Proprioception describes the ability to sense the orientation of your body in an environment. Do you ever realize how aware of your body you are, or your body’s perception of space? If you close your eyes and raise your arm above your head, how do you know that it’s actually above your head without looking up? This answer is proprioception.
Proprioception allows you to move around freely without the active conscious thought of movement or where you’re moving. It is your unconscious perception of where you are in your environment.
This process is a constant loop within your nervous system. Proprioception tells your brain where you are, what position you’re in and what forces are being acted upon your body at the given moment.
Proprioception works by sensory nerve endings providing information to the brain of the limb position. These are specialized nerves within your muscles and joints that communicate to your brain what position your body is in and the strain your muscle is experiencing.
When issues of poor proprioception occur, it may or may not be noticeable. However, often times proprioception issues causes difficulty with basic functional activities and mobility. Uneven balance is often one of the biggest side effects, causing you to feel like you are going fall or you actually falling.
Poor proprioception can also affect your upper extremities. Often this results in difficulty of reaching properly and other fine motor tasks.
Often weighted therapy products such as weighted blankets, vests and more help with poor proprioception issues. They create a feeling of balance for those who struggle with any level of poor body proprioception.