What are muscle energy techniques?
Updated: Mar 16, 2022
Muscle energy techniques address somatic dysfunction through stretching and muscle contraction. For example, if a person is unable to fully abduct her arm, the treating osteopathic practitioner raises the patient's arm near the end of the patient's range of motion, also called the restrictive barrier. The patient then tries to lower their arm, while the osteopath provides resistance. This resistance against the patient's motion allows for isotonic contraction of the patient's muscle. Once the patient relaxes, Their range of motion increases slightly. The repetition of alternating cycles of contraction and
subsequent relaxation help the treated muscle improve its range of motion. Muscle energy techniques are contraindicated in patients with fractures, crush injuries, joint dislocations, joint instability, severe muscle spasms or strains, severe osteoporosis, severe whiplash injury, vertebrobasilar insufficiency, severe illness, and recent surgery.
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