What is proprioception?

Benefits of Balance and Proprioception
Training in Anchorage


Balance and proprioception training is often overlooked when prescribing exercises for patients that are involved in a variety of healthcare situations. Whether they be patients suffering from hip or knee or ankle pain, patients requiring post-surgical rehabilitation, patients interested in injury prevention, or even patients just interested in developing their overall fitness, just about everyone can benefit from balance and proprioception training. Proprioception is one of our lesser known senses, and refers to our ability to close our eyes and still know where our limbs and body is in space. For example, try closing your eyes and touching your nose with your pointer finger. The ability to sense where your nose is and touch it with your finger without sight is an example of proprioception.

Ankle injuries are one of the most common sports injuries, and are also a common winter injury around Anchorage and the rest of Alaska as the ground becomes irregular and treacherous with ice and snow. Once an ankle is sprained it is much more likely to become sprained again. This leads to disability in the form of chronic pain and instability in 20% - 50% of multiple sprain cases. After an ankle sprain, special proprioceptive sensory neurons in the ankle can become damaged and stop working as well as they did before the injury. Balance and proprioceptive training is therefore a key component of rehabilitation, and actually helps to prevent further injuries. A study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine shows that proprioceptive and balance training reduced the risk of subsequent ankle injuries by 60% in athletes training with a balance board while there was no reduction of sprain risk in the control group (Verhagen et al., 2004). If you have a history of ankle sprains, set up a consultation for an evaluation with Dr. Ross today.  Dr. Ross and his staff of healthcare professionals here at Excellence in Health will work with you to prevent ankle injuries by prescribing you a proprioceptive and balance training program at our rehab gym here at the clinic.

Training balance and proprioception is good for more than ankle injury prevention, it is also an important part of rehabilitating knee injuries and surgeries. A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Rehabilitation looked at the effects of balance and proprioception training on functional outcomes after knee surgery. They found that the group of patients doing balance and proprioception exercises in addition to normal care had significantly improved outcomes compared to the control group. Knee surgery patients undergoing balance and proprioception training were found to have better balance, mobility, and functional outcomes after their operation than the group participating in usual care alone. These positive outcomes were noted to persist for some time as well, with patients at the 8-month follow-up still demonstrating improved function and mobility compared to the usual care group (Liao et al., 2015). When considering your post-operative rehabilitation options, be sure to give us a call here at Excellence in Health Chiropractic. We’ll set up a rehabilitation program that will get you optimal results including proprioceptive and balance exercises.

Balance and proprioception exercises help to develop strength and mobility. These exercises also help stabilize joints and improve neuromuscular function improving overall coordination. Studies show that balance and proprioception training alone increases muscle tone and strength, resulting in the improved muscular balance that is necessary for optimizing function and reducing the likelihood of injuries (Heitkamp et al., 2001). Just about anyone will benefit from balance and proprioceptive exercises, especially when guided by highly trained healthcare professionals like Dr. Ross and our staff here at Excellence in Health Chiropractic. Take charge of your health and get back to living the life you deserve; and as always, we wish you excellence in health.

Source: AnchorageChiroPractorOnline.