Benefits of Facilitated Stretching
Facilitated stretching, sometimes called PNF or Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation, is the act of gently stretching a muscle beyond its normal limits to increase flexibility. The stretching is done slowly and with caution to prevent tearing and injury, and the end result is more flexible movement that was previously not possible.
Athletes benefit greatly from facilitated stretching, but this therapy has also proven helpful for chronic neuromuscular conditions such as muscular dystrophy and polio. It provides a better range of motion or ROM, to areas that may be stiff or that suffer from decreased ROM due to injury or other factors.
Muscles in your hips, sides, back, glutes and hamstrings are good places to begin with facilitated stretching, but this type of therapy should only be performed by an experienced physical therapist or other medical professional who understands the risks and constraints of the stretching and flexing process. Injury could occur if you try to perform this therapy at home.