PNF and Beyond to Enhance Functional Gait

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Why take this course?


This dynamic advanced two day course will give clinicians an opportunity to expand their “bag of tricks” for treating gait impairments by taking what they know about PNF and advancing it to the next level. The course blends the theory and application of PNF based treatments with principles of therapeutic exercise, the use of exercise equipment and manual therapy to create comprehensive gait rehab programs. The concepts and information presented in this course will provide the clinician with a systematic method to move from assessment to treatment and will enhance their hands on skills for patients with both orthopedic and neurological impairments. Patient scenarios and video analysis of gait will be used to identify impairments for both neurological and orthopedic patient diagnoses. Analysis of dysfunctional movement patterns and the implications on gait will be addressed, as well as, prioritizing which impairment is having the greatest effect on function. Clinicians will be able to develop a working therapy diagnosis and translate their assessment findings into specific gait corrections and corroborate these with appropriate exercise interventions.

Through the use of case studies and course discussion, the clinician will be able to develop a comprehensive progressive manual therapy and exercise based program to obtain the desired functional outcome. Participants will use an assessment/treatment framework which includes motion analysis, identification of strengths and impairments, causes for impairments, treatment planning. The framework also incorporates exercise progression, utilization of commonly used exercise equipment and development of home exercise programs. Over the two days clinicians will review specific PNF patterns and facilitation techniques and integrate these into patient exercise programs to progress the patient through pre-gait activities and the gait sequence.

Participants will work with case scenarios and go from assessment to developing comprehensive treatment programs for a patient with a neurological and orthopedic diagnosis.

This course is 80 percent lab which enables the participant the opportunity for adequate hands on practice time.

The concepts and techniques presented in this course will provide Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and Physical Therapist Assistants with the information and skills needed to treat the ambulatory needs of their patients in all therapy settings The theories and facilitation techniques learned in this course can be immediately applied and participants will have the tools necessary to integrate concepts presented in this course into clinical practice.

Clinicians will be provided with course handouts and resources which can serve as reference material upon completion of the course.

PNF and Beyond to Enhance Functional Gait

Course Objectives


  • Describe the Basic Principles and Philosophy of PNF.
  • Analyze gait abnormalities utilizing an assessment/treatment framework, prioritize impairment and develop comprehensive treatment programs for patients with neurological and orthopedic problems.
  • Recognize problems in mobility seen in patient populations, select appropriate activity/techniques to address problems and progress patient treatment using manual facilitation and exercise equipment.
  • Perform activities/techniques to facilitate pre-gait, and gait activities for all levels of patients including soft tissue manual therapy, joint mobility, muscle strength and range of motion activities.
  • Identify the PNF trunk and lower extremity patterns and demonstrate how to utilize and combine the patterns to address gait dysfunction.
  • Identify and perform specific PNF techniques to address the initiation of movement, stability, mobility, and coordination during gait.
  • Integrate PNF principles and facilitation techniques with therapeutic exercise, the use of exercise equipment and design HEP activities for patients.
  • Discuss with colleagues evidence based practice ideas.

Instructed by: Cathy Finch, PT, MOL


PNF is incorporated into my daily professional life as a therapist and instructor. I have dedicated over 10 plus years of focus and research on PNF application to a variety of diagnoses throughout the age span.

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.

Course Dates


There are no course dates available for this course. This is available for a private course at your facility, Learn more

State Continuing Education Course Approvals


All courses are pre-approved by the state licensing boards for physical therapists, physical therapy assistants and occupational therapists, occupational therapy assistants and athletic trainers for license renewal in the state the course is offered.

Courses provided by AOTA providers are accepted by NBCOT. 1 hour = 1.25 PDU. North American Seminars is an AOTA provider, provider #4487

North American Seminars, Inc. (BOC provider #P2047) is approved by the Board of Certification, Inc. to provide continuing education to Athletic Trainers. This program is eligible for the maximum stated hours of Category A hours/CEUs. Athletic Trainers should claim only those hours actually spent in the education program.

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Online Continuing Education Course Resource For This Course


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