Muscle energy techniques (MET) are a broad description of treatments performed by a healthcare provider to lengthen, strengthen, and boost muscle mobilization, while reducing inflammation and pain. Specific muscles are voluntarily contracted and moved in controlled directions at different speeds against a counterforce. The counterforce is applied by a healthcare provider, e.g., osteopath, physical therapist, chiropractor etc.
MET can strengthen, relax, and restore muscle function while reducing pain and inflammation. It’s origin is osteopathic and has been used for at least 50 years for muscle dysfunction. When a muscle’s range of motion is decreased, MET can be used to lessen pain and restore the muscle to it’s prior level of function.
In MET the patient must play an active role in the treatment for optimal results. He or she must contract his or her muscles to aid in the techniques. Muscle release and relaxation must occur after the first contraction. The contraction and movement followed by relaxation cycle is repeated until the patient’s range of motion does not improve.
Both the patient and the healthcare provider should be comfortable while engaging in the MET process. It is crucial that the provider applies the force to the patient’s resistance, not the other way around. The muscle contractions last about 10 seconds and there is a rest period of three to five seconds between contractions.