I think you are aware that there are some systems that have different names but are the same in principle. There are techniques like counter strain and positional release techniques. Is it the same with METs and PNF? Is it a case of miss translation?
First of all what is a Muscle Energy Technique or the METs? We are all aware that muscles are the ones moving the limbs or the joints. As such we all agree that there is inherent energy in the muscles so as to allow it to move. Muscle energy techniques is a system of treatment that makes use of the muscles inherent energy to move as a method of healing themselves. There are various methods of using this the most common method of using METs is the contract relax method. The contract relax method is basically to have the muscles contract to a certain percentage of the full muscle contraction and can vary depending on where you studied the system .Also if you have noticed from the introductory statement it is a system of treatment and not only a technique which is kind of a misnomer in itself. Depending on the school where you study muscle energy techniques there are specific applications and steps that can be followed so as to achieve optimal results. The METs being a system of treatment can be used by itself or with other techniques limited only by the clinician’s clinical reasoning and abilities. That is basically the simplest explanation that I can think of at the top of my head right now.
So now what id PNF or the Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation or the PNF? The PNF is a system of treatment that makes use of the therapist ability to analyze the problem, make use of the body’s inherent ability to move and respond, client’s understanding and the body’s sensation. It is a system that makes use of the entire person and including them in the planning of the treatment. The key thing in PNF is that it makes use of functional patterns. Functional patterns are those actions that the person makes use of everyday primarily Activities of Daily Living or ADL’s. The therapist analyzes the problem in doing the ADL’s makes use of the patterns in the body so as to be able to do the action properly while using the body’s inherent ability to move and respond to difficulties. The PNF is a versatile system of treatment limited only by the training of the therapist, clinical reasoning and abilities.
Having stated the two systems we can note that there are similarities in the two systems mentioned above namely they make use of the muscles inherent ability to move. Both of the systems work so as to help the body correct itself so as to be able to perform optimally and as close to normal as possible. Both techniques also follow some sort of treatment algorithm so as to be able to come up with the optimal solution to the problem and makes use of their own set of techniques. These systems are pretty much skill based ones as such they are pretty much dependent on the therapist ability to perform and instruct the client and the client’s ability to follow instructions. Both systems are in a way pretty much dependent on both the therapist and client abilities.
The two systems are different in a way that MET’s only makes use of the person’s ability to use the inherent energy in the muscles of the body so as to either excite or relax that specific part of the body making use of the individual responses of the person to the movement ,while the PNF makes use of the clients understanding of the instructions and ability to process the sensations being provided by the therapist and the helpful patterns determined by the therapist so as to be able to produce movements beneficial to the client specially in everyday activities that will also serve as a home exercise of sort.
Comparing the two systems it can now be implied that while there are similarities between the two sets of systems these two are not the same. Also since both techniques pretty much use of movements and the client’s movements it is not as tiring as some other techniques and can sometimes be used even on acute cases as such having these systems in your tool box might be pretty helpful and might be worth looking into.
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