Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation

PNF is a therapeutic technique, that helps initiate a proprioceptive response in a person. An example is a slow rocking movement that relaxes an anxious person by stimulating vestibular and proprioceptive nerve receptors. Techniques are used to facilitate total body responses or selective postural extensors. It’s a method of stretching muscles to maximize their flexibility that is often performed with a partner or trainer and involves a series of contractions and relaxations with enforced stretching during the relaxation phase and help increase range of motion.

The ultimate goal of PNF is to optimize motor performance and rehabilitation. The literature regarding PNF has made the technique the optimal stretching method when the aim is to increase range of motion, especially in short-term changes. Generally an active PNF stretch involves a shortening contraction of the opposing muscle to place the target muscle on stretch, this is followed by an isometric contraction of the target muscle. PNF can be used to supplement daily stretching and is employed to make quick gains in range of motion to help athletes improve performance.  Aside from being safe and time efficient, the dramatic gains in range of motion seen in a short period of time may also promote compliance with the exercise and rehabilitation program

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