Muscle Energy Technique (MET) in Physical Therapy: Improving Flexibility and Treating Musculoskeletal Dysfunctions
Physical Therapy Muscle Energy Technique (MET) is a manual therapy approach that was developed in the 1950s. It has traditionally been used to treat musculoskeletal dysfunction and can be applied to many different muscle groups including neck, shoulders, spine, and hips. It is based on principles of biomechanics and physiology to improve physical functioning for people with different levels of health and ability. MET is a safe, non-invasive procedure that has been used successfully to treat muscle tightness, spasms, pain, and range of motion issues.
What is Muscle Energy Treatment?
Physical Therapy Muscle Energy Technique (MET) is an evidence-based soft tissue manipulative technique that involves applying gentle force to specific muscles in order to restore normal muscle tone and function. The technique is based on the principle of reciprocal inhibition, where a muscle that is hypertonic (overactive) can be inhibited by activating its antagonist’s muscle. This allows for an improved range of motion in joints and increased flexibility of muscles and soft tissue structures. MET also involves stretching exercises to further improve the range of motion and address any underlying causes or compensations for the issue.
The Science Behind MET
MET is based on principles of biomechanics and physiology which involves understanding how muscles interact with each other to perform a desired movement. The technique uses specific postural and manual techniques that target the musculoskeletal system to increase the range of motion, improve flexibility, decrease pain levels, and restore or maintain muscle function.
Benefits and Uses of MET in Physical Therapy
MET is most commonly used to treat musculoskeletal dysfunction such as muscle spasms, tightness, pain, and decreased range of motion. It can also be beneficial for people with joint instability or poor posture due to weakened muscles or ligaments. MET can help to decrease inflammation, reduce pain levels, improve functional capacity, and increase range of motion.
The MET Procedure
The MET procedure is performed by the physical therapist on the patient’s affected area. The therapist will apply manual pressure to specific muscles or joints in order to induce a reflexive relaxation response from the antagonist muscle. This will restore normal muscle tone and function. Stretching exercises are then performed to further improve the range of motion and flexibility.
Risks and Side Effects
MET is generally considered safe with minimal side effects. However, as with any form of therapy, there are risks associated with MET including potential bruising or soreness due to manual pressure, muscle strain from stretching exercises, or adverse reactions to the technique itself.
Comparisons With Other Techniques
MET is similar to other physical therapy techniques such as active release therapy and myofascial release, but it also has its own unique set of benefits. Unlike these other techniques, MET does not rely solely on the therapist’s manual pressure but instead uses a combination of postural and manual techniques that target the entire musculoskeletal system.
This makes MET a more comprehensive approach to treating musculoskeletal dysfunction.
Physical Therapy Muscle Energy Technique (MET) is a popular technique used by physical therapists to treat musculoskeletal dysfunctions and improve flexibility. MET involves applying manual pressure to specific muscles or joints, which triggers a reflexive relaxation response from the body. This technique is generally safe with minimal side effects, and it has been found to be an effective treatment option for many patients.