STYC01 Clinical Reflection 16/11/18

On the 16thof November I went to the clinic with another Sports Therapy student and practiced muscular energy techniques. This session was very helpful as it allowed us to revise what we had learnt earlier in the week.

Reflective Summary 

Even though I wasn’t doing any massage in this session I still made sure the bed was in a clean condition and had been set up properly. There are two types of muscular energy techniques; Post isometric Relaxation (PIR) and Reciprocal Inhibition (RI). PIR is more commonly used as it requires you to contract the agonist whereas RI is where the antagonist is contracting. However, both techniques allow range of movement (ROM) to increase. First of all, I performed muscular energy technique on the lower limbs. The muscles that can be isolated here include the hamstrings, quadriceps, gastrocnemius, solus and gluteus maximus. I then did PIR and RI on the upper limb which included the pectorals, upper trapezius, rotator cuff muscles, biceps and triceps. The application of PIR and RI are very similar. The tricky thing is working out the movement that needs to be performed to allow the appropriate muscle to be contracting or relaxing. Firstly, it’s important to test for ROM so you can see if there is any change before and after you perform muscular energy techniques. After this you take the muscle to bind, the patient takes a deep breath in and then the client resits against the therapist with minimal force. The patient will then be asked to relax and the therapist will take the muscle just beyond the previous barrier of resistance. This is repeated around 3-5 times to allowan improvement to be seen in ROM.

Areas for further improvement 

To improve further I need to have a better understanding of the origins and insertions of the muscles. This is important as it will allow me to understand the position that the client needs to be in depending on whether you want the muscle to be contracting or relaxing. When instructing my client, I need to make sure I am loud and clear so they know exactly what they need to do, allowing them to get the full benefits out of muscular energy techniques.

Things to Remember: 

  1. Always test for ROM before performing muscular energy techniques
  2. It’s important to be knowledgeable on the origins and insertions of the muscles so you can work out the position you need to put the muscle in to isolate it
  3. Communicate effectively with the client so you know if the muscle is at a point of bind


PIR for Pectoral muscles
PIR for Gluteus Maximus
PIR for Gastrocnemius



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *