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Table 2 Summary of evidence of studies with asymptomatic participants

From: The efficacy of muscle energy techniques in symptomatic and asymptomatic subjects: a systematic review

Authors Sample size (n) Sessions (n) Anatomical administration of MET Procedure Outcome Additional information Comparison with other technique  
Ballantyne et al. [22] 40 1 Hamstring 5 s contraction at 75% of max – 3 s relaxation -at a point of discomfort – 4 contractions Increased Rom n/a n/a  
Burns et al. [33] 18 1 Cervical spine 3 to 5 s contraction at 0.5 kg of pressure - 3 to 5 s relaxation – to a new barrier of motion – 2 to 4 contractions Increased Rom with MET – Decreased with Sham n/a With Sham treatment (stretching for 3 to 5 s – return to neutral position - for 3 stretches)  
Fryer et al. [15] 52 1 Atlanto-axial joint 5 s: 5 s contraction at the first resistance point – 5 s relaxation – 3 times
20s: 20 s contraction at the first resistance point – 5 s relaxation – 3 contractions
Increased Rom in the MET groups. With the 5 s group showing the gretest increase. The increase was greater in the direction of restriction compared to the direction of no restriction Comparison of a 5 duration contraction with a 20 duration contraction + Sham therapy and control group.  
Fryer et al. [34] 12 1 L5/S1 segment bilaterally 5 s contraction at a first tissue tension point - relaxation – new barrier contractions – 3 contractions Decreased H-reflex and silent period. MET produces decreased motor excitability in the motor cortex and spinal cord. Control Group  
Hamilton. et al. [16] 90 1 Subocciptal region 3 to 5 s contraction – 5 s relaxation – 3 contractions Pressure pain thresholds increased in the MET compared to the sham but not HVLA procedure n/a Comparison with HVLA and Sham treatment  
Laudner et at. [36] 39 12 Pectoralis Minor 3 s stretch – 5 s contraction at 25% of max force – 4 contractions – no rest Increased pectoralis length and decreased forward scapular position. No increase of scapular upward rotation. n/a  
Lenehan et al. [21] 59 1 Thoracic spine 5 s contraction at the first rotational barrier – no rest – new rotational barrier - four repetitions Increased Trunk ROM Restricted direction of treatment increased rotation more than non-restricted rotation Comparison with control group.  
Moore et al. [37] 61 1 Glenohumeral Joint 5 s contraction at 25% max force - the participant then internally rotated the arm for 30-s and an active assisted
stretch was applied - 3 contractions
Increased horizontal adduction and internal rotation ROM n/a Control group  
Schenk et al. [41] 18 7 Cervical region 5 s contraction – 3 s relaxation – increase of direction of limitation – 4 contractions Increased Rom in all six ranges of motion of the cervical region. n/a Control group  
Schenk et al. [18] 26 8 Lumbar region Greenman Protocol. Increased extension of the Lumbar Spine No increase of ROM in control group Control group  
Shadmehr et al. [20] 30 10 Knee Rom Hamstrings 10s contraction at 50% max force – 10s relaxation – greater resistance point – 3 contractions Improvement of knee extension. MET had an early effect on improving muscle’s flexibility compared with the passive stretch. Passive stretch
Smith et al. [19] 40 2 Hamstrings Chaitow MET: 7–10s contraction at 40% max force – 2-3 s relaxation – 30 s stretch to the palpated and/or tolerance to stretch – 3 contractions.
Greenman MET: 7–10s contraction at 40% max force – 2-3 s relaxation – leg placed at a new barrier – 4 contractions.
Both Greenman and Chaitow approaches produced increases of active knee extension immediately after intervention. No statistical differences between the two techniques. Chaitow vs. Greenman protocol  
  Total 485 Mean: 3.8