What is mental proprioception?
Proprioception is often considered the “sixth sense,” and is our sense of joint/limb positioning. It is measured through joint position sense - active joint position sense (AJPS) and passive joint position sense (PJPS). Joint position sense determines the ability of a person to perceive a presented joint angle and then, after the limb has been moved, to reproduce the same joint angle actively or passively.
It is your proprioception that allows you to move around freely without having conscious awareness of it when navigating in a spatial environment. It is, therefore, critical when engaging in sport performance and avoiding injury.
Instances where there may be a loss in proprioception (regarding instances outside of reasonable control of the individual), include:
- Age-related changes. The risk of proprioception loss increases as we age due to a combination of natural age-related changes to the nerves, joints, and muscles.
- Injuries or medical conditions that affect the neuromuscular system (muscles, nerves) which can cause long-term or permanent proprioception impairment.
How do Bauerfeind products allow for increased proprioception and why is this important for rehabilitation?
Bauerfeind’s medical line of products, actively engages the proprioceptive sensibilities of various parts of the body. Our products focus on activating the muscles and joints of the injured body part through the recovery process to be able to re-establish strength and movement and return the injured area back to its full potential.
- Bauerfeind’s three-dimensional knit improves somatosensory and sensorimotor control and function. We have medical grade products that improve the bodies' function and movement, focusing on achieving a greater quality of life after injury
- Increased proprioception is achieved through our compressive element, focusing on reducing muscle vibration and boosting blood flow, and through our patented fabric, where in the honeycomb flat knit insures anatomical fit catered toward everyone.
Bauerfeind’s Study: GenuTrain® and an evaluation of the decline of proprioception in osteoarthritic knee
The aim of this study, conducted by Bauerfeind’s leading scientists, was to measure the effect of a knee support on the proprioception of patients with polyarthritis.
The participant inclusion criteria were as follows:
- Patients with severe osteoarthritis of the knee, confirmed in an X-ray. (45 patients with grade IV, 5 with grade III, and 5 with grade II: osteoarthritis grades in accordance with Kellgren)
In the initial stages, osteoarthritis is limited to changes in the articular cartilage. Accompanying inflammatory responses then also occur as part of the overall condition later. In general, the development of osteoarthritis is a process involving multiple aspects, in which changes on a mechanical and molecular biological level and traumatic, genetic, and hormonal factors play a significant role. Proprioception decline is also a major part of this pathogenetic process. The frequently altered gait – that often cannot be explained solely by pain or the age of the patient – already indicates proprioception decline.
The results found that:
- The group over 50 years old showed an average of 8.3° in the passive test and 8.8° in the active test. The differences between the two groups were statistically significant in both the active and the passive test.
- The knee support had no demonstrable effect in test subjects with no knee joint problems.
- The osteoarthritis group had disrupted proprioception values compared with the two control groups. This was evident in both the active and passive tests.
- A positive effect of the knee support on proprioception was demonstrated in all test methods. With GenuTrain, proprioception is significantly improved in cases of chronic inflammatory knee joint complaints, thus increasing joint stability.
- Joint perception was improved by 14% in the “passive” test and by 12% in the “active” test.
Therefore, it was proven that use of the GenuTrain improves proprioception in patients with joint perception deficits and provides neuromuscular stabilization for the knee
Source: Sell S., Zacher J., Lack S. Tübingen University Department of Orthopedic Surgery/Wildbad State Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases
Bauerfeind’s Study: GenuPoint ® and an evaluation of the pain-reducing and the proprioceptive effect of the patellar tendon support
In this study, conducted by Bauerfeind’s leading scientists, the effect of a patellar tendon support on pain development and the proprioception of the knee in athletes with patellar tendinopathy is investigated.
The participant inclusion criteria was as follows:
- Age: 18–50 years
- Unilateral or bilateral patellar tendinopathy
- Knee complaints due to patellar tendinopathy greater than 80 on a 100-point VISA-P score (Victorian Institute of Sport Assessment-Patella score)
- A knee condition that has existed for more than three months
Jumper’s knee (patellar tip syndrome, patellar tendinopathy) is a chronic, painful, and degenerative condition of the patellar tendon that is the result of overloading. The condition is caused, among other things, by repeated, unaccustomed, and/or violent tensile stresses with a “mismatch” between the physiologically tolerated tensile stress and actual tensile stress. A common symptom is pain at the patellar tendon insertion point.
The results found that:
- In functional tests, such as one-legged squats, one-legged and two legged jumps, and a triple hop, young athletes with chronic patellar tip syndrome showed a significant reduction in pain in the affected knee when GenuPoint was used.
- In the triple hop, a 10.3-point reduction in pain was measured on average on the 100-point VAS scale. This value indicates that wearing the patellar tendon support causes a significant and clinically relevant reduction in pain.
- Test subjects with low proprioceptive capability (n=15) showed a 17.2 percent improvement (from 23.2 to 19.2) in joint perception through wearing the patellar tendon support.
Therefore, it was proven that there was less pain indicated by participants when wearing the GenuPoint and an increased improvement in proprioception.
Source: Zwerver, J.; v. d. Akker-Scheek, I.; de Vries, A.; Evaluation der schmerzreduzierenden und propriozeptiven Wirkung der Patellasehnenbandage GenuPoint [Evaluation of the painreducing and proprioceptive effect of the GenuPoint patellar tendon support]; data has been submitted for publication
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