Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation: A Life-Long Therapy

November 12, 2012

Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation: A Life-Long Therapy

Do you remember your parents telling you not to slouch? Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation will help you undo the damage caused by years of improper posture and body movements.

Without realizing it, many people perform their daily activities in a way that can negatively impact the body. Whether you slouch, pick up items wrong, or walk incorrectly, there are a number of small ways to slowly throw off the natural sync of your body. Over time, these small factors can lead to chronic muscle pain, stress, soreness, and an increased risk of injury. Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation can help people become aware of the different things they are doing to their bodies. Hazardous patterns are identified and corrected so that a person can take the things they learn and apply it all the time. People will also be able to avoid unnecessary strain on the joints and muscles when performing any type of physical activity.

Principle of PNF

Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation is able to educate individuals about proper body movements through the use of stretching exercises. The series of movements can be easily adapted for everyday use so that your body can continue to grow stronger and more flexible. The techniques can be performed either alone or with a partner. The core of the therapy involves contracting the muscles and then relaxing them. Your therapist will apply a static resistance to the problem area and have you contract your muscles against it. Alternating contracting and relaxing will ultimately help stiff and damaged muscles regain function and range of motion.

Therapy Benefits

As within any type of therapy, there is a desired goal for the recipient. The goal of proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation is to promote healthy body movements throughout a person’s activities of daily living. Understanding how your body works and how it should be move will help prevent future injuries and strains. Other benefits include:

  • Improved coordination

  • Soothing of chronic ailments such back and neck pain

  • Improves range of motion

  • Correction of postural habits and movement patterns

  • More muscular endurance

  • Increase in muscular strength

  • Better relaxation of the body

  • Muscular imbalances are addressed and corrected

  • Improved holding power

Keeping the body functioning at maximum efficiency also has a beneficial effect on the health and well being of the individual.

Things to Keep in Mind

As with any type of exercise or stretching program, precautions should be taken to make sure that you do not put unnecessary strain on your body. The proprioceptive neuromuscular therapy is made up of a group of stretching exercise. It is important to listen to how your body feels and responds to different movements so that you are able to gradually improve. Also remember:

  • Warm up before any type of exercise to avoid injury

  • Focus on proper form

  • Do not put an emphasis on speed, but rather, focus doing each movement correctly

  • Increase intensity gradually so that your body has a chance to become conditioned to the new demands being placed upon it

Be patient with yourself and your abilities. Rushing will put you much greater risk for injury and can undo any previous positive results from PNF exercises.

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