Manipulative physiotherapy – What is MET technique?
What is MET?
MET is a muscle energy technique where physios use the same energy stored in the muscles itself to correct a certain dysfunction. In simple words, MET uses own muscle force while the physio represents as a anti-force or stationary surface.
Muscle energy technique or MET is basically a broad terminology used in chiropractic practice which covers following different techniques.
Post-Isometric Relaxation (PIR)
Reciprocal Inhibition (RI)
Hold/Relax and Contract/Relax techniques
Manual Resistance Techniques (MRT)
Active Isolated Stretching (AIS)
Facilitated Stretching (FS)
MET is a broad category, which covers a wide variety of above-mentioned different techniques, which are quite similar to each other in many ways.
MET is also an osteopathic technique. It was not taught outside of the osteopathic profession for many years. I have an old manual from the 1960s that has a small legal notice on each page warning of the legal consequences to reproducing the manual for distribution out side of the osteopathic profession in whole or in part.
MET is used primarily to manipulate joints. MET is high amplitude low velocity manipulation whereas chiropractics is high velocity low amplitude manipulation.
MET is a wonderful technique which when used with other techniques forms a good treatment plan. Physiotherapists normally don't just depend on one single technique to treat.
MET was developed by Dr. Fred Mitchell, Jr. who was an osteopath.
There is a subtle difference between PNF and MET. With MET, physios palpate and find for restriction in all three planes and direct the force vectors suitably in all three planes, further the force of contraction differs with PNF and MET.
Furthermore with MET, physios basically look at treating a joint rather trying to relax a muscle, the reciprocal inhibition, post-isometric relaxation are all byproducts of MET, rather the primary goal.
In PNF, physios ask patient to give their maximum force against resistance while in MET, they ask 20% to 50% maximum voluntary force as their approach in MET is directed towards the joint and not primarily the muscles.
In MET while relaxing, the patient is asked to exhale whereas in PNF, no breathing pattern is involved.
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