Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation is more advanced form of flexibility training that involves both the stretching and contraction of the muscle group being targeted. PNF stretching was originally developed as a form of rehabilitation, and to that effect it is very effective. It is also excellent for targeting specific muscle groups, and as well as increasing flexibility, it also improves muscular strength. PNF uses the body’s Proprioceptive system to facilitate or inhibit muscle contraction. One of the pioneers in the use of PNF, Dorothy Voss, defined it as a method of promoting or hastening the response of the neuromuscular mechanism through the stimulation of proprioceptors. The muscles must work synergistically in order for movement to occur. This requires the muscles to have the reflexive ability to contract and relax in order to perform basic movements. Fundamental movements such as squatting, lunging and stepping are PNF patterns that all rely on the body’s ability to effectively create and control mobility and stability. When these movements become dysfunctional, it can often be traced to a disruption in the body’s Proprioceptive system, leading muscles to either be inhibited or not facilitated at the right moments. This causes an inability to create the balance of mobility and stability, improving this balance is the basis of functional training.
Contract Relax Contract Relax technique is Passive placement of the restricted muscle into a position of stretch followed by an isometric contraction of the restricted muscle. Most isometric contractions in PNF stretching techniques should be held for a minimum of 3 seconds at a sub maximal effort (20-50% of maximal effort) to avoid muscle fatigue and injury.
Hold Relax Hold Relax technique is Very similar to the Contract Relax technique. This is utilized when the agonist is too weak to activate properly. The patient's restricted muscle is put in a position of stretch followed by an isometric contraction of the restricted muscle. After the allotted time the restricted muscle is passively moved to a position of greater stretch. Contraction times and efforts will remain the same as the Contract Relax technique.
Contract Relax Antagonist (Agonist) Contract (CRAC) Contract Relax Antagonist Contract is performed by-passive stretch of agonist muscle, followed by maximum isometric contraction of agonist muscle and passive stretch of agonist muscle again. After that, maximum isotonic contraction of antagonist muscle is performed. This technique used autogenic and reciprocal inhibition. Rhythmic Initiation is developed to help patients with Parkinson’s overcome their rigidity. It begins with the therapist moving the patient through the desired movement using passive range of motion, followed by active-assistive, active-resisted range of motion, and finally active range of motion. Rhythmic Initiation Developed to help patients with Parkinsons overcome their rigidity. Begins with the therapist moving the patient through the desired movement using passive range of motion, followed by active-assistive, active-resisted range of motion, and finally active range of motion.
Rhythmic Stabilization Rhythmic Stabilization and Alternating Isometrics are very similar in that they both encourage stability of the trunk, hip, and shoulder girdle. With this technique, the patient holds a weight-bearing position while the therapist applies manual resistance. No motion should occur from the patient. The patient should simply resist the therapist's movements.