Post Isometric Relaxation (PIR) for Tight Sore Muscles
Post Isometric Relaxation is a form of Muscle Energy Technique used to induce relaxation and lengthening of a muscle to improve range of motion of a joint. The concept was developed by osteopaths Mitchell and Ruddy.
A “strain” is a specific injury to a muscle.
After a car accident or strain from sports or other strenuous activity, your muscles may become overworked and injured. An overstretching of a muscle is known as a “strain.” When muscles become strained, they tighten up (spasm) and actually shorten. If it is a mild strain and you continue to move the muscle, the spasm will go away and the muscle will go back to its normal length.
If you strain a muscle worse and it remains injured and shortened for a longer period of time, it may not stretch back out to its original length. You will feel this as an ache on movement or a feeling of stiffness. This shortened muscle will usually feel weak even though it is tight.
A proven therapy technique to overcome muscle spasm and tightness is Post Isometric Relaxation (PIR)
Post Isometric Relaxation technique takes advantage of the fact that after a sustained contraction, the muscle is temporarily capable of stretching more than if you just did a traditional static stretch. In PIR therapy your tight muscle is put into an “isometric” contraction. Isometric just means tightening of the muscle without moving the joint or changing the length of the muscle. This is achieved by contracting against a therapist’s hand or against a wall. After your muscle has been contracted for 10 seconds, you relax and the therapist gently stretches the muscle. At this new position you do another isometric contraction for 10 seconds then relax and the muscle is stretched again. This procedure is repeated 3-5 times. After this therapy you will usually notice much better motion with less stiffness. Over time the muscle may tighten up again, but after a few sessions of this treatment, the muscle will eventually “reset” and assume a normal position.
Make post isometric stretches even better…
Other therapy modalities can be added to PIR to make it even more effective such as heat, electrical stimulation and cold laser. Performed immediately prior to chiropractic manipulation can make the adjustments easier.