Muscle Energy Technique(MET): Definition, Types and Benefits

Muscle Energy Techniques (MET)

What is Muscle Energy Technique (MET)?

Muscle Energy Technique (MET) is a class of manual therapy techniques used to improve musculoskeletal function and reduce pain. The METs are an excellent alternative therapy for a variety of musculoskeletal problems.

The MET technique uses the principles of reciprocal inhibition to increase muscle length. This technique is more effective for recent acute injuries than for older patients. The therapist contracts the muscle and then holds it in its new resting length for 30 seconds. Then, the therapist repeats the procedure until no further lengthening is observed. The MET is a highly effective treatment that can be performed on patients suffering from various conditions, including back pain, neck pain, and leg pain.

Here are a few examples of the Muscle Energy Technique (MET) in action. All are based on scientific research and clinical practice. These methods are very effective at addressing a variety of symptoms and musculoskeletal conditions.


What are the types of Muscle Energy Techniques (MET)?

There are two types of Muscle Energy Techniques (MET)

  1. Autogenic Inhibition MET
  2. Reciprocal Inhibition MET

What is Autogenic Inhibition MET?

In Autogenic Inhibition MET, the muscle is relaxed by stretching or increased tension. The autogenic inhibition process takes place when muscles are either exaggerated or contracted.

When tension is applied to the muscle, it stimulates Ib afferent fibres in the GTOs. These afferent fibres send signals to the spinal cord, and the spinal cord activates inhibitory interneurons. These interneurons place an inhibitory stimulus on the alpha motoneuron. Inhibitory inhibition lowers the excitability of the nerves and reduces the efferent motor drive of the muscle. When autogenic inhibition occurs, the muscle relaxes spontaneously. The muscle relaxes to prevent a tear.

Autogenic Inhibition MET is further classified into two types

  1. Post Isometric Relaxation (PIR)
  2. Post Facilitation Stretching (PFS)

What is Post Isometric Relaxation (PIR)?

In Post Isometric Relaxation technique (PIR), the therapist performs submaximal isometric contraction on a muscle which helps in decreasing the muscle tone of a single or group of muscles. The muscle is moved a little short of a pain point or resistance in the first node. Submaximal contraction of the muscle is done for 5 to 10 seconds away from the pain point, while the therapist resistance in the opposite direction. After the contraction, the patient is relaxed while a gentle stretch is applied to the new barrier. From the new barrier, the process is repeated 3 to 5 times.

What is Post Facilitation Stretch (PFS)?

In the Post Facilitation Stretch technique (PFS), the therapist sets the hypertonic and abbreviated muscle is set between a completely extended and a completely loosened upstate. The muscle is contracted for 5 to 10 seconds with the help of the therapist resisting the force. Then the effort on the muscle is released, and the muscle gets relaxed suddenly. The therapist applies a rapid stretch to a new limit and holds it for 15 seconds. Then again, a relation for 20 seconds is applied, and the process is repeated 3 to 5 times.

What is Reciprocal Inhibition MET?

In the Reciprocal Inhibition MET technique, one muscle is contracted while the opposite muscle is stretched. The muscle is placed in a mid-position and the patient is asked to push towards the pain point while the therapist resists the motion for some time. Then the patient needs to relax while the therapist pushes to a new barrier and again the process is repeted for 3 to 5 times.

What are the differences between PNF and MET?

The main differences between Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) and Muscle Energy Technique MET are in the force used during MET. In PNF, the forces are higher, and the tonic muscle fibres are recruited, and in MET, the tonic motor units are activated. The MET contraction occurs at the initial barrier to tissue resistance and requires a lower action potential. During PNF, the maximum force the patient can exert is 25% of the capability of full force.

What are the Benefits of Muscle Energy Technique (MET)?

There are many benefits of Muscle Energy Techniques. They can help with various conditions. Some of the significant benefits of the Muscle Energy Technique (MET) are

  1. They can help improve the range of motion and relax the muscles.
  2. They help in reducing pain.
  3. Most METAs can be safely applied to almost any joint in the body.
    MET is an excellent alternative to surgery and other forms of therapy.

Athletes use these techniques as preventative measures against future injury. MET is also a very effective treatment for shoulder pain, scoliosis, sciatica, and chronic muscle pain. In addition to preventing further injuries, these methods also improve overall health and well-being.


The Muscle Energy Techniques (METs) can help with a variety of conditions. The METs can improve range of motion and relax the muscles. They can also help with pain and can be used to treat any musculoskeletal problem. They are also very effective in athletes as a preventative measure. They are very effective at reducing chronic muscle pain and increasing mobility.

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