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  • PNF Stretching – The Best Way To Stretch

  • PNF is the best way to stretch

    What is PNF Stretching? Why is it The Best Way To Stretch?

    PNF stretching, or Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation, is a set of stretching techniques commonly used by chiropractors, physical therapists and athletic trainers.  It is used to enhance active and passive range of motion in order to improve athletic performance, prevent injury and aid rehabilitation.  It involves active contraction of a muscle for 5 seconds followed by active stretching of the same muscle for 10 seconds.  This is repeated 3-5 times.  PNF stretching is the best way to stretch not only because it is safe and efficient, but it also yields the greatest flexibility results.

    How does PNF stretching work?

    A voluntary contraction during a stretch increases the tension on the muscle, activating the golgi tendon organs (located in the tendon) more than the stretch alone. So when the voluntary contraction is stopped the muscle is inhibited or “turned off”.   During the “off time,” the muscle is being stretched, so there is less or no resistance of the muscle spindle cells located in the muscle.

    Advantages of PNF stretching.

    1. Increase flexibility – by stimulating the proprioceptors, it strengthens and increases the flexibility of most muscle groups for everyday use.
    2. Enhance motion – The increase in flexibility for muscle groups leads to enhanced range motion, especially important amongst athletes.
    3. Rehabilitation of injuries – PNF was initially created as a way of rehabilitating patients who suffered from strokes. Nowadays, it is the most effective and fastest technique for enhancing static-passive pliability.
    4. Reduces injury risk – by incorporating PNF stretching with your workout routines you lower the risk of joint and muscle injuries during a workout.

    Two PNF stretching protocols.

    PNF Reciprocal Inhibition: Ex. Hamstring stretch

    Take hamstring to be stretched to tension. Contract quadriceps muscle for 5-10 seconds by pulling the toes up towards you and squeezing the thigh muscle. This inhibits the hamstring. Relax.

    Take hamstring to be stretched to tension again. Passively stretch Hamstring & hold stretch for 15-30 seconds or less based on tolerance/comfort.

    Repeat 3-5 times or less based on tolerance/comfort or need.

    PNF Contract-Relax-Passive: Ex. Hamstring stretch

    Contract the Hamstring for 5-10 seconds by pushing the heel into the ground and backward.

    Relax Hamstring for 1-2 seconds, while you take a slow deep breath.

    Take hamstring to tension again.  Passively stretch Hamstring & hold stretch for 15-30 seconds or less based on tolerance/comfort.

    Repeat 3-5x or less based on tolerance/comfort or need.

    Once again, PNF Stretching is the best type of stretching because it increases flexibility, relieves muscle tension, and offers the most benefits.! For more information on chiropractic care and PNF stretching go to Chiro-Health’s, Inc YouTube channel and view videos categorized under the PNF Category.  For questions or phone consultations you can e-mail Dr. Amelia Mazgaloff at frontdesk@chirohealthsf.com, call Chiro-Health Inc. at (415) 546-1461 or visit http://www.chirohealthsf.com/services/.

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    Like always, choose chiropractic first before surgery and medication!