Review Article Open Access
Volume 4 | Issue 2 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.33696/rehabilitation.4.030

The Essential Elements of the PNF-concept, an Educational Narrative

  • 1Department of Physical Therapy, Saxion, University of Applied Sciences, M. H. Tromplaan 28, 7513 AB Enschede, the Netherlands
  • 2Practice for Physical Therapy: “Beumer”, Scholtinkstraat 185, 7581 GM Losser, the Netherlands
+ Affiliations - Affiliations

Corresponding Author

Fred Smedes, f.smedes@saxion.nl 

Received Date: September 05, 2022

Accepted Date: September 22, 2022


Introduction: The term Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) was introduced in the 1950s by Dr. Kabat and Mrs. Knott. From the mid-1950s the PNF-concept has been in a progressive development clarifying the use of techniques, performances and clinical applications. The concept of PNF was originally developed by Dr. Kabat and Mrs. Knott for rehabilitation purposes. The International PNF Association (IPNFA) consider themselves to be the official successor of Dr. Kabat and Mrs. Knott.

The PNF-concept evolved towards a comprehensive rehabilitation approach for various indications. There seems to be a misunderstanding about the PNF-concept, it is often seen as a basic stretching regime for wellbeing and general fitness. This has been criticized to avoid a confusion with the PNF-concept as a comprehensive rehabilitation approach.

Purpose: Providing a background with an explanation for the essential elements of the PNF-concept, being a total and comprehensive rehabilitation approach in physiotherapy and rehabilitation. The elements from the PNF-concept facilitate treatment effects in the fields of musculoskeletal and central neurological disorders and indications with a focus on motor learning.

Implications: The clarification of the essential elements from the PNF-concept in various fields of physiotherapy and physical rehabilitation will simplify how to transfer and incorporate the elements from the PNF-concept into individual treatments.


PNF, Rehabilitation, Motor learning and motor control, Proprioception, Facilitation, Musculoskeletal, Neurology, Clinical Reasoning

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