Proprioception, also known as 'kinaesthesia', includes balance, coordination and agility. It enables the body to move and control limbs without directly looking at them. Specialized nerve endings in your muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments, joints and skin send messages of stretch, speed, and direction of movements to your brain. Proprioception enables you to know where your body is in space. Ever wonder how you can touch your nose with your eyes closed? Its your proprioception at work.
Remember the childhood game, 'Pin the tail on the donkey.' After you were blindfolded and spun around, your proprioception was hard at work helping you try to find the donkey. It is the same when you are doing Pilates or Yoga exercises. When you stand on a block, your muscles are working to hold you upright, while sending messages to your brain. Try walking forwards and backwards, heel-to-toe with your eyes closed and on different surfaces.
Proprioception is an important tool in rehabilitating after an injury. Training these pathways are vital in regaining strength and stability following an injury like an ankle sprain. This Winter, as we enter our slippery-sidewalk-season, we will continue to focus on balance and proprioception exercises.
Yours in health & wellness,