Aside from the known five senses of the body, there is also an internal sense, called proprioception, which not everyone is so familiar with. Proprioception is our ability to sense the positioning and movements of the joints. This will enable us to know the positioning of our limbs without looking. You might be wondering why this sense is important especially in physical activities like sports. It is because roprioception is essential to coordinate movements and maintain body balance.
Proprioception is also called position sense because it regulates our body’s positioning and movements. The proprioceptive system takes charge in knowing how to control the body to be able to properly perform activities that requires body coordination. One example of activity that requires optimal proprioceptive system is driving. In driving, there is a lot going on in your body. You must be able to control the pressure applied on your feet and on your hands to drive appropriately. Sports, as well, needed keen proprioception.
The proprioceptive system includes muscles’ receptor nerves, joints, as well as the ligaments surrounding it. This system cannot be underestimated because it enables the body to vary the contraction of muscles depending on its intended activity movements. In fact, the proproceptive system is referred as the 6th sense of the body. It controls the body and enables proper movement. This system is controlled by the nervous system that affects the different parts of the body.
To have proper body balance, you must ascertain that your proprioceptive system is well taken care of. The essence of proprioception in the stability of the joints and in the motor control is vital. Overall body balance is the combination of functional sensory input from the eyes, muscles and joints, and the vestibular system. The input from the muscles and joints is regulated by proprioception. Proprioceptive information is harvested from the joints, muscles and skin through various sensory receptors when changes occurred like surrounding tissue pressure and stretching. Every movement in the body is caused by the response of receptors to the impulses sent to the brain.
If you ever wanted to hold your balance without having to see your way, proprioception is the key. Every physical activity requires keen proprioception to be done optimally. You won’t be able to play sports, paint, drive, or even perform daily physical activities at school or at work like walking if your proprioception is weak. There are many ways to sharpen your proprioceptive sense. Some popular methods are the Feldenkrais method and the Alexander technique.