Muscle Energy Techniques

Muscle Energy Technique (MET)


Muscle Energy Technique (MET) is a manual therapy that uses the gentle muscle contractions of the patient to relax and lengthen muscles and normalize joint motion.

To define it specifically, it is “a direct manipulative procedure that uses a voluntary contraction of the patient’s muscles against a distinctly controlled counter-force from a precise position and in a specific direction”. It is considered an active technique, as opposed to a passive technique where only the massage therapist does the work.

MET is based on the principle of reciprocal inhibition, a theory that explains that muscles on one side of a joint will always relax to accommodate the contraction of muscles on the other side of that joint when indirect pressure is applied. MET is often applied to patients who suffer from muscle spasms. The process of lengthening shortened or spastic muscles, to improve weakened ligament and muscle strength, will directly improve range of motion. This procedure is performed when a patient is asked to contract a muscle for approximately 5-seconds against the resistant force applied by the massage therapist. The muscle contraction is performed by the client 3 to 5 times in a row in the hopes to stretch the muscle further each time.

Muscle Energy Technique is derived from the theory that if a joint is not used to its full range of motion, its function will lessen and it will be at risk of suffering strains and injuries. This form of muscular therapy makes use of a patient’s own muscle energy (the force); while the massage therapist presents a stationary surface (resistance) the patient will contract their muscle against in order to stretch the muscle and joint to its full potential.

Muscle energy techniques can be applied safely to almost any joint in the body. Many athletes use MET as a preventative measure to guard against future muscle and joint injury. It is mainly used by individuals who have a limited range of motion due to facet joint dysfunction in the neck and back, and for broader areas such as; shoulder pain, scoliosis, sciatica, unsymmetrical legs, hips or arms (for example when one is longer or higher then the other), or to treat chronic muscle pain, stiffness or injury.

There are two types of MET:

  • Post-Isometric Relaxation (PIR) The therapist stretches and lengthens a muscle as it relaxes right after a client contraction. This lengthens, relaxes and realigns the muscle fibers. This is useful with chronic conditions to assist in resetting the muscle tone.

  • Reciprocal Inhibition (RI) It is a law of body dynamics that when you contract a muscle the opposing or reciprocal muscle must relax. That is the way the brain is wired and the principle that makes this technique work. The massage therapist has the patient’s muscle perform a contraction against resistance which relaxes the opposing muscle and minimizes the aggravation to the injured muscle and soft tissue.


  • Are you wondering if muscle energy techniques are right for you? Give us a call today. Our friendly staff is happy to answer your questions, help you schedule an appointment, and educate you about our wide range of physical therapy services we offer. Drug-free relief from your joint or muscle pain is possible, so give us a call to get your healing journey started today.

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  • Nice facility, great therapists. Really helped with my recuperation.

    Gail Wolf Avatar
    Gail Wolf
    5/28/2019

    The office staff are very welcoming and the 2 therapists I've seen are excellent. I really like the strain/counter strain modality they use. I've experience a lot of physical therapy and my results are much better with this technique. They also make use of the BEMER technology for increased circulation/blood flow to support treatment results.

    Elizabeth Pike Avatar
    Elizabeth Pike
    5/28/2019

    The whole team here are so exceptional that words can barely describe. I have a condition that is rarely studied by doctors called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. I have seeked treatment by Chiropractors, Acupuncturist, etc, etc. The Strain Counter Strain treatments are beyond amazing in relieving my pain! I don’t want to miss the opportunity to tell everyone that they have some of the most modern and technological exercise equipment ever seen! And holy moly they have bracing for everything. I got a SI joint brace...yeah I said SI joint brace...who has ever heard of one of those? Anyhoo go see them if you have any type of pain from athletic muscle strains to chronic pain from EDS, MS, ALS, etc. I swear their practice can give you some relief. Andrea has magic in her hands!!

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    brian simmons
    5/28/2019
  • I followed Jennifer and Darcy here. Best people ever. Met new good people once I got there. Thanks for great physical therapy and friendship!

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    Leanne Pardee
    6/28/2017

    The PT experience is top notch! The office is so relaxing, soothing, and spa like- gorgeous!

    Dawn Hill Avatar
    Dawn Hill
    5/28/2019

    I definitely recommend Dynamic Bracing & Physical Therapy. They are well organized and efficient in all areas including insurance processing and therapy.
    My Physical Therapist, Jesse Dunne, did a great job of explaining what my problem was with my back. She gave me exercises to do at home and did her “magic” to make my back pain free.
    She also put on classes for runners to help with our form, strength and agility. Jesse really knows her stuff. I guess that’s why she has a Doctor of Physical Therapy after her name.

    Jim Hoppe Avatar
    Jim Hoppe
    5/08/2019