ChuckTBBMuscle energy technique or muscle release therapy relieves neck pain, lower back pain, rib pain, sciatic pain, numbness,  shortness of breath, ankle strain, ankle sprain, hip pain, and sacroiliac (SI) joint  pain.

Muscle Release Therapy is a technique that releases muscle and soft tissue tension that is limiting the movement and/or changing the position of a bony structure. The goal is to release the soft tissues such as muscle, fascia, ligaments, and tendons so that the bones can move more freely and have better alignment.

This technique is highly effective in decreasing pain and making it easier to move. One example is if you have sharp pain in your ribs when you take a deep breath. Muscle Release Therapy can release the soft tissues around the ribs so that the ribs move more easily and are in better alignment and thus eliminate the pain. Patients often remark how much easier it is to breathe after having this work done.

The clinician performing muscle energy determines where there are areas of muscular dysfunction and then passively positions the patient at the restricted motion barrier. While the clinician holds the patient in this position, the patient exerts gentle force, away from the restricted barrier, which the clinician then resists. The patient is then asked to relax and the clinician gently moves the patient through the restricted barrier. This procedure is repeated several times. This process resets the resting length of shortened muscle, thus improving range of motion.


Muscle Energy is a technique that was developed by Fred Mitchell, Sr., DO and first described in the book, An Evaluation and Treatment Manual of Osteopathic Muscle Energy Procedures, published in 1979.

Synergy Healthcare offers physical therapy, occupational therapy and massage therapy in Spokane Valley, WA. Our highly trained therapists are ready to get you back on track fast! We try to prepare helpful articles that can help enrich your life. Have a question you want answered? Email us at or call at 509-413-1630 for more information. Comment below or give us a shout-out on Facebook– we love to hear whats on your mind!

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4 thoughts on “Muscle Energy- What is it?

  1. Vancouver Orthotics

    Thanks for Sharing! Great information!

    Dr. Michael Horowitz, Vancouver Orthotics

  2. Torn

    Thanks for writing such an easy-to-understand aritlce on this topic.

  3. Chris

    It’s good that you’ve tried physical tharepy I am sorry you did not get relief. It is probably first time for more testing blood work (to rule out a medical cause), or an MRI if not done already.However, just like doctors, know that there are PTs with certain strengths and weaknesses perhaps the therapist you saw is not the most confident in the treatment of neck pain. Also know that there are many different types of treatment approaches. Probably the one that is the most researched is the MDT approach (AKA Mckenzie method). It is just one approach to treating this problem. But, if you did not have a therapist that specialized in this, I think you are missing a good opportunity. Some times it takes some asking around to find someone who does this.To say the very least, it’s time to try something different.

  4. Tota

    i have had similar sypmmots myself, was told similar answers and was told to gently exercise the affected joints i found being aware of what i was doing day to day working etc i worked out what was causing my problems and have gradually got my self better.

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