Muscle Energy Technique
Muscle energy technique is a form of manual therapy in which the muscle's own energy is used to induce relaxation and promote pain relief. This technique is especially useful when the cause of pain and stiffness are muscles.
Once in spasm, the muscle fibers are held in a state of constant contraction limiting the range and function. By using the muscle energy technique the therapist will make muscles relax and lengthen to an optimal level to perform and heal.
How it works
Muscle energy technique achieves pain relief and relaxation in muscles using a specialized structure in the muscles called the Golgi tendon organ. The Golgi tendon organ senses changes in muscle tension and muscle length. By controlling the activation of the Golgi tendon organ, the physical therapist will induce relaxation in the muscles, relieving the muscle spasm.
How it's done
Muscle energy technique involves careful positioning of an area of the body by the therapist. After positioning, you will be asked to contract the muscle or resist a movement done by the therapist. This will be followed by a stretch to lengthen the same or opposite muscle group.
During the treatment session, you will be asked to actively participate in facilitating and relaxing muscle groups. Under the direction of the therapist, you will learn to lengthen the shortened muscle, relieve muscle spasm, and reduce tone in spastic muscles.
The expert clinician will pay special attention to correct and optimal positioning of the treating body part, hold time for the contraction, ability to sense relaxation/elongation, and intensity and extent of the stretch.
In addition, muscle energy technique can help chronic muscle tightness and post-surgery stiffness in joints and muscles with little pain compared to traditional mobilization and stretching techniques.
Muscle energy techniques can be applied safely to almost any joint in the body. Many athletes use muscle energy techniques as a preventative measure to guard against future injuries of muscles and joints. It is mainly used by individuals who have a limited ROM due to facet joint dysfunction in the neck and back and for broader areas such as shoulder pain, scoliosis, sciatica, asymmetrical legs, hips, or arms, or to treat chronic muscle pain, stiffness or injury.