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Proprioceptiive Neuro-Facilitation (PNF) is an advanced stretching technique that involves both stretching and contracting muscle groups in order to improve flexibility.  It is a very effective way of increasing your flexibility. It is especially good for athletes.

PNF was originally developed to be a form of rehabilitative therapy for people who had suffered a stroke or paralysis.  However, thanks to its proven effectiveness , it soon gained the attention of chiropractors and physiotherapists as a method for increasing the range of motion.

Benefits

There are many positive benefits from PNF:

  • Increased flexibility
  • Reduces Pain
  •  Strengthens the affected muscles
  • Increased stability of joints
  • Reduces the risks of a joint or muscle injury

How PNF Stretching Works ---The Role of the Stretch Reflex

 PNF stretch is a sequence isometric muscle contraction and relaxed stretching of the muscles. It works with the muscle spindle and golgi tendon organs. The muscle spindle is a long thin nerve receptor found within the muscle. Golgi tendon organs lie in the tendons of the muscles (where muscle connect to the bones.). Information from these receptors transmit information to the spinal cord and brain regarding muscle length and muscle tension. By stretching and then contracting and then stretching a muscle again the receptors send signals to the spinal cord, which tells the muscle to relax.

A typical PNF stretching routine requires performing the sequence 1-3 times times for a given muscle group, with a 5-15 seconds interval between the repetitions.

Post Isometric Relaxation helps the adjustments work better and last longer by improving muscle balance. The spine is supported and controlled by the muscles. If one side is tight and the other is weak or loose, then the spine will tend to become  misaligned more easily. I have help many people in Novato, Marin and Sonoma counties improve their flexibility and function with PIR and chiropractic care.

For more information:

http://physical-therapy.advanceweb.com/Article/The-Truth-About-PNF-Techniques-1.aspx