Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation does not increase blood pressure of healthy elderly women.


Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) is an attractive method to increase strength and proprioception of elderly individuals. However, a major clinical concern about the prescription of PNF is the belief that it can cause a cardiovascular overload, because it involves close-to-maximal loads and isometric contractions. Yet the acute effect of a PNF training session on cardiovascular response in elderly individuals is still unknown. Hence, the objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of PNF on diastolic and systolic blood pressure of healthy elderly people. Fifteen older women (mean age 72.40±6.82 years) performed three sets (five repetitions each) of three different PNF techniques (rhythmic initiation, dynamic reversion, and isotonic combination), executing a single movement pattern. Diastolic and systolic blood pressure (DBP and SBP) were evaluated by means of a manual sphygmomanometer immediately before and during the last two repetitions (last set) of each technique. A two-way ANOVA test (time and technique) was performed to investigate the PNF effect on blood pressure. No time (preexercise to postexercise) (p=0.33 for DBP; p=0.06 for SBP) or PNF technique (p=0.75; p=0.81) effect were observed. In conclusion, we can state that the execution of these PNF techniques is safe for the cardiovascular system of healthy elderly women, because no blood pressure increases were found.

DOI: 10.3109/09593985.2011.609582

Cite this paper

@article{Pereira2012ProprioceptiveNF, title={Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation does not increase blood pressure of healthy elderly women.}, author={Marcelo Pinto Pereira}, journal={Physiotherapy theory and practice}, year={2012}, volume={28 5}, pages={412-6} }