can benefit from Strain Counterstrain?
It can be used for the very acute traumas (i.e., sports injuries, motor vehicle accidents, ankle sprains, post-surgical, etc.) to the more chronic (i.e., osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, headaches, etc.). Its value with the acute patient is unmatched because it is so gentle and non-traumatic. The clinician is guided by what feels good to the patient and often dramatic changes are made in decreased pain, muscle guarding, and swelling. These changes facilitate the patient’s healing processes for a faster and complete recovery. The gentleness of strain counterstrain makes it safe and effective for treating fragile patients (i.e., infants with torticollis, elderly patients with osteoporosis, stress fractures, pregnancy or pelvic pain patients, postoperative pain etc.) and the pain associated with excessive joint motion or hypermobility. Strain Counterstrain is valuable for the chronic pain patient because it will address longstanding neuromuscular issues, reducing the tone of a muscle in spasm. By diminishing the spasm, muscle pain is abated and joint function is normalized.