Proprioception is the body/mind’s ability to sense the relative position of its neighbouring parts and keep them co-ordinated. The brain acquires information from all areas of the body via proprioceptive receptors such as the Spindle cells and Golgi tendon organs and adjusts muscle tone accordingly.
Proprioception thereby determines the neutral, resting position of limbs and the limits of each muscle’s range of motion.
In some cases, muscles, tendons, fascia and ligaments can lose their proprioceptive integrity or their proprioceptive co-ordination. The resting position may change or the range of motion may be reduced at one or both ends of the movement. This most commonly manifests as restricted mobility, especially in extension of the muscle, or loss of strength, especially further toward contraction or extension.
These conditions commonly occur as a result of injury (e.g. strain, impact or bone fracture) but can also be the result of laceration, abrasion or surgery. They are usually an attempt by the body to protect the injured tissue by limiting its movement while it repairs. Often, however, the tissue fully recovers but the proprioception remains compromised.
The techniques outlined in the Procedures section are designed to reset the proprioception for a specific muscle that has been injured in the past and is now painful or stiff, or has limited flexibility. It is equally useful for resetting muscles whose motion is limited due to long-term poor posture.