Positional-Release Therapy (PRT) is a treatment technique that is gaining popularity. The purpose of this two-part column is to briefly explain the theory and application of PRT. Then, we will present our top 10 list of what we think are the most commonly treated tender points by athletic therapists, five in Part 1 and five in Part 2, along with general tips, patient self-treatments, and adjunctive techniques.
PRT, originally termed strain–counterstrain, is a therapeutic technique that uses tender points (TPs) and a position of comfort (POC) to resolve the associated dysfunction. Essentially, PRT is the opposite of stretching.
PRT is a valuable clinical tool for the treatment of somatic dysfunction, but it is not a panacea. It is most effective when integrated into an overall treatment plan. Once tissue tension and length are restored and pain is decreased, the muscle fibers can again function normally to aid healing. If a muscle is kinked for a period of time, weakness is likely to occur, so strengthening is integral to rehabilitation.
Speicher, Tim and Draper, David O., "Top 10 Positional-Release Therapy Techniques to Break the Chain of Pain, Part 1" (2006). PTHMS Faculty Publications. 14.