MAT: How Does MAT Re-Establish Optimal Muscle Function?


While we do not directly treat pain, we understand that by improving muscle function, we can reduce pain, and that is the goal of MAT.

When the muscles have a strong neurological connection, there is an increase in muscle spindle sensitivity. With increased spindle sensitivity, the associated muscle is able to contract efficiently in order to tolerate greater amounts of force and protect the body from injury.

It is important to note that there is an inverse relationship between mechanoreception and nociception. Therefore, when the sensitivity of the muscle spindle (mechanoreceptor) decreases due inflammation, the sensitivity of the nociceptors (pain receptors) increase. Thus, when there is muscle inhibition, it takes less physical stress to create a pain response. Once muscles are activated, the result is an increase in muscle spindle sensitivity and a decrease in nociceptor sensitivity.

What is MAT?

MAT was founded on the principle that human movement and exercise are fundamental to human health and that a muscle’s ability to contract efficiently is important for normal movement. Any loss of muscle contraction efficiency may be demonstrated as a loss of motion and decreased physical performance, which may lead to pain and/or the loss of physical capabilities.

MAT® is a specific and unique process for evaluating an individual’s ability to develop efficient muscle contraction(s) by first comparing left and right side range of motion, as the human body is designed to be symmetrical.

If a movement is determined to be asymmetrical (i.e. one limb has a greater range of motion than then opposite limb) as determined by the Comparative Assessment of Mobility or CAM, then we know that one or more muscles that moves the less mobile limb is potentially weak. The muscles that are responsible for moving the limb further are then assessed by the MAT® Specialist to determine if they have lost the ability to contract efficiently.

When it has been determined through testing that a muscle has lost its ability to contract, then precise forces are applied to restore that muscle’s efficiency, re-activating that muscle. As muscles are restored to efficient contraction, MAT® uses a system of accountability (checks and balances) to ensure that any increases in motion and symmetry are accompanied by improvements in a muscle’s contractile ability.