Proprioception is our sense called body awareness. This lets our brain know where our arms, legs, and body are at any given moment, which is important for our coordination.
The proprioceptive system refers to components of muscles, joints, and tendons that provide a person with a subconscious awareness of body position. When proprioception is functioning efficiently, an individual’s body position is automatically adjusted in different situations; for example, the proprioceptive system is responsible for providing the body with the necessary signals to allow us to sit properly in a chair and to step off a curb smoothly. It also allows us to manipulate objects using fine motor movements, such as writing with a pencil, using a spoon to drink soup, and buttoning one’s shirt.
Some common signs of proprioceptive dysfunction are:
- a tendency to fall
- a lack of awareness of body position in space
- odd body posturing
- minimal crawling when young
- difficulty manipulating small objects (buttons, snaps)
- eating in a sloppy manner
- and resistance to new motor movement activities