Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation

Here’s what you need to know

Otherwise known as PNF – is an advanced chiropractic and physical therapy technique which involves both active stretching and isometric contraction of the muscle group being targeted.  The sports chiropractors at Premier Sports and Spine Center have advanced training in Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation and use it on a case by case basis to help individuals reach full resolution from their injuries.

Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation can be helpful in many conditions, including the following:

How does Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) work?

Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation exercises and movements are based on the physiology of the stretch reflex, which is caused by stimulation of the golgi tendon and muscle spindles. This stimulation results in impulses being sent to the brain, that lead to the contraction and relaxation of muscles. When a body part is injured, there is a delay in the stimulation of the muscle spindles and golgi tendons resulting in weakness of the muscle. PNF exercises help to re-educate the motor units which are lost due to the injury. Improved flexibility leads to better biomechanics, reduces fatigue, and helps to prevent overuse injuries.

Function in Chiropractic and Physical Therapy techniques:

Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation, PNF, is a chiropractic and physical therapy technique that concentrates on function rather than simply weakness. PNF exercises concentrate on the combination of movements rather than just one specific movement.

The reasoning behind this is simple, life rarely moves in one plane. In other words, body parts are rarely moved in one direction alone. For example, people rarely raise their arm straight forward or extend their leg straight back. Even in a seemingly simple movement like walking the legs move forward at the hips, bend at the knees, while moving towards the midline. These movements must all happen smoothly and simultaneously. By addressing these complex movements, a patient can return to normal daily activities or sports more quickly.

Use PNF as corrective exercises

PNF also includes a form of stretching that can be included in a patient’s treatment or in their home program. This form of stretching utilizes the physiology of muscles to create more relaxation while the stretch is being performed. This type of stretching has been shown to create a larger change in muscle length than traditional stretching.

PNF exercises do not only restore muscle strength – they also help improve the range of motion and movement combinations of the injured body part, making each combined movement smooth and coordinated, thereby bringing back and even increasing the overall performance of the injured athlete.

If you are suffering from a condition that may benefit from Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation and want to schedule an appointment at our Eden Prairie or Eagan clinic locations, or to discuss your condition with one of our sports chiropractors, contact us or call us at 952-479-0042 today.

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