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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  • Caring and competent. They use facial constraints techniques. No other type of physical therapy is as effective.

    Michele Rohner Avatar
    Michele Rohner
    12/03/2019

    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

    Love these guys! Staff is great!
    I'm on the road to recovery with their help and guidance.
    Thanks everyone!

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    Lanny calkins jr
    2/12/2020
  • Amazing ! Andrea has managed my shoulder both post accident as well as post shoulder surgery. She is so talented and skilled. Her techniques are gentle yet very effective. I will never go anywhere else !

    Lynda Clark Avatar
    Lynda Clark
    2/26/2020

    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!

    Wendi Soulia Avatar
    Wendi Soulia
    5/03/2019

    Andrea is amazing! I have been working with her to treat my chronic migraines for six months now. She is one of the only people who have made a noticeable difference for me. And I’ve tried everything. She is so friendly and helpful. She goes out of her way to work with you and your issues. The whole DB Team is wonderful. I can’t recommend them enough.

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    The Beef
    5/08/2019