MET for Levator Scapulae - John Gibbons
MET's are increasingly being used by therapists in combination with trigger point therapy protocols
Muscle Energy Techniques (MET's) emerged as a form of osteopathic manipulative diagnosis and treatment in which the client's muscles are actively used on request, from a precisely controlled position, in a specific direction, and against a distinctly executed counterforce from the practitioner.
MET Treatment for Levator Scapulae
For this treatment the client is supine. The therapist, while providing support, guides the client's head into a side bend, followed by flexion.
If a resistance is felt prior to the chin touching the chest, this indicates relative shortness of the levator scapulae.
Some therapists find it more appropriate to treat the levator scapulae from the test position (shown at the end of this blog), rather than placing the patient in an alternative position.
It will be a matter of choice, but it is generally more comfortable to treat the levator scapulae from the supine position.
There are certain times when the client is unable to adopt a supine position, as this can cause discomfort, for example those who present with cervical spine pain.
In this case the seated position would be more appropriate for an MET treatment.
Position for MET treatment of levator scapulae
From the position of bind, the client is asked to push their cervical spine into extension to initiate the contraction of the levator scapulae.
After the appropriate time and on the relaxation, the client's cervical spine is taken into further flexion, with an added left rotational movement (as shown in the illustration below).
The cervical spine is encouraged into further flexion to lengthen the right levator scapulae. The chin is taken towards the chest, with the therapist stabilising the right scapula.
Note: The levator scapula is working in an eccentric contraction when the cervical position is held in a forward head posture; this indicates that the muscle is in a lengthened position but still in a contracted state.
The client may experience pain at the insertion of the levator scapulae on the superior angle of the scapulae.
If this is the case, an MET to lengthen an already lengthened structure might not be appropriate.
Common Testing Method
One common method of testing the levator scapulae is from the seated position shown in the illustration below.
The therapist gently assists the motion of the head and controls the cervical spine into approximately 30 degrees of right rotation.
Once the cervical spine is in the position of rotation, the therapist then encourages cervical flexion and will try to approximate the client's chin onto their chest.
The therapist’s right hand prevents the scapula from elevating. When the therapist feels a bind, the range of motion is noted.
If the chin can approximate the chest with no resistance, the levator scapulae is generally classified as normal.
Nationally Accredited Home Study Courses:
This trigger point therapy blog is intended to be used for information purposes only and is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or to substitute for a medical diagnosis and/or treatment rendered or prescribed by a physician or competent healthcare professional. This information is designed as educational material, but should not be taken as a recommendation for treatment of any particular person or patient. Always consult your physician if you think you need treatment or if you feel unwell.
- Vacuum Cupping - Treating Calf Pain
Vacuum Cupping - Treating Calf Pain Links Vacuum Cupping Course Find a Trigger Point Professional in your ...
- Treating TMJ - Subocciptal Release Technique
Trigger Points in the Upper Trapezius are often Associated with TMJ TMJ Disorders are often associated with t...
- Trigger Point Therapy - NAT for Horses?
Andy Eckley - TP Therapist, and Equine Therapist Andy Eckley is a trigger point therapist and equine therap...
- Trigger Point Therapy - Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMD or/ TMJD)
TMJ Disorders - Anatomy Overview It is estimated that 20–30% of the adult population will have TMJ probl...
- Trigger Point Therapy - Masseter
Treating Masseter Trigger Points - Dr. Jonathan Kuttner Ischemic Compression Technique Masseter ...
- Trigger Point Therapy - Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Syndrome
Treating Temporalis Trigger Points - Stuart Hinds Trigger point therapy can often help reduce the severity and...
- Trigger Point Therapy - Five Awesome Exercises for the Lower Back
Mike McGurn Demonstrates "The Plank" Lower back pain is often associated with trigger points in the Erector Sp...
- Trigger Point Therapy - Treating Soleus
Treating the Gastro-Soleus Complex - Stuart Hinds From a dynamic postural viewpoint, the soleus prevents t...
- Understanding Muscle Energy Techniques (METs)
Muscle Energy Techniques Explained What are METs and how and when should they be used? The purpose of today's ...
- CE Booster - The Real Benefits of Online Learning
Stuart Hinds (4 x Olympic) Soft Tissue Therapist - "Why Online Learning is Just Fabulous!" Take advantage of C...
Share this post