Achieving Advanced Levels of Functional Mobility with PNF Techniques

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Why should a physical therapist, occupational therapist or athletic trainer take this PNF Mobility continuing education course?

Bed assistance and the utilization of bed assist rails, handles, and mobility aids do not always have to be permanent after a significant injury. Physical and occupational therapists combine various rehabilitation techniques to work strength, coordination, and endurance to optimize functional movement.

Advanced PNF techniques are an essential tool to have in your toolbox. By incorporating PNF into a well-developed rehab plan, the patient utilizes a comprehensive neuromuscular approach to promote functional movement.

Rehab clinical tools instructed in this PNF Rehab CE course to enhance your functional outcomes.

  • PNF principles and concepts in addition to exercise, joint mobilization, stretching, and strengthening
  • Techniques to promote the components of movement within specific tasks
  • Specific PNF patterns and techniques to facilitate transitional movement from supine to standing

Specific instruction that will enhance your understanding and ability to deliver better patient care.

  • Hook-lying, bed mobility, scooting, rolling onto our side, sitting up onto an elbow, elbow up into sitting, sitting up into standing, and standing are all broken down into step by step components
  • Techniques to enhance pre-sitting, pre-standing, and pre-gait activities
  • Techniques and principles to apply to the neurologically involved, orthopedic, pediatric, geriatric, sports, and acute care patients

Professional Accreditation

This is an intermediate level course applicable for PT, PTA, OT, AT. Physical Therapy Accreditation: For specific state information use the accreditation verification menu and select your state of license. AOTA: provider #4487, Occupational therapy professional development activity: Occupational Therapy Service Delivery, evaluation and intervention, and Foundation Knowledge: human body, development, and behavior. Athletic Trainers: BOC provider #P2047, category A. This course has not been submitted for Evidence-Based BOC approval.

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View PT, PTA, OT and ATC Continuing Education Course State Accreditation

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Achieving Advanced Levels of Functional Mobility with PNF Techniques


  • CE Hours: 6.0 hrs, .6 CEU
  • Delivered: Online
  • Instant Online Access, PDF Manual for Download, 365 days of access, Mobile Ready

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  • 12 months of access to the healthclick video course library.
  • More than 300 hours of online video courses designed for Physical therapists, Occupational Therapists and Assistants.
  • Access to future courses and content.
  • Start, stop and resume, right where you left off in a course.
  • Real patient interviews.
  • Medical expert contributors.
  • 3D anatomy and medical illustrations.
  • Easy to use learning system for fast access to your courses.
  • Award winning content.
  • Top instructors teaching evidence based skills and techniques.

Course Objectives

Course Objectives

Upon Successful Completion of this course the participant will be able to:

  • Describe the basic principles and philosophy of PNF.
  • Recognize common problems in mobility in the CVA population, analyze dysfunctional movement patterns and discuss their implication on functional mobility, as well as prioritize which impairment is having the most significant effect on function.
  • Utilize Critical thinking and principles of specificity of exercise to implement specific treatment interventions and to progress patient treatment using manual facilitation and exercise.
  • Recognize the transitional movements, break down each movement into its component parts and utilize techniques to incorporate each piece back into the whole activity.
  • Utilize techniques that promote stability and mobility in the different phases of movement from supine to standing.
  • Identify and perform specific PNF patterns and techniques to address mobility issues to enhance patient performance with hook lying, bed mobility, bridging, scooting, rolling on the side, sitting up on the elbow, sitting up on hand and sit to stand.
  • Develop an organized treatment plan based upon-specific assessment findings to promote synchronized control for functional mobility.
  • Identify when to combine patterns into mass patterns to promote purposeful movement.
  • Discuss the evidence-based research that supports specific PNF techniques and principles to enhance movement with a variety of diagnoses and through the different transitional positions.
  • Perform techniques that promote transitional movement and positions
  • Recognize when to use stabilizing reversals and other techniques to promote stability within a transitional position.
  • Recognize the appropriate timing to begin training for mobility with a transitional position.
  • Identify the evidence-based research that specifies the importance of normal timing when transitioning from sit to stand.
  • Perform the techniques by utilizing the right amount of resistance and or assistance for the patient at each particular transitional movement.
  • Discuss the importance of utilizing specific PNF techniques when progressing a patient through supine progression, being on their side, going up onto one elbow, going up onto one hand, up to sitting, standing and pre-gait activities.
  • Develop comprehensive, progressive manual therapy and exercise based programs to obtain desired functional outcomes.

Learn From the Expert - Cathy Finch, PT

Learn From the Expert - Cathy Finch, PT

Catherine Finch, PT, is a graduate of California State University in Fresno with dual degrees in health science and physical therapy. Her impressive credentials include extensive experience in acute rehabilitation, inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient orthopedics, and 25 years of physical therapy.

More specifically, Ms. Finch has a wealth of knowledge, training and experience in the area of Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF). She was on staff at Kaiser Foundation Rehabilitation Hospital in Vallejo, California from 1991-2001 and was an instructor in their post-graduate PNF program, a program created by Dr. Herman Kabat and Maggie Knott. During this time as an instructor in the PNF residency program, Ms. Finch not only had the privilege of working with and treating patients alongside Dr. Kabat, but she successfully met the International PNF Association (IPNFA) criteria for instructors and was recognized as an IPNFA basic and advanced instructor. Catherine has achieved additional certification in NDT for adults as well as completing courses in longterm orthopedic manual therapy utilizing the Maitland and Kaltenborn approaches.

Ms. Finch has taught numerous PNF continuing education courses throughout the United States as well as internationally in Brazil, Canada, and Japan for professional organizations. Her varied audience has included Physical and Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists, Nurses and Chiropractors. She has served as the coordinator for PNF education at the University of California - San Francisco Physical Therapy program and has presented PNF content for DPT students at the University of El Paso and the University of Iowa. To add to this experience and training, Catherine has also authored a chapter on Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation for the second edition of the Neurologic Intervention for Physical Therapy textbook by Martin and Kessler.

Ms. Finch is currently on the faculty at Kirkwood Community College in their Physical Therapy Assistant program. As a member of the faculty, she is required and is committed to keeping up to date on changes within the physical therapy field related to reimbursement, evidence based practice and the push for outcome measures. She also serves as the ACCE for her program and is responsible for all things related to clinic placement/practice for her students. This role includes site visits and interaction with clinicians in a wide variety of settings and allows her to stay abreast of current practice trends. Along with her faculty position, Ms. Finch provides consulting services related to PNF to local clinicians.

Review of the PNF Principles and Philosophy

Review of the PNF  Principles and Philosophy
  • Application of principles and concepts to multiple diagnoses
  • Review of history and philosophy of PNF
  • Understand the principles of PNF
  • Review of principles: Stretch and verbal cues
  • Review of principles: Resistance and irradiation
  • Facilitating normal movement patterns
  • Learn the power of PNF techniques
  • The instructors experience travelling and utilizing PNF

Lab: Facilitating Transitional Movements from Spine to Standing

Facilitating Transitional Movements from Spine to Standing
  • Traditional exercises with PNF principles applied
  • Bed mobility
    • Lower trunk rotation
    • Hip Abduction/Adduction
    • D1 Flexion/Extension
    • Bridging
    • Scooting
    • Rolling
  • Hooklying
  • Stability in Hooklying
  • Hooklying-Mobility
    • Hip abduction/adduction
    • Bridging
    • Lower trunk rotation

Lab: Overview of Patterns: Mass Flexion and Extension, Advanced Scapular and Pelvic

Overview of Patterns: Mass Flexion and Extension, Advanced Scapular and Pelvic
  • Combining patterns into mass patterns
  • Upper extremity patterns
  • Supine leg patterns for transitional movements D1 Flexion and extension patterns
  • facilitating movement through transitional positions-Supine to transition
  • Transitional Movements-Bridging
  • Bridging-mobility
  • Bridging and scooting
  • Relate the functional activity of scooting

Lab: Rolling Utilizing Mass Patterns

Rolling Utilizing Mass Patterns
  • The development of rolling serves as the foundation for strength and neuromuscular integration
  • Rolling with Mass Flexion
  • Rolling with Mass Extension

Lab:Upper Extremity Patterns

Upper Extremity Patterns
  • D1 flexion and extension pattern and PNF Patterns
  • D2 flexion and extension pattern
  • Proper utilization of upper extremity patterns

Lab: Supine to Sit Progression

Supine to Sit Progression
  • Relating arm patterns and the positions of the developmental sequence
  • Facilitating movement through transitional positions
  • Supine to Sit Transition
  • Sidelying to Sidesitting
  • On Elbow to up on hand
  • Analyzing and using the PNF framework

Lab: Sitting Stability and Mobility

Sitting Stability and Mobility
  • Stabilizing reversals in sitting
  • The purpose of treating a patient in the sitting position
  • Facilitate pelvic movement
  • Rhythmic initiation
  • A combination of isotonics

Lab: Functional Activity of Scooting

Functional Activity of Scooting
  • The functional activity of scooting
  • A dissociation of the pelvis from the upper trunk
  • A really great home exercise program
  • Cue the anterior elevation
  • Using the weight-shift
  • Learn to create the stability in this position

Lab: Sit to Stand

Patient goes from Sit to Stand
  • Anticipation of the sit to stand motion
  • Sit to stand facilitated using assistance or resistance
  • The therapist is dynamic and mirrors the movement
  • Facilitation for sit to stand
  • The cue at the pelvis
  • Missing momentum from sit to stand?

Lab: Standing Stability and Mobility

Lab: Standing Stability and Mobility
  • Stabilization in standing is one of the first activities assessed prior to gait
  • Teach alignment of the trunk and pelvis
  • Teach alignment of the trunk and pelvis in the standing position
  • Facilitate hip extensors, abdominals and lower extremity musculature
  • Use traction and approximation to elicit postural responses
  • Facilitate trunk extension and scapular posterior depression
  • Teach balance and stability in a static posture
  • Facilitate patient standing without being locked in anterior tilt

Treatment Ideas for Difficult Patient Scenarios

Treatment Ideas for Difficult Patient Scenarios
  • Patient can’t bridge independently which impacts bed mobility and sit to stand transition
  • Limited trunk rotation interfering with gait and functional mobility i.e. rolling
  • Patient sitting shortened on the right trunk
  • Cervical spine patient needs dorsal extension but too painful for direct treatment of spine
  • Right TKA patient with limited ability to contract quadriceps on surgical side

Course Test - Evaluate your knowledge

Course Test - Evaluate your knowledge
  • Use the Healthclick proprietary online education system which provides the online student with:
    • Worldwide access to high definition video, anatomical animations and images, and written information
    • The highest quality film in the industry, you can see the difference!
    • Stop and resume within a course, the Healthclick system will optimize your course based on your device, connection and remembers where you left off.
    • Real-time course updates. We are always adding to each courses, updating content, adding animations, these are not static courses!
  • Evaluate your knowledge with the course test on any device.
  • Print your state course certificate for CE credit.
  • Take the online test as many times as need in order to achieve a 70 % or greater score.