Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Thomas Mohr


Physical Therapy -- methods


The purpose of the following literature review is to provide the reader with information regarding the manual therapy technique of strain/counterstrain. The review will describe the origin, theory, rationale, and methods associated with the treatment technique of strain/counterstrain. The role of the muscle spindle and trigger point as utilized in the technique are discussed in detail, along with a comparison of strain/counterstrain to similar manual therapy techniques. Several of the techniques discussed are: acupressure, acupuncture, osteopathic manipulation, and muscle energy techniques. To further support the authors' viewpoints, several case studies are presented and reviewed. The general treatment techniques and guidelines are also presented. Strain/counterstrain is a fairly new technique to the profession of physical therapy, and it is hoped that the following pages will provide the reader with a greater understanding of its rationale, and also stimulate questions regarding the effectiveness and appropriateness of the technique.