Patterns of Facilitation

  • Susan S. Adler
  • Dominiek Beckers
  • Math Buck


Normal functional motion is composed of mass movement patterns of the limbs and the synergistic trunk muscles (Kabat 1960) (Fig. 5.1). The motor cortex generates and organizes these movement patterns, and the individual cannot voluntarily leave a muscle out of the movement pattern to which it belongs. This does not mean that we cannot contract muscles individually, but our discrete motions spring from the mass patterns (Beevor 1978; Kabat 1950). These synergistic muscle combinations form the PNF patterns of facilitation.


Hamstring Muscle Entire Pattern Joint Stress Forearm Supination Trunk Extension 
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  1. Beevor CE (1978) The Croonian lectures on muscular movements and their representation in the central nervous system. In: Payton OD, Hirt S, Newton RA (eds) Scientific basis for neurophysiologic approaches to therapeutic exercise: an anthology. Davis, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
  2. Kabat H (1950) Studies on neuromuscular dysfunction, XIII: new concepts and techniques of neuromuscular reeducation for paralysis. Perm Found Med Bull 8(3):121–143Google Scholar
  3. Kabat H (1960) Central mechanisms for recovery of neuromuscular function. Science 112: 23–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Knott M, Voss DE (1968) Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation: patterns and techniques, 2nd edn. Harper and Row, New YorkGoogle Scholar

Further Reading

  1. Bosma IF, Gellhorn E (1946) Electromyographic studies of muscular co-ordination on stimulation of motor cortex. J Neurophysiol 9:263–274PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Gellhorn E (1948) The influence of alterations in posture of the limbs on cortically induced movements. Brain 71:26–33PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan S. Adler
    • 1
  • Dominiek Beckers
    • 2
  • Math Buck
    • 2
  1. 1.ChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Rehabilitation Centre HoensbroekHoensbroekNetherlands

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