Dynamic Chiropractic - September 8, 1997, Volume 15, Issue 19

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Book Review

Title: Muscle Energy Techniques
Author: Leon Chaitow, ND, DO,
with contributions by Craig Liebenson, DC
Publication: Softcover, 160 pages
Publisher: Churchill Livingstone
(201) 319-9800
Category: Student and practitioner technique education
Price: $40

This text by Dr. Chaitow is a detailed and practicable accounting of the theory and application of muscle energy technique (MET, active muscular relaxation technique). The author cites the continuing trend toward utilization of lower amplitude/soft tissue methods in the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions by practitioners of various backgrounds. In this text, he has utilized works of Lewit, Mitchell, Janda and others to render a thorough compilation of muscle energy techniques. Chaitow traces the development of these techniques, delineates the neurophysiology behind their use and discusses variations on the MET theme, including postisometric relaxation and reciprocal inhibition. Variations and rationales behind variations, such as the use of eye movements, breathing and differences between indirect and direct muscle technique are presented.

Following introduction and historical recounting of technique development and modification, Chaitow then discusses patterns of muscular dysfunction, including postural and phasic patterns, upper and lower crossed syndromes and the role of emotions in muscular dysfunction.

The remainder of the text deals with the application of varying muscle energy techniques, common doctor and patient errors, contraindications to use and protocols for self-treatment. Validity and research background for these approaches are presented. Assessment techniques for determination of muscular overcontraction or stretch are presented. All text is accompanied by succinct line drawings and tables for presentation of issues of clinical note. Use of integrated neuromuscular inhibition is discussed in a chapter, as are the use of MET in treatment of specific joints and a brief compendium of studies documenting the results of MET.

The chapter by Dr. Liebenson, "Manual Resistance Techniques and Rehabilitation," discusses differential diagnosis of muscular weakness, atrophy, spasm, and trigger points. Clinical applications for conditions such as TOS, facet syndrome, headaches and SI joint dysfunction are made eminently useful by precise protocols and rationales.

I would recommend use of this text in the classroom as well as the office, for it is readily applicable and easy to use.

Silvestrone Rating: 10 out of 10