Postisometric relaxation (PIR) is one of the safest methods of manual therapy. Its essence is to return physiological mobility of the joint or spasmodic muscles through limited tension and subsequent relaxation.
Medical indications for PIR:
- muscular-trophic and neuro-dystrophic syndromes of the musculoskeletal system (vertebral column, joints)
- pain in the neck, shoulders, upper limbs
- periarthritis of the shoulder and scapula
- headaches associated with pathological inflammation in the cervical spine
- headaches and spasms of the muscles of skull, face, neck
- dorsalgia, lumbalgia and other pain myofascial syndromes in the spine
- arthritis of the knee and hip joints, pain of the temporomandibular joint
- hernias, protrusions, spinal instability.
How does it work? The essence of the method is the isometric tension of the muscle and its subsequent stretching. Tense and shortened muscle with painful nodules is stretched to painless limits and offers the patient to contract it overcoming the doctor’s resistance. A refractory period begins after 5-10 seconds of such tension in the muscles (lack of a protective reaction to mobilization), which allows to increase the mobility amplitude of the particular joint. Such exercises are repeated 4-5 times in a row for one exposure area. The exposure on one zone (for example, the cervical spine) takes from 5 to 10 minutes in one session. The relaxing effect of this painless procedure is often equal to the procaine block of the muscle, its warming and other effects (chlorethylic block).
Postisometric relaxation includes 2 phases of the exposure:
1st –isometric muscle tension when trying to overcome a patient’s moderate resistance to movement in the opposite direction (carried out when breathing in for 5-10 seconds);
2nd – patient’s muscle relaxation and passive weak stretching in the direction of the longitudinal axis of the muscle when breathing out for 10-20 seconds.
Result: the amplitude and mobility of the joints increase, muscle tone normalizes, pain disappears.