How To Improve Your Proprioception

Proprioception is the body’s awareness of a stimulus relating to, “position, motion and equilibrium”[1]. Proprioceptors, the receptors that are located in our joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments and connective tissue, and inform our brain where that bodily part is and how it’s moving. When we sustain an injury, or if we have a neurological condition, the messages between our proprioceptors and our brain become dysfunctional. To improve function, your rehabilitation programme should involve exercises, which challenge and help to retrain your proprioceptive system.

Here are a couple of exercises, which improve the function of your proprioceptive system:

Have you injured your lower body?

Start by standing on the injured leg and see how long you can hold that pose without holding onto any support. Then challenge yourself further by closing your eyes and counting how long you can hold it for. You can then try standing on cushions, wobble cushions, wobble boards or walking in a straight thin line (like walking on a tight rope).

Standing

You can also take small steps forwards and backwards: Start with stepping forward, ensuring that your leading heel hits the ground first. Now straighten your knee; your other leg will be off the ground at this point, so you’ll be standing on your ‘leading’ leg. Hold that position for 2 seconds and then repeat stepping backwards with the other leg. This time, make sure your toe is in contact with the ground first and hold this position. This time your front leg will be off the ground. Repeat this sequence for 1 minute.

Have you injured your upper body?

Try throwing a ball from one hand to the other.

ball

Throw a ball against a wall and image a clock face, so you’re throwing in and hitting each hour around the clock. You can also roll a ball against a wall in a small circle using your hand. Now make the circle wider and wider and then challenge yourself by closing your eyes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DEq-cbZc14

Activate your Lazy Muscles!

Engaging the body into challenging movements and positions can help activate ‘lazy muscles’ that haven’t been engaging properly as a result of injury.

The exercises above are just a taster of some of activities you can do and they can be fine-tuned to make them more tailored to you. Remember not to push yourself and ensure you start off gently, so you can learn where your current capabilities stand.

If you would like a through assessment to check over your proprioceptive system, and get some exercises tailored to you, get in touch today on 020 7884 0374 or email info@physiocomestoyou.com.

 

[1] http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=6393