Isotonic eccentric contraction (slowly performed) for strengthening weak postural muscles and preparing their agonists for stretching

Indications

  • Strengthening weak postural muscles.
  • Preparing tight antagonists to inhibited muscles for stretching.

Contraction starting point

At the restriction barrier.

Modus Operandi

The muscle is contracted and prevented from doing so by the operator, via superior operator effort, so that the contraction is slowly overcome and reversed as the contracting muscle is stretched.  The origin and insertion do not approximate, but diverge.  The muscle should be stretched to its full physiological resting length.  This process tones the muscle and inhibits its antagonist(s), and these can subsequently be stretched as in other MET procedures.

Forces

The operator’s force is greater than the patient’s.  Less than maximal patient force should be employed at first.  Subsequent contractions build toward this, if discomfort is not excessive.

Duration of contraction

5-7 seconds

Repetitions

Repeat 3 times if discomfort is not excessive.

CAUTION:  Avoid using isotonic eccentric contractions on head/neck muscles involved in rotation, or at all if the patient is frail, very pain sensitive, or osteoporotic.

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