Muscle Energy Techniques
Muscle energy technique is a form of manual therapy in which muscles 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 fibres are held in a state of constant contraction limiting the range of motion of your joints and decreasing blood supply and contributing to pain and discomfort.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Muscle energy technique achieves pain relief and relaxation in muscles using a specialized structure in the muscles called Golgi tendon receptors. The receptors sense changes in muscle tension and muscle length. By controlling their activation our aim is to induce muscle relaxation, relieving the muscle spasm and improving the blood flow.
HOW IS IT 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 shortened muscle, relieve muscle spasm and reduce tone in spastic muscles.
Your Osteopath 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 techniques 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 to almost any joint in the body. 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.
Muscle energy technique is only one of many techniques your Osteopath would use to improve your muscle and joint function.