Rode Chiropractic Center

Darcy A. Rode, DC,CCST,CCCN

2010 W 120th Ave #106 * Westminster, CO, 80234

Phone 303-920-0931


Stolen and barely re-worded from an Ivo Waerlop article printed earlier

Proprioception, Knowing what position your body is in, is subserved by cutaneous receptors in the skin, joint mechanoreceptors(Joints), and muscle spindles(Muscles).

There are two components: conscious and unconscious, which travel in two pathways in the nervous system. CONSCIOUS proprioception arises from the peripheral mechanoreceptors in the skin and joints and travels in the dorsal column system to ultimately end in the thalamus, where the information is relayed to the cortex. UNCONSCIOUS proprioception arises from the joint mechanoreceptors and muscle spindles and travels in the spino-cerebellar pathways to end in the midline vermis and flocculonodular lobe of the cerebellum. Unconscious proprioceptive information is relayed from the cerebellum to the red nucleus to the thalamus and back to the cortex, to get integrated with the conscious proprioceptive information. There is a constant feed back loop between the proprioceptors, the cerebellum, and the cerebral cortex.

Guido and Voight, JOSPT 25(3) 1997: 208-212 discuss how knee joint effusion has been shown to cause a reflex inhibition of the quadriceps musculature. They then measure proprioceptive accuracy of the leg following a meniscal tear and subsequent surgery. The patient’s leg was positioned at a 20-degree angle and held there for 10 seconds. The leg was then placed at a random angle and the patient had to attempt to reposition the leg to 20 degrees. Leg repositioning accuracy was impaired significantly.

What does this have to do with Chiropractic and my patients? Everyday we see people with joint effusion of their spinal apophyseal joints. Since the proprioceptive system acts at least partially as a protective function, these patients will be at risk for developing further injury. Specific proprioceptive exercises will have to be included in their treatment plan to maximize the patient’s potential for recovery

Parkhurst T, Burnett C, JOSPT (19) 1994; 282-294 and

Revel M, Andre-Deshays C, Arch Phys Med Rehabil (72) 1991; 288

are two articles which support the importance of proprioception.