How To Develop Proper Proprioception

Good posture is a sign of many things; one of those things is a well-functioning brain. The body and central nervous system are connected. Your posture results from a developed proprioception, balance, coordination, and muscle function.

What is Proprioception? 

Proprioception (or kinesthesia) is our perception of our body's position and movement. The term "proprioception" was coined by neuropsychologist C.S. Sherrington, the combined Latin word for "one's own" and reception. Meaning paying attention to ourselves. 

If you think about it, you know exactly where every part of your body is. You know if your knees bend straight or not. You can close your eyes and touch your nose. This is because your proprioceptive sense lets you know where your body parts are.

These sensations are signals of sensory receptors within your muscle, skin, and joints. Proprioception helps us be aware of our own limbs in relation to external objects, control our movements, and keep our bodies properly aligned. 

Why proprioception matters

Proprioception benefits our bodies in numerous ways, from improving reaction time and speed to preventing injuries and improving balance. It's even been linked to reducing stress and being able to pay closer attention to things. 

Our proprioception worsens as we age, thus the higher risk for injury and falls resulting from things like twisted ankles or displaced hips. Diseases like Parkinson's can also affect your proprioception. 

Here are some tips to improve your posture and develop proper proprioception. 

Work on ways to Improve Your Balance 

Balance is directly linked to proprioception. It's impossible to balance yourself without the ability. That and proper posture require this ability and focus. That's why focusing on the issue of poor proprioception is going to generate more positive results. 

We may not realize how often we use our balance because it's a part of our everyday life. People who have poor balance can find the simplest movements difficult to perform. If you want coordination of good posture, it's vital to maintain good balance. 

There are many different ways to improve your balance. For example, Yoga is a great way to get low-impact exercise while improving balance and coordination. Try yoga-based balance poses like the single-leg Tree Pose. 

Practice proper Breathing Methods 

It's common for us to breathe with short, shallow breaths. But when we become more aware of our breathing habits, we can focus on taking slow deep long breaths. Breathing deeply and filling our lungs with air is directly related to posture. 

Deep breathing has been linked to decreasing stress, improving posture, increasing cognitive function, and decreasing pain levels, all while boosting your energy. 

Make Regular Visits to the Chiropractor  

Research has often shown that chiropractic adjustments focus on lower back or neck pain and musculoskeletal problems. While still associated with chiropractors, that's no longer just the case. More and more evidence shows that adjustments can transform the structure and function of the nervous system and brain. 

Regular chiropractic adjustments can improve proprioception, posture, balance, and coordination. 

Posture is a direct indication of brain functionality. Correcting the linked problems o proprioception and proper posture will lead to a healthier lifestyle.

Scoliosis

Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine that occurs most often during the growth spurt just before puberty. While it can be caused by conditions such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy, the cause of most is unknown. Most cases are mild, but some children develop spine deformities that continue to get more severe as they grow. Severe scoliosis can be disabling. An especially severe spinal curve can reduce the amount of space within the chest, making it difficult for the lungs to function properly.

Mark Morningstar published a research article in the Journal of Chiropratic Medicine in 2011 studying outcomes for adult patients received chiropractic rehabilitation and followed up with these patients 24 months later. 28 patients were included in the study and received the same chiropractic treatment. The conclusion abstract is below:

“This report is among the first to demonstrate sustained radiographic, self-rated, and physiological benefits after treatment ceased. After completion of a multimodal chiropractic rehabilitation treatment, a retrospective cohort of 28 adult scoliosis patients reported improvements in pain, Cobb angle, and disability immediately following the conclusion of treatment and 24 months later.” J Chiropr Med. Sep 2011; 10(3): 179–184.

Treatment options vary widely from patient to patient depending on a variety of different factors. A thorough exam and any additional studies will be performed first to evaluate the scoliosis and determine what treatment is best suited for the patient.

A specific treatment plan will be produced, but can include monitoring, chiropractic adjustments, at home exercises or a physical therapy program, among other treatment option that we have here in the office. It is important to be checked by a doctor of chiropractic to determine how advanced the curvature is and your options moving forward.

Contact us today to learn about Atlas Brain and Body and the many conditions we treat. 828-253-0700

Dr. David Nygaard, MS, MBA
Board Certified Atlas Orthogonist
Atlas Brain and Body
(828) 253-0700
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