Muscle Energy Technique (MET) is the general name for the type of adjustments I use for my SI joint.
Basically, these adjustments involve using muscle contractions to gently move your joints into place. The muscle contractions must be very precise and controlled, and can be done either with the assistance of a professional or on your own, once you learn how.
There are different variations of MET for different parts of the body. On this blog, I will mainly be discussing how I’ve used MET to re-align the SI joint. (Or, in more specific anatomical terms, to correct anterior and/or posterior rotation of the hip bones).
A few good resources:
So far, the only resources I have to offer are geared more towards medical professionals than patients. I am definitely planning to try to put something patient-centered up soon.
Clarifying the Muscle Energy Technique— a response I wrote to some questions from a reader.
Muscle Energy Technique for Pelvic Rotations — an explanation of the technique that I use, written by a physical therapist in scientific terms. I use the steps outlined here to adjust anterior and posterior rotation of the ilia, and then follow up with the “shotgun technique” at the end to realign the pubic symphysis.
History of the Muscle Energy Technique— from Leon Chaitow ND, DO
Short-Term Effect of Muscle Energy Technique on Pain in Individuals with Non-Specific Lumbopelvic Pain: A Pilot Study. Peer-reviewed study from the Journal of Manual and Manipulative Therapy that demonstrated a benefit to MET for lumbopelvic pain.
Dr. Pooja Joshi: MET in SI Joint Dysfunction: Outlines MET for all different types of SI misalignments, with illustrations.
What exactly is manual therapy? MET is one type of this larger type of therapy.
Below are links to two videos from physical therapists demonstrating MET for the SI joints.
The only thing I don’t like about these videos is that in both cases, the PT performs the MET along with several other exercises, without bothering to explain which is which.
I think the videos would be more useful if they made more of a clear distinction.
While a benefit of MET is that it does have the potential to increase strength, that’s not its purpose and it shouldn’t be used as such. My PT was adamant that in the beginning, I was only to use MET once a day. With MET you are using your muscles to change the alignment of your joints, and that’s not something you want to overdo.
Anyway, here are the links:
**Note: If you are a fellow patient, please do not try these without consulting your own physical therapist first! You need to know which way your SI joints are rotated before you try to correct them! Otherwise you could make the problem worse.
MET for other areas of the body:
At the risk of bombarding you with too much information, here is a video of MET for the hip joint itself (to increase medial and lateral rotation of the femur).