Muscle Energy Techniques | Physical Therapy | PT Effect

Focused, One-on-One Physical Therapy Treatment

Muscle Energy Techniques

No Medications. No Painful Injections.

Our Doctors of Physical Therapy are here to help you return to your normal life, free of pain. To do this, we use Muscle Energy Techniques as well as a number of other physical therapy techniques designed to improve your mobility, reduce your pain, and get you back to living your life.

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What Are Muscle Energy Techniques?

Muscle Energy Techniques are a form of manual physical therapy technique used by physical therapists to treat conditions in which the treatment goal is to improve the range of motion. Unlike passive manual techniques, Muscle Energy Techniques involve the active participation of the patient.

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How Do Muscle Energy Techniques Work?

Muscle Energy Techniques, also known as MET, were developed by Fred Mitchell, Sr, D.O. in 1948 based on the principles of autogenic inhibition and reciprocal inhibition. Both types of inhibition occur following the activation of the GTO (Golgi tendon organ, which is a sensory ending within a muscle’s connective tissue located near that muscle’s tendon). The GTO is important in flexibility and therefore using techniques that involve this organ work to improve your range of motion.

What Is Autogenic Inhibition?

Autogenic Inhibition Muscle Energy Techniques involve stretching the same muscle following a sub-maximal muscle contraction. There are two types of Autogenic Inhibition MET:

  • Post Isometric Relaxation (PIR): following a sub-maximal contraction, the patient relaxes and breathes, stretching the muscle afterward
  • Post Facilitation Stretching (PFS): the patient contracts the muscle against resistance from the physical therapist, following which they relax and exhale, before stretching the muscle again

What Is Reciprocal Inhibition?

Reciprocal inhibition muscle energy techniques involve stretching the opposite muscle following a sub-maximal muscle contraction. In this type of muscle energy technique, the physical therapist resists the patient’s efforts to stretch the muscle. The patient then relaxes the muscle upon exhalation and then the physical therapist passively stretches the muscle.

What we can treat

What Do Muscle Energy Techniques Treat?

Muscle Energy Techniques can treat practically any muscle. The purpose of MET is to increase the range of motion, so any condition that restricts such mobility can be treated with MET.

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Who Benefits Most from MET?

MET is most commonly used to treat mobility problems and reduced range of motion caused by:

  • Facet joint dysfunction in the neck
  • Facet joint dysfunction in the back
  • Shoulder pain
  • Scoliosis
  • Sciatica
  • Asymmetrical arms
  • Asymmetrical hips
  • Asymmetrical legs
  • Chronic muscle pain
  • Stiffness
  • Injury

Some athletes use MET as a preventative measure to try to protect themselves from joint and muscle injuries in the future.

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Can Muscle Energy Techniques Be Self-Administered?

It is possible to self-administer some Muscle Energy Techniques, but it depends on which muscles you’re treating and the cause of the limited range of motion. It’s best to speak with a physical therapist before attempting any treatment at home. Your physical therapist can show you how to do any exercises and stretches properly and will tell you what is safe for you to do at home and what you should do only with a qualified professional.

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Manual Therapy

How We Achieve A Better Diagnosis with Less Discomfort

What is manual therapy? Manual therapy is a method physical therapy that involves the therapist feeling exactly how your body reacts to specific movement and exercises. A lot of pain and discomfort comes from lack of mobility or a small range of motion. Through simple movements and exercises, we're able to get your body used to these motions again, reducing or completely removing your pain.

Manual therapy includes a detailed biomechanical assessment. This means that your therapist will watch and feel how you move in order to make the most accurate diagnosis possible. This leads to faster recovery times and improved outcomes.

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Benefits of Manual Therapy

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More accurate diagnoses and understanding of pain

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Less discomfort and pain during treatment

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Therapist can feel where there is tension and mobility issues

The best of the best

Meet Our Specialist

Dr. Mark Shulman

Dr. Mark Shulman

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), FAAOMPT, COMT, CSCS

Dr. Mark Shulman, DPT, FAAOMPT, COMT, CSCS has worked in Physical Therapy since 2005 when he started as a Physical Therapy Aide in an Outpatient clinic. Since then he has continued to progress his practice and gain experiences in multiple treatment settings. Dr. Shulman started “The Physical Therapy Effect” to continue his goal of providing quality one on one care to the patients he works with.

Mark studied Physical Therapy at Northeastern University in Boston Massachusetts where he graduated Magna Cum laude with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2010. While completing his degree in Physical Therapy, Dr. Shulman also earned his Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist Credentials from the NSCA. He has taken multiple advanced training courses to become a Certified Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapist through North American Institute of Orthopedic Manual Therapy. Dr. Shulman is a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy. He is also currently a Credentialed Clinical Instructor through the America Physical Therapy Association (APTA). Mark maintains an active membership in the American Physical Therapy Association, American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists and National Strength and Conditioning Association.

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We’ve been a part of the Little Italy community for over 6 years. Our office features top-of-the-line equipment to get you the results you expect.

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Mark Shulman

Dr. Mark Shulman

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), FAAOMPT, COMT, CSCS


Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists.

Mark Shulman

Dr. Allison McKay

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), PRPC


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Contact Information

(619) 544-1055

Fax: (619) 544-1056

The Physical Therapy Effect

1601 Kettner Blvd Suite 11
San Diego, CA 92101