Empower your patients with free at-home pain-relieving techniques
Integrated Positional Therapy Can Help Your Patients to Relieve Pain
Sometimes a medical professional is required, but many patients, therapists, and caseworkers might not know about some alternative solutions available to help ease pain caused by certain common conditions.
Neuromuscular therapist Lee Albert, author of Live Pain Free Without Drugs or Surgery, has developed several easy-to-use techniques that individuals can use at home to help improve pain patterns caused by stress, repetitive strain, postural distortion, and chronic neuromuscular conditions. His practice is known as Integrated Positional Therapy (IPT) and consists primarily of two osteopathic techniques:
- Muscle Energy Technique (MET): a form of resistance stretching which quickly and easily lengthens constricted muscles to improve range of motion, and
- Strain/Counterstrain, which addresses the same tight muscles by passively shortening them and holding for 2 minutes, allowing the fibers to “reset” and return to neutral
These methods use simple body positions and stretches to bring the body's muscles back into alignment to address what is known as muscle imbalance.
Muscle imbalance occurs when some muscles are too short (contracted) and some are too long (overstretched) — and both will feel tight. Muscle imbalance pulls the bones they are connected to out of alignment, which causes pain, and it is apparent in the following conditions:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Carpal tunnel
- Tennis elbow
- Lower back pain
- Most headaches and neck pain
If your patients suffer from any of the above, they can try using Albert’s techniques found in Live Pain Free Without Drugs or Surgery. Lee Albert provided us with an example that you can try right now:
“Place your left hand on your right shoulder. If you are wearing a shirt, you might find a seam in the shirt in this area. With your left hand, press somewhere along the seam. This will be tender or sore in many people. Once you have found a tender spot, take your right hand and gently rest it on top of your head. Now press the spot that was sore before. Does it feel better? It usually does. Now hold in this position for 2 minutes. This period allows the muscle memory to reset. After 2 minutes, put your right arm back down at your side. Press the tender spot again. It should feel better. The effects of this technique are cumulative, so each time it gets better and better.”
When your patient is better able to help him- or herself, it makes your job easier as a therapist!