Physical Therapy: Fascial Counterstrain

DSC_017 Corianne.jpgWhat is Advanced Fascial Counterstrain?

An extremely gentle and pain-free treatment that will get rid of pain, tightness, spasm, joint stiffness, and other “hard to explain” symptoms. The therapist uses her hands to guide the patient’s body, including muscles or other structures, into a position of comfort or ease that decreases abnormal reflex spasms in your body. It consists of a cranial scan and a full body assessment of tender points, followed by gentle, sustainable, pain free treatment. 

How does Counterstrain work?

Fascial Counterstrain works by correcting an overactive stretch reflex that exists in a faulty system. This abnormal reflex causes muscle cells to contract constantly, instead of just when it is needed. As a result, waste products build up in the muscle and create tender points, which can be found not only in muscles and joints, but in all the systems of the body, including nerves, arteries, veins, and more.

Why hasn’t my doctor heard of Counterstrain?

It is a relatively new technique in the field of manual medicine. The first research article to study Counterstrain’s effect on the stretch reflex was published in 2006. (See: Stretch reflex and Hoffman Reflex Response to Osteopathic manipulative treatment in subjects with Achille Tendonitis, JAOA, Vol. 106, Sept. 2006.) Please feel free to share this information with your doctor.

What type of conditions does Fascial Counterstrain help?

Many conditions can be treated with this gentle technique. This is a partial list of conditions that have been successfully treated with fascial counterstrain: acute pain, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, neck pain, back pain, shoulder pain, osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, bulging discs, headaches, heel spurs, muscle strains, sports injuries, myofascial pain, Lyme disease, plantar fasciitis, rotator cuff injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, tennis elbow, jaw pain, whiplash, ankle sprains. The treatment has helped those with conditions that had previously failed physical therapy, chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, injections, or medications. It can even help people with degenerative changes in their anatomy that may be visible on an X-ray, MRI or CT scan.

What I can expect after Fascial Counterstrain treatment?

At Total Health, everyday, we see people who improve their outlook on life, even after years or decades of pain. Many conditions respond favorably to Fascial Counterstrain. Immediately observable clinical results are often present, as well as sustainable, long-term benefits. You may experience less tenderness, less pain, and restored quality of movement immediately following treatment. Even though the treatment is extremely gentle, it is possible for a small percentage of people to experience soreness for 1-2 days following treatment due to the release of waste products from the tender points, which may take time for the body to eliminate. Following your individualized treatment plan can help the body work through the detoxification and elimination process.


Listen to Marty Johnson's interview with Janell Strupp to learn more about Fascial Counterstrain 

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Why Total Health?

Janell Strupp PT, CPI is currently endorsed on the official Fascial Counterstrain website!  

Janell is a Physical Therapist with 25 years of extensive rehabilitation experience, and she is excited to provide you with direct access to this innovative treatment approach! Janell would be happy to schedule a no cost, no obligation 15-minute Phone Consultation for new clients. 

If you have any questions or if you would like to schedule an appointment, openings are available Mon-Thurs at the Menomonee Falls Clinic. Please let our friendly staff know if you have questions about this advanced, new treatment option to help you recover from acute or chronic pain, injury or disease.


Janell Strupp 

Physical Therapist 


The Most Common Clinically Observable Effects of Fascial Counterstrain: 


  • Decreased Pain 

  • Decreased Tenderness 

  • Normalization of aberrant muscle tone (relaxation)

  • Decreased Swelling 

  • Decreased Inflammation 

  • Improved Flexibility 

  • Improved Proprioception (prevents future injuries)

  • Improved Posture 

  • Improved Strength

  • Improved Functional Performance