Registered Massage Therapists used various techniques to treat your pain. From deep tissue massage to other types of specialized therapies, they are always ready to find out the root cause of your pain and be able design an ideal treatment plan to help you get better. And, among the effective techniques that they use to relieve your pain which can help to treat muscle and joint dysfunction is the Muscle Energy Technique (MET).

At Evergreen Rehab and Wellness, our Registered Massage Therapists are also applying MET for patients with chronic pain or as mentioned earlier those with muscle and joint dysfunction. To understand this technique, let’s discover more about this technique and its benefits.

What is Muscle Energy Technique (MET)?

Muscle Energy Technique (MET) is a manual therapy used by many health professionals not only by massage therapists but also by Physiotherapists, Sports Therapists, Fitness professionals, Chiropractors, and Osteopaths.

This technique originated in 1948 as a type of osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) which was developed by Fred Mitchell, Sr, D.O. It was designed to aid musculoskeletal function improvement by applying joint mobilization and stretching tight muscles and fascia. In addition, aids in the improvement of circulation and lymphatic flow.

In addition based on the book entitled Muscle Energy Techniques by Leon Chaitow, it is defined as:

“a class of soft tissue osteopathic (originally) manipulation methods that incorporate precisely directed and controlled, patient-initiated, isometric and/or isotonic contractions, designed to improve musculoskeletal function and reduce pain.”

It means that this technique is done in a very controlled manner where the therapist will use the patient’s strength in terms of doing mild stretches by using gentle contractions or voluntary muscle contractions. By doing this, it can relax and lengthen the muscles. In addition, this technique can normalize joint motion.

How Does it Work?

The massage therapists will ask you to do gentle contractions in the affected muscles then a mild stretch will be applied. While you are doing a voluntary contraction, it allows the nervous system to reset your muscle’s normal length. With repeated series of MET, greater stretch can be achieved and pain can be reduced.

Who can Benefit from MET?

Studies have shown the effectiveness of MET for treating muscle and joint dysfunction. A 2018 study, it featured that this technique can help in treating a range of motion and cervical pain.  In addition, a 2016 study also concluded that this technique can help patients with mechanical neck pain.

A controlled trial also showed the acute improvements of MET when applied to horizontal abductors in youth throwing athletes that were having shoulder tightness. In addition, 2011 randomized controlled trial also shows the immediate effects of a single application of MET on posterior shoulder tightness in asymptomatic collegiate baseball players. It provides immediate improvements in glenohumeral joint horizontal adduction and internal rotation range of motion.

Another study has shown that this technique can help in producing an immediate increase in passive knee extension or hamstring extensibility.

In general, MET is widely used to reset the muscle length, to improve the range of motion, muscle balance, and its ultimate goal to reduce pain. This is often applied to patients with:

  • Muscle spasms
  • Muscle injury
  • Muscle Tightness
  • Neck, shoulder, and back pain
  • Sciatica

Moreover, this technique is not only for individuals in pain but also for healthy ones or with an active lifestyle. It can help in maintaining flexibility by improving the range of motion and most importantly to prevent injury.

What are the Benefits of Using MET?

Over the years, we can observe that this technique has helped patients to:

  • Treating Muscle Spasms
  • Get away from Chronic Pain
  • Improvement of Range of Motion (ROM) or mobility of the joints
  • Strengthening weak muscles
  • Lengthen the Muscles
  • Relax tight muscles and fascia

Is MET Right for You?

While MET is widely used in various conditions, its application will depend on the result of your assessment. At Evergreen Rehab and Wellness we make sure that, we fully understand your condition and discover the real cause of pain. And, after that, we will design an ideal treatment plan and at this phase, our RMTs will inform you if MET is ideal for your condition. They may also combine it with other advanced techniques to maximize the benefits that you can get.

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