Joint soreness and soft tissue injuries can be extremely painful. What’s more, they can inhibit your movement. Therefore, massage therapists use many different techniques to help with these issues. One of them is Muscle Energy Technique (MET).
What Is Muscle Energy Technique?
Muscle Energy Technique (MET), first developed in the 1950s, is growing more popular in recent years. More recently, studies have been done to find out how effective it is. For example, a 2003 study found that this technique helped reduce disability scores for subjects with chronic low back pain.
So, what is it? First, it’s an active massage technique. That means instead of lying passively while your massage therapist does all the movement for you, you actively contract the muscles. Your muscles supply the force and energy. At the same time, the therapist provides resistance or counterforce.
Second, Muscle Energy Technique is a technique based on the idea that your joint will function better if you use it to its full range of motion. Otherwise, strains and injuries are more likely. Thus, the goals of MET are to relax the muscles, lengthen them, and help the joints move more normally.
What Conditions Can MET Treat?
Often, athletes use MET to prevent injuries. Massage therapists can use it to deal with joint dysfunctions and injuries that have already occurred. Muscle Energy Technique might be used in any of the following conditions:
- Chronic muscle spasms
- Limited range of motion in the back and/or neck
- Shoulder pain
- Chronic strain from unsymmetrical limbs
- Chronic muscle pain or stiffness
- Joint injuries
Two Types of MET
The two types of Muscle Energy Techniques are Post-Isometric Relaxation (PIR) and Reciprocal Inhibition (RI). For either type, your massage therapist will tell you exactly what to do as you do it.
Reciprocal Inhibition works because your brain is wired so that when one muscle contracts, the opposing muscle relaxes. This provides a means for the opposing muscle to lengthen without irritating the injured soft tissue.
For RI, your RMT might have you contract a specific muscle and hold it for a few seconds. At the same time, they use their hands to resist your force. You go through this process several times in a row. The result is that the muscle on the opposite side stretches further.
For PIR, the massage therapist might ask you to contract your muscle. Then, immediately after you release it, the RMT stretches the muscles. PIR is especially helpful for realigning muscle tone if you have a chronic condition.
Do you want to learn more or think you might be a candidate for Muscle Energy Technique? Simply Contact Us and talk to your Davie Village massage therapist. Depending on your overall condition, your current problems, and the types of techniques your RMT uses, they’ll recommend the right massage therapy treatment for you. Muscle Energy Technique is just one of the options they might suggest. Whatever choice you make together, your RMT will provide the expert treatment you need to feel and move more comfortably and naturally.