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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  • Andrea and the team at Dynamic Bracing are nothing short of incredible! Their holistic approach to patient care considers the whole person, not just isolated body parts. They are experts at using strain/counterstrain techniques to allow the body to heal and return to, or finally achieve, optimal functioning. Their model enables them to identify the source of the issue, versus treating random symptoms. I have tried chiropractic, massage therapy, and traditional physical therapy to heal my back and joints before I was introduced to the team at Dynamic Bracing. No other treatment has come close to giving me the instant relief that this has. If you are on the fence about going, I can assure you you won’t be disappointed. Their office is beautiful, clean, and tastefully decorated, (which I appreciate...it kind of has a spa feel to it). The only regret I have is that I didn’t know about them sooner!

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    Heather Connor
    5/15/2019

    If in fact you have a fall, accident or other problem

    THIS IS THE PLACE TO GET HELP. I found Andrea Baker, Arch & Jesse to be excellent in their work & the ultimate professionals at all times. Strain and counterstrain technique was new to me. This treatment was very effective, they also gave me physical therapy exercises to do at home which helped the process of recovery. I would highly recommend this office for Physical Therapy. The environment was bright and cheerful & clean. Everyone made working on recovery a real good experience. Thank you for your help.

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    Rae Baker
    5/27/2019

    Exceptional expertise...as well as service. Their team of physical therapists are trained in techniques that go well beyond what the average PT offers. Every member of my family swears by dynamic bracing. Anytime we have a surgery or pain, we go to them. They've helped us through several post-op recoveries, including shoulder surgeries, hip replacement surgery, ankle surgery, and other orthopedic issues, as well as chronic back pain being fully resolved.

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    Annie Beringer
    4/28/2019
  • Love love love this place! Jessi is the therapist that I see and she is super sweet and very professional. Jessi explains what she is doing and how it will help. Darcy at the front desk is always cheerful and very helpful with scheduling and billing. If you are looking for a physical therapy office you should definitely call dynamic physical therapy and bracing!

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    Wendi Soulia
    5/03/2019

    I found DB through Amazon.Top notch provider, in the true sense of the word.I ordered a hinged elbow brace and, being at the verge of two sizes, needed extra assistance for sizing.Doug called the manufacturer and got the exact answer.When the manuf sent the brace without hinges stops, Doug mailed them to me himself.Could not have asked for anything more.I live in PA, and the transactions across the country felt seamless, bcz their service was that exceptional.They're Santa's shop for braces!

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    Lake in Ocean
    6/28/2015

    What a positive experience. I was blown away, with how willing to help me they were. I have an old brace, and wanted to tune it up. everyone in town, could care less, but they not only took it on, but made me feel respected. My new brace this year will come from them, no matter what.

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