Chronic pain disorders, including fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndrome often do not respond adequately to standard therapy. The cases reviewed herein suggest the strain and counterstrain (SCS) technique, described in 1981 by Jones, may be helpful in reducing pain and improving function in patients with localized myofascial pain syndromes. This was a case study and retrospective review of 20 patients who had had chronic pain for an average of 2.7 years and were treated with SCS for pain relief. For all these patients, prior medical treatment had failed to provide pain relief or return of function. The procedure is a fairly common osteopathic and chiropractic technique, which to our knowledge has not received any systematic evaluation. A reduction in pain and an increase in function of 50%-100% occurred in 19 of 20 patients immediately after SCS therapy. Partial improvement was maintained for 6 months in 11 of 20 patients, and 4 were still pain free. We believe that SCS techniques should be considered and evaluated further as adjunctive therapy for patients previously unresponsive to standard treatment for myofascial pain syndrome.
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