Short-term effect of muscle energy technique on pain in individuals with non-specific lumbopelvic pain: a pilot study

J Man Manip Ther. 2009;17(1):E14-8. doi: 10.1179/jmt.2009.17.1.14E.


Muscle energy technique (MET) is a form of manual therapy frequently used to correct lumbopelvic pain (LPP), herein the patient voluntarily contracts specific muscles against the resistance of the clinician. Studies on MET regarding magnitude and duration of effectiveness are limited. This study was a randomized controlled trial in which 20 subjects with self-reported LPP were randomized into two groups (MET or control) after magnitude of pain was determined. MET of the hamstrings and iliopsoas consisted of four 5-second hold/relax periods, while the control group received a sham treatment. Tests for current and worst pain, and pain with provocation were administered at baseline, immediately following intervention and 24 hours after intervention. Separate 2x3 ANOVAs were used to assess results as change scores. Visual analog score (VAS) for worst pain reported in the past 24 hours decreased for the MET group (4.3mm+/-19.9, p=.03) and increased for the sham (control) group (17.1mm+/-21.2, p=.03). Subjects receiving MET demonstrated a decrease in VAS worst pain over the past 24 hours, thereby suggesting that MET may be useful to decrease LPP over 24 hours.

Keywords: Inclinometer; Lumbopelvic Pain; Manual Therapy; Pain Provocation Tests.