Replication of position of strain

Excerpted from:  (Chaitow, Leon.  Muscle Energy Techniques.  2006, Elsevier Limited.)

This is an element of SCS methodology.

Take the example of someone who is bending to lift a load when an emergency stabilization is required (the person slips or the load shifts) and strain, and perhaps spasm results.  The patient would then be locked into the same position of lumbago-like distortion as described in the example above. If, as SCS suggests, the position of ease equals the position of strain—then the person needs to go back into flexion in slow motion until tenderness vanishes from the monitor/tender point or a sense of ease is perceived in the previously hypertonic shortened tissues.  Adding small ‘fine-tuning’ positioning to the position of ease achieved by flexion usually achieves a situation in which there is a maximum reduction of pain.

Again, the position is held for 60-90 seconds before slowly returning the patient to a neutral position, at which time a partial or complete resolution of hypertonicity, spasm, and pain should be noted.

It will become obvious that the position of strain is nearly an exact duplication of the position of exaggeration of distortion—as in the first example.  These two elements of SCS are of limited clinical value, since patients can rarely describe precisely the way in which their symptoms developed—so ways other than ‘exaggerated distortion’ and ‘replication of position of strain’ are needed , in order to easily be able to identify probable positions of ease.

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