During post isometric relaxation (PIR), the muscle is placed in a stretched position, then an isometric contraction is exerted against minimal
At Urban Chiropractic, we embrace the therapeutic potentials of various techniques to achieve pain relief and improved musculoskeletal health. One such highly effective method is post isometric relaxation (PIR), a muscle energy technique that brings substantial relief to areas of tightness and tension.
In the simplest terms, post isometric relaxation, or PIR, involves placing the muscle in a stretched position followed by an isometric contraction against minimal resistance. This contraction is subsequently followed by relaxation and gentle stretching. The primary objective of this technique is to target the tight, tender muscles that are often the culprits behind musculoskeletal discomfort. This non-invasive technique offers a dynamic way to address various conditions including back pain, neck pain, headaches, and other musculoskeletal complaints by bringing about a state of relaxation in the affected muscles.
In a typical PIR session at Urban Chiropractic, we first determine the hypertonic or overly tense muscle. We carefully extend this muscle until resistance is first detected. This initial resistance is indicative of the muscle’s natural protective response. We are trained to respect this barrier and to not push beyond it, ensuring that the procedure remains safe, comfortable, and patient-centered.
Following the detection of the muscle’s resistance point, a submaximal contraction of about 10-20% of the patient’s strength is elicited. This contraction is performed away from the barrier for a duration of between 5 and 10 seconds. During this contraction phase, we apply resistance in the opposite direction, creating an isometric contraction. This unique interaction between the patient’s muscle and the chiropractor’s resistance allows for optimal engagement of the muscle, enhancing its responsiveness to the subsequent relaxation phase.
After the isometric contraction, a crucial step follows: the patient relaxes and exhales as a gentle stretch is applied by the chiropractor. This gentle stretching immediately after the contraction promotes relaxation within the muscle, allowing it to release tension and return to a more relaxed, pain-free state. This cycle of contraction and relaxation helps to reset the muscle’s length and tension, thereby alleviating the associated discomfort.
Typically, the process is repeated two to three times during a single treatment session, depending on the severity of the muscle tension and the individual patient’s tolerance. Through repeated sessions, post isometric relaxation facilitates a progressive reduction in muscle tension and pain, while also enhancing flexibility and mobility.
Overall, post isometric relaxation is a powerful tool in our arsenal at Urban Chiropractic. It is rooted in a deep understanding of the body’s biomechanics and the interconnectedness of muscles, nerves, and joints. As we combine it with our other holistic chiropractic techniques, we are confident in delivering the most effective treatment and optimal outcomes for our patients. We stand committed to alleviating pain, restoring function, and improving the quality of life for all our patients.