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Proprioceptive Systems (Origin/Insertion, Spindle Cells, Golgi Tendon Apparatus, Facilitation & Inhibition and Gaits)

Background
Index to Studies
Studies
Abstract by
Richard Duree & Earl Cook

Status: In Progress

Last Update:
March 14, 2016
(previous May 28, 2008)

Abstract

As a holistic discipline, Touch for Health (TFH) draws on a variety of related techniques to comprise the complete TFH Synthesis. There are no fewer than five TFH techniques that are based on the proprioceptor systems. The Origin / Insertion Group is comprised of several techniques whose function can best be understood by seeing how a special groups of cells called, 'Proprioceptors' work. In TFH, the practitioner uses techniques based on the proprioceptive system several ways. For example, when establishing the proper functioning of the Accurate Indicator Muscle, the physical challenge in this process uses the Spindle Cells mechanism and the TFH I student is also taught how to eliminate cramps using the Spindle Cells.

Two types of these cells are found in the muscles and operate in feedback loops that monitor and react to stimulus and states in these muscles. These cells monitor how far and how quickly a muscle is either contracting or stretching and working a synchronous movement while protecting the muscle from injury by attempting to switch off a muscle before it is injured.

In Richard Duree's paper, Gait Reflexes: Their Relationship to Proprioceptivity, and Influences in a Weight-bearing Position [1] he states, “We don't feel our body as much when it is at rest, but we get a clear perception of it when it moves or is moved by an outside force or action, as well as when new sensations are obtained in contact with reality or with objects. Various degrees of extension/contraction of the muscles as in stretching or impact, are the only things which support our, sense of tactile reality, and our, receptivity to almost all other sensory information. Motion is fundamental to the entire process. This is as true of feeling self as of feeling other things such as tactile sensations, sounds, sights, tastes and smells.

This awareness, available through the body as a mechanism of observation, is called consciousness.”

Duree, continues, “Although most of this kinesthetic information remains beneath the level of conscious awareness, Dr. Karl Pribram at Yale in the 1960's showed that the cerebral cortex does not encode that type of information. He showed that it is not involved with movements at all. Instead, it is involved with the outcome of these movements in the environment, although enough information is sent from the spinal column to the cerebellum so that an awareness of the relative position of each part of the body is available at all times. This allows us to point to the exact location of a hand, foot or elbow even with the eyes closed.”

Therefore, when we first look at the proprioceptive system we might only think of it as a physical feedback system monitoring and working in the facilitation / inhibition relationships. But, then we see that there is a deeper and more profound relationship involved in our conciousness with the integration of the body, mind and emotions. These deeper relationships help support the holistic and integrative principles and theories of Touch for Health.

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Background

Richard Duree and his wife, Shanti, worked closely with the early leaders of energy kinesiology including: Dr. George Goodheart, Jr.; Dr. John Thie and Dr. Sheldon Deal. Richard and Shanti have been pioneers in the field of Somatic Energy Psychology and Kinesiological Energy Medicine for over 30 years and are the founders of Neuroenergetic Psychology. Their programs are taught worldwide at professional schools of complementary medicine. They have served as Instructor Trainers for the Touch For Health foundation, where they team-taught for many years with Gordon Stokes, co-creator of the One Brain System. Shanti co-created and directed the Physical Therapy Center in Mill Valley, CA. Her background includes training in massage therapy, Ortho-bionomy, Reiki, Yoga, Polarity Therapy, NLP and women’s studies. Richard has also served as the head of Research and Development for Dr. John Thie, creator of the Touch for Health Program. Richard worked for many years with Olympic and other world-class professional athletes under the direction of Dr. Leroy Perry of the International Sports Medicine Institute, Los Angeles. At the Renaissance Clinic in Nassau, Bahamas, they researched the effects of muscle balancing and energy psychology on stress and aging under the direction of Dr. Ivan Popov, M.D. Richard was a science contributor to the book “Energy Medicine” by Donna Eden and David Feinstein. They currently serve on the board of Directors of the Neuroenergetic Psychology Foundation a California based non-profit corporation for education, research and enhancing public awareness of somatic psychology and its benefits.


Goto Index to Studies and Papers
S1

Gait Reflexes: Their Relationship to Proprioceptivity, and Influences in a Weight-bearing Position

Richard Duree
S2 Putative proprioceptive function of the pelvic ligaments: Biomechanical and histological studies Varga E, Dudas B, Tile M
S3 Muscle weakness impairs the proprioceptive control of human standing Butler AA, Lord SR, Rogers MW, Fitzpatrick RC
S4 Proprioception assessment in subjects with idiopathic loss of shoulder range of motion: Joint position sense and a novel proprioceptive feedback index Yang JL, Chen S, Jan MH, Lin YF, Lin JJ
S5 Motor activity induces release of serotonin in the dorsal horn of the rat lumbar spinal cord.
Gerin C, Teilhac JR, Smith K, Privat A
S6 Pain and its relationship with muscle strength and proprioception in knee OA: Results of an 8-week home exercise pilot study Shakoor N, Furmanov S, Nelson DE, Li Y, Block JA
S7 The effect of proprioception training on knee joint position sense in female team handball players. Panics G, Tallay A, Pavlik A, Berkes I
S8 Evaluation of knee proprioception and effects of proprioception exercise in patients with benign joint hypermobility syndrome.
Sahin N, Baskent A, Cakmak A, Salli A, Ugurlu H, Berker E.
S9 The relationship between postural stability and virtual environment adaptation.
Reed-Jones RJ, Vallis LA, Reed-Jones JG, Trick LM
S10 Comment on "Two enigmas in proprioception: abundance and location of muscle spindles" by T. Kokkorogiannis.
Banks RW.
S11 Threshold position control signifies a common spatial frame of reference for motor action and kinesthesia.
Feldman AG.
S12 Do elite athletes exhibit enhanced proprioceptive acuity, range and strength of knee rotation compared with non-athletes?
Muaidi QI, Nicholson LL, Refshauge KM.

Studies and Papers

S1

Gait Reflexes: Their Relationship to Proprioceptivity, and Influences in a Weight-bearing Position

by Richard Duree

International Association Specialized Kinesiology (IASK) Journal Article

Up until this century, primarily due to work by Dr. Von Heller in the 18th century, it was thought that there were no sensory elements contained in the musculature (or in the muscle tissue). Since Von Heller’s time, several generations of researchers found little evidence to the contrary. It became regarded as truth that muscles were largely without sensing ability. Due to technical advances in research in the 20th century, we have come to dispel these old myths and discover that when we peer into the fine muscle structures of the tissues, we note that whether of not we feel anything in the muscles, we have sensory elements that are contained there in great numbers.

The activities of these sensory elements are proving to be an indispensable link in our understanding of the phenomena of tonus, posture and inherent reflexes involved in sucking, swallowing and learned skills such as walking, riding, driving a car and a host of other muscular responses.

A great many of our perceptions of the world are formed on the basis of this proprioceptive activity and its relationship to our internal and external environments. We acquire information about the actual environment through the manipulation of objects we perceive. The muscles' contractions can increase our sensitivity to things we are feeling. They work at focusing the eyes on objects. They also influence our condition - let's say that our muscular activities condition our internal metabolic activities, influencing the way in which input is processed and determining much of the significance of a particular observation. Thus much of our perception of our environment is formed on the basis of movement, just as movement initiated and guided by perception.

We don't feel our body as much when it is at rest, but we get a clear perception of it when it moves or is moved by an outside force or action, as well as when new sensations are obtained in contact with reality or with objects. Various degrees of extension/contraction of the muscles as in stretching or impact, are the only things which support our, sense of tactile reality, and our, receptivity to almost all other sensory information. Motion is fundamental to the entire process. This is as true of feeling self as of feeling other things such as tactile sensations, sounds, sights, tastes and smells.

This awareness, available through the body as a mechanism of observation, is called consciousness. Consciousness is perhaps the most basic concept of modern psychology, yet it eludes definition. One definition that we will use for the word 'consciousness' in this context is: a special awareness of our proprioceptive body signals.

The basic concept of proprioception was introduced in early 20th century by a British Psychologist named Charles Scott Sharington. Sharington's research was the on the functions of motor neurons, and neurons which control contraction and elongation of muscle cells. He was particularly concerned with the way that motor network activity could be regulated by, sensory feedback. When credited with choosing a name for these sensory preceptors, Sharington, chose the prefix 'proprio' from the Latin word 'propria persona' meaning 'one's own.'

Sharington determined that the major function of the proprioceptor was to provide feedback information on the organism's own movements. Muscle proprioceptor cells are in two kinds which will be explained in more detail later. One type senses tension or forces acting on and with a muscle, and the other type senses elongation, contraction or the special extensions of the muscle.

So, this balance of the these two types of receptors, sensing tension and the other sensing elongation and contraction, create a feedback loop. The facilitation and inhibition that comes from this feedback is a response for our ability to move through space and be aware of these movements. They not only tell us where our limbs are in space, but also how fast and to what extent they joint angles are changing, the length and tension of a muscle and the velocity of our movements.

This sensation of body movement and position is referred to as kinesthesia. As the proprioceptive system interprets this kinesthetic message it returns information to the muscles about what they should be doing, and what must be done next to continue a given movement.

Although most of this kinesthetic information remains beneath the level of conscious awareness, Dr. Karl Pribram at Yale in the 1960's showed that the cerebral cortex does not encode that type of information. He showed that it is not involved with movements at all. Instead, it is involved with the outcome of these movements in the environment, although enough information is sent from the spinal column to the cerebellum so that an awareness of the relative position of each part of the body is available at all times. This allows us to point to the exact location of a hand, foot or elbow even with the eyes closed.

The two main types of proprioceptor among the body's several types are the muscle spindle cells and golgi tendon apparatus. Muscle spindle cells are widespread throughout the belly of skeletal muscles, and they respond to changes in muscle length and the velocity of the contraction and relaxation. Enclosed within the spindle portion of the muscle sheaths are two types of nerve endings wrapped with several specialized muscle fibers called intrafusal fibers.

Stretching increases the rate at which the intrafusal fibers stimulate the nerve endings. The intertwine, thus speeding the rate at which the nerve endings transmit impulses. Contraction and shortening of the muscle releases tension on the intrafusal fibers, slowing the rate at which the nerve endings fire. The impulses, traveling at approximately 200 miles an hour, race to the spinal cord and up to the brain stem, cerebellum and cerebral cortex, permitting the nervous system to make instantaneous adjustments in the motions of muscle.

The Golgi tendon apparatus has its receptors located in the junction points where the tendons and muscles come together, and are linked end-to-end with the muscle fibers. Similar to the spindle cell in shape, the Golgi tendon apparatus is capable of containing several layers of connective tissue enclosed in the nerve endings. When those fibers of the muscles contract, they pull on the tendon, stimulating the nerve endings and Golgi tendon to fire impulses. The greater the force of the contraction of the muscle, the more rapidly the Golgi tendon organs fire.

These tendons conduct inhibitory impulses that tend to decrease the force of muscle contraction. Some hold a very high threshold of tension and respond only when the muscle tension is very great, which inhibits extremely forceful contractions that might separate the tendon from the bone. Others have a lower throughput to supply the nervous system with a continuous input about muscle tension. This stretch reflex is involved in posture (and walking - posture in movement) and depends for balance on equal pulls of opposing muscles so if any one muscle should contract too forcefully, this reflex ensures that the opposing muscle stretches and then quickly contracts to restore balance.

Any rapid and involuntary response that is the result of a given stimulus is a reflex. Most reflexes do not reach the cerebral cortex. Instead they function independently of the spinal cord or brain stem, and so we're very aware of those - they are subconscious actions. Primitive reflexes are actions which have been repeated many times. Most come to resemble the more primitives in terms of their automatic and regular qualities of countless repetitions by millions of generations produced the genetic patterns in the brain through these primitive reflexes. It is the same sort of generation of repetitions which produces the patterns, skills and reflexes which one learns in life, as an example, walking habits.

When you step forward, the left arm reflexor and leg reflexors are turned on, or facilitated. At the same time, the right arm reflexors and left leg flexors are inhibited. When you take another step, the reverse happens. The normal gait process requires a rapid cross-firing which normally occurs at a high rate of speed with a great deal of precision. So, after a day of walking, the repetitions have been an equal number of left arm/right leg movements as compared to right arm/left leg movements. If they are unequal, that would indicate the presence of a gait fault.

George Goodheart suggests that normal walking is enough stimulation of the proprioceptive receptors to cause normal crossover reflex functioning. However, any muscle weakness, emotional stress, too tight or inflexible muscles and poor walking habits may all serve to inhibit receptors.

Gait faults are one of the primary reasons we see people who come in for body work do fine on the table and then they get up and walk out, whatever the original complaint was seems to return. I first practice that whenever gait faults come up, it is mandatory to check the gait receptors in a weighted position, even after having corrected the gait receptors on the table in a non-weight bearing position.

When doing applied kinesiological types of examinations on clients, I often find that testing and correcting on the table gives me one result; it may show up that by manipulating the points involved the gait receptors are strong. But the act of standing has an affect on the proprioceptive system thoughout the body that often times renders the gait receptors weak in a weight bearing position.

Note: Richard continues by explaining how he conducts both the table and standing tests and how he corrects a gait fault when found. Explaining how to conduct these tests & corrections is beyond the scope of this abstract. The purpose of this abstract is to provide relevant background of the theory, research and studies associated with the basic Touch for Health techniques.

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S2

Putative proprioceptive function of the pelvic ligaments: Biomechanical and histological studies.
Varga E, Dudas B, Tile M.
Injury. 2008 Apr 15; [Epub ahead of print]
Department of Trauma Surgery, University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary.

The sacrospinous (SS) and sacrotuberous (ST) ligaments of the pelvic ring are known as mechanical stabilisers of the pelvic girdle, primarily against rotational forces in the sagittal and horizontal planes. Earlier studies, however, raised the possibility that ST/SS ligaments possess significant proprioceptive function, while the mechanical role of these ligaments in maintaining the structural integrity of the pelvis is of less importance. The aim of this study is to determine whether the function of these ligaments is strictly to provide mechanical stability or if they have any additional functional properties, i.e., proprioception. In order to reveal the function of the SS/ST ligaments, biomechanical studies of cadaver pelvis were used along with the histological analysis of the ligaments. Following measurements to determine the accurate mechanical role of the pelvic ligaments, the strength of these ligaments was significantly less than we earlier expected. For this reason other functions of the SS/ST ligaments were considered, including the proprioceptive role. Indeed, histological studies revealed ramifying nerve terminals in the SS/ST ligaments. These terminals may represent the morphological substrate of the proprioceptive function associated with the ligaments. Our studies revealed that SS/ST ligaments might have a significant proprioceptive function providing information of the position of the pelvis. Consequently, the mechanical role of the ligaments in maintaining the structural integrity of the pelvis may be significantly less than previously assumed. Understanding the function of the SS/ST ligaments is crucial for providing more precise guidelines for patient management with injuries to the posterior pelvic region.

Date of Electronic Publication: 2008 Apr 15
Publication Status: aheadofprint
PMID: 18420203 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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S3

Muscle weakness impairs the proprioceptive control of human standing.
Butler AA, Lord SR, Rogers MW, Fitzpatrick RC.

Brain Res. 2008 Apr 16; [Epub ahead of print]
Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute and University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

The leg muscles have two distinct roles in human standing. They are a principle source of the sensory input used to detect body sway and they also produce the contractile force that corrects body sway. In this population study, we provide evidence for a link between these contractile and sensory functions of muscle. In subjects classified as having weak or strong leg muscles, we compared body sway with and without vision. Subjects (17) with weakness through prior-polio were compared with age-matched controls (34) and from 174 subjects aged 60-69, those classified weak (<15 Nm ankle dorsiflexion) were compared with the strong (>/=15 Nm). The weaker and stronger groups from these populations had equivalent visual acuity and lower-limb sensory function. However, the weaker swayed disproportionately more than the stronger on closing the eyes. Strength alone could not cause this increased sway of the weaker subjects because they were as stable as the strong subjects when the eyes were open. This effect of strength was not apparent in an older group (>/=70 years, n = 276), where eye closure increased sway by similar amounts in the weak and strong. This appears to be related to visual and somatosensory impairments and increased morbidity in the weak of this group, an association not present in the younger groups. We conclude that there is a relative failure of proprioceptive postural control associated with muscle weakness. This indicates a functional link between contractile and sensory muscular processes and shows that multiple sensory inputs are more important for people with muscle weakness.

Date of Electronic Publication: 2008 Apr 16
Publication Status: aheadofprint
PMID: 18499088 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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S4
Proprioception assessment in subjects with idiopathic loss of shoulder range of motion: Joint position sense and a novel proprioceptive feedback index.

Yang JL, Chen S, Jan MH, Lin YF, Lin JJ.

J Orthop Res. 2008 Apr 10; [Epub ahead of print]
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.

We examined the effects of elevation range and plane on shoulder joint proprioception in subjects with idiopathic loss of shoulder range of motion (ROM). Joint position sense (JPS) and a novel proprioceptive feedback index (PFI), including difference magnitude and the similarity index, were used to assess proprioception. Twelve subjects (eight male, four female) with involved stiff shoulders and normal opposite shoulders were recruited from a university hospital. Subjects attempted to repeat six target positions. Target positions consisted of arm elevation in three planes (frontal, scapular, and sagittal planes) and two ranges (end/mid range). Six trials of each target position were used to determine acceptable trials for stabilization of the data, less than 5% of the cumulative mean values for at least three successive trials. The data stabilized at the sixth repetition. Compared to control shoulders, involved shoulders had enhanced proprioception during end range movements (p < 0.05). The magnitude of the repositioning error and difference magnitude decreased (1.6 degrees -3.5 degrees for repositioning error and 22.2 degrees -62.1 degrees for difference magnitude), whereas similarity index improved at end range movements compared to mid range movements (p < 0.05) in involved stiff shoulders. Results of JPS and PFI suggest that both capsuloligamentous and musculotendinous mechanoreceptors play an important role in proprioception feedback during active movements in subjects with idiopathic loss of shoulder ROM. (c) 2008 Orthopaedic Research Society.

Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res.
Date of Electronic Publication: 2008 Apr 10
Publication Status: aheadofprint
PMID: 18404660 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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S5
Motor activity induces release of serotonin in the dorsal horn of the rat lumbar spinal cord.

Gerin C, Teilhac JR, Smith K, Privat A.

Neurosci Lett. 2008 May 9;436(2):91-5. Epub 2008 Feb 14.
Institut des Neurosciences de Montpellier, INSERM U-583, Montpellier, France; Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, UIC, Chicago, IL, USA.

Literature highlights that serotonergic descending pathways are implicated in somatosensory functions in the spinal cord and that serotonin (5-HT) in the dorsal horn might play a role in motor function through proprioceptive feedback. We hypothesized that 5-HT release in dorsal horn might represent an important factor in the completion of locomotion by facilitation of the spinocerebellar tract and/or by modulation of spinal reflex pathways. The present study demonstrates that during locomotor activity, 5-HT is released in layers II, III, IV, V of Rexed. Microdialysis in combination with HPLC was used to measure concentrations of neurotransmitters in the lumbar dorsal horn before, during, and after a treadmill running exercise. Our results show a significant 41% increase of 5-HT release within the dorsal horn during the exercise. 5-HT release is temporally related to exercise. The present study demonstrates that dorsal horn 5-HT release might modulate locomotion.

Date of Electronic Publication: 2008 Feb 14
Publication Status: ppublish
PMID: 18400395 [PubMed - in process]

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S6
Pain and its relationship with muscle strength and proprioception in knee OA: Results of an 8-week home exercise pilot study.

Shakoor N, Furmanov S, Nelson DE, Li Y, Block JA.

J Musculoskelet Neuronal Interact. 2008 Jan-Mar;8(1):35-42.
Section of Rheumatology, Rush Medical College of Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL, USA.

Muscle strength and proprioception deficits have been recognized in knee OA. Pain is the symptomatic hallmark of knee OA. Indirect evidence suggests that muscle strength and proprioception deficits may be interrelated and that pain may have a confounding influence on the measurement of these factors in knee OA. However, these relationships have never been clearly evaluated. Therefore, the purpose of this investigation was to investigate relationships between pain, muscle strength, and proprioception in subjects with knee OA before and after an 8-week home exercise program. This study evaluated thirty-eight subjects with knee OA. Subjects were taught standard quadriceps strengthening exercises that were to be performed daily at home. Pain, muscle strength, and proprioceptive function were measured at baseline and after 8 weeks of therapy. Significant improvements in pain (42%, p<0.001) and quadriceps muscle strength (30%, p<0.001) were noted. Significant indirect associations were observed between pain and both muscle strength (rho=-0.39, p=0.01) and proprioceptive acuity (rho=-0.35, p=0.03) at baseline. Changes in pain were directly associated with changes in muscle strength (rho=0.45, p=0.005) and proprioceptive acuity (rho=0.41, p=0.01) with exercise. The association of pain with both muscle strength and proprioception should prompt future studies to consider and adjust for the influence of pain on neuromuscular factors in knee OA.

Publication Status: ppublish
PMID: 18398263 [PubMed - in process]

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S7
The effect of proprioception training on knee joint position sense in female team handball players.

Panics G, Tallay A, Pavlik A, Berkes I.

Br J Sports Med. 2008 Apr 7; [Epub ahead of print]
National Institue of Sports Medicine, Hungary.

BACKGROUND: To date various studies have demonstrated that proprioception training can reduce the risk of injuries in pivoting sports. However, the contributing factors from proprioception training are not clearly understood. Purpose: To determine the contributing effects of propioception on knee joint position sense among team handball players. STUDY DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. METHODS: Two professional female handball teams were followed prospectively for a 2005-2006 season. 20 players of the first (intervention) team followed a prescribed proprioceptive training program whereas 19 players of the control team did not have s specific propioceptive training program. The coaches recorded all exposures of the individual players. The location and nature of injuries were also recorded. Joint Position Sense (JPS) was measured by a goniometer on both knees in 3 angle interval testing each angle 5 times. Assessments were performed by the same examiner at both teams. Assessments were performed before and after the season. At the intervention team there a third assessment was also performed during the season. Complete data were obtained from 15 subjects from the intervention and 16 from the control team. Absolute error score, error of variation score and SEM were calculated. Comparison was made between the results of the intervention and the control teams. RESULTS: The proprioception sensory function of the players in the intervention team has improved, and this improvement was significant between the two assessments (mean absolute error before: 9,78-8,21 degrees (+/-7,19-6,08 degrees SD); after: 3,61-4,04 degrees (+/-3,71-3,20 degrees SD); p<0,05 the season), The sensory function didn't improve in the control team (mean absolute error were before the season 6,31-6,22 degrees (+/-6,12-3,59 degrees SD); after 6,13-6,69 degrees (+/-7,46-6,49 degrees SD) p>0,05). CONCLUSION: This is the first study which proved that proprioception training improves the joint position sense among elite female handball players. This joint position sense improvement can be one of the explanations for injury rate reduction effect of neuromuscular training.

Date of Electronic Publication: 2008 Apr 7
Publication Status: aheadofprint
PMID: 18390919 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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S8
Evaluation of knee proprioception and effects of proprioception exercise in patients with benign joint hypermobility syndrome.

Sahin N, Baskent A, Cakmak A, Salli A, Ugurlu H, Berker E.

Rheumatol Int. 2008 Mar 27; [Epub ahead of print]
Meram Faculty of Medicine, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department, Selcuk University, Meram/Konya, Turkey, nilaysahin@gmail.com.

The first aim is to show if there is a disorder in proprioception in cases with benign joint hypermobility syndrome (BJHS) when compared to healthy subjects. The second aim is to evaluate the effect of proprioception exercise in BJHS cases. To evaluate the proprioceptive sensibility of the knee joint with 40 BJHS and 30 healthy subjects enrolled in the study. Then, cases with BJHS were randomized into two groups; proprioceptive exercises were applied to 15 patients for 8 weeks in clinic and 25 patients were taken as controls. Outcome measures included proprioceptive sensation, AIMS2 and VAS. Proprioception is significantly impaired in cases with BJHS. In BJHS group, significant decreases in VAS levels were detected in cases who did exercise compared with cases who did not, and statistically significant improvements were detected in occupational activity. For this reason proprioception exercises cause decrease in pain and improvement of functional status in BJHS group.

Date of Electronic Publication: 2008 Mar 27
Publication Status: aheadofprint
PMID: 18368409 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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S9 The relationship between postural stability and virtual environment adaptation.

Reed-Jones RJ, Vallis LA, Reed-Jones JG, Trick LM

Neurosci Lett. 2008 Apr 25;435(3):204-9. Epub 2008 Mar 4.
Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1.

Currently little is known about how adaptive responses to virtual environments are different between individuals who experience sickness related symptoms and those who do not. It is believed that sensory interactions between visually perceived self-motion and static inertial cues from vestibular and/or proprioceptive sensory systems contribute to the development of adaptation symptoms. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between adaptation symptoms and postural stability in a virtual environment (VE) driving simulator. In addition, the role of sensory interaction was assessed using direct electrical stimulation techniques of the vestibular and cutaneous sensory systems. Posture performance was measured using centre of pressure measures of single leg stance tests during eyes open and eyes closed conditions. Correlation analysis of postural measures and symptom scores were conducted, as well as analysis of variance of posture performance between SICK and WELL individuals. Results indicate that posture stability is negatively correlated to symptom reporting. WELL individuals displayed the greatest decrease in postural stability during eyes open single leg stance following VE simulation. Application of a secondary sensory stimulation (vestibular or cutaneous) resulted in increased visual dependency for postural control following simulation. Combined, these results suggest that sensory interactions drive postural changes that are observed following VE simulation and are related to how visual information is used to control posture.

Date of Electronic Publication: 2008 Mar 4
Publication Status: ppublish
PMID: 18359162 [PubMed - in process]

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S10
Comment on "Two enigmas in proprioception: abundance and location of muscle spindles" by T. Kokkorogiannis.

Banks RW.

Brain Res Bull. 2008 Mar 28;75(5):504-6. Epub 2007 Dec 5.
School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, University of Durham, South Road, Durham, UK. r.w.banks@durham.ac.uk

I present observations on the numbers and distributions of muscle spindles indicating that spindle number is an important controlled variable of muscle design, but the distribution of spindles within a muscle is not. Although our understanding of the functional correlates of spindle number is far from complete, I argue that nothing that is known about their number or distribution is inconsistent with them acting as length sensors, in contradiction to Kokkorogiannis's comment [Brain Res. Bull., this issue] on Windorst's review [U. Windhorst, Muscle proprioceptive feedback and spinal networks, Brain Res. Bull. 73 (2007) 155-202].

Publication Types:
• Comment

Date of Electronic Publication: 2007 Dec 5
Publication Status: ppublish
PMID: 18355624 [PubMed - in process]

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S11
Threshold position control signifies a common spatial frame of reference for motor action and kinesthesia.

Feldman AG.

Brain Res Bull. 2008 Mar 28;75(5):497-9. Epub 2007 Dec 31.
Neurological Science Research Center, Department of Physiology, University of Montreal and Rehabilitation Institute of Montreal, 6300 Darlington, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. feldman@med.umontreal.ca

Abundance of muscle spindles is most likely related to gradual recruitment and functional specialization of motor units, as well as to their fundamental role in reflex intermuscular interaction and cooperation with other sensory systems. Spindle afferents per se usually convey ambiguous kinesthetic information to the brain. Experimental data indicate that the nervous system cannot use efferent copies, i.e., pre-programmed imitations of motor commands to muscles to overcome this ambiguity and form adequate position sense. Instead, position sense becomes adequate when proprioceptive signals are interpreted in reference to the threshold limb position set by the brain. By resetting the threshold position, the nervous system not only appropriately adjusts kinesthetic sense but also causes motor action. This brief analysis illustrates not only that action and perception are coupled [J.J. Gibson, The Senses Considered as Perceptual Systems. George Allen and Unwin Ltd., London, 1968; W.H. Warren, The dynamics of perception and action. Psychol. Rev. 113 (2006) 358-89] but also that they are accomplished in the same spatial frame of reference selected and manipulated by the brain.

Publication Types:
• Comment
• Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Date of Electronic Publication: 2007 Dec 31
Publication Status: ppublish
PMID: 18355620 [PubMed - in process]

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S12
Do elite athletes exhibit enhanced proprioceptive acuity, range and strength of knee rotation compared with non-athletes?

Muaidi QI, Nicholson LL, Refshauge KM.

Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2008 Feb 21; [Epub ahead of print]
School of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.

The aims of this study were to compare proprioception in knee rotation in Olympic-level soccer players (N=18) with non-athletes (N=18), to explore between-limb differences in soccer players, and examine correlations between proprioception and years of playing, function, physical measures and skill level. The knee rotatory kinaesthetic device was used to present stimuli of different magnitudes to determine proprioceptive acuity for internal and external active rotation, and to measure active and passive rotation range of motion (ROM). Knee rotation strength was measured using a dynamometer. Proprioceptive acuity of the athletes was significantly (P=0.004) better than that of the non-athletes. Athletes displayed significantly less passive ROM (P=0.001), higher isometric muscle strength (P=0.006) and greater hop for distance (P=0.001) than non-athletes. No significant between-limb differences were found in the athletes in any objective outcome measure. Internal rotation proprioceptive acuity was negatively correlated with coach-rated ball skill (r=-0.52) and positively correlated with internal rotation ROM (r=0.59). Our findings suggest that highly trained athletes possess enhanced proprioceptive acuity and muscle strength that may be inherent, or may develop as a result of long-term athletic training.

Date of Electronic Publication: 2008 Feb 21
Publication Status: aheadofprint
PMID: 18298611 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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