How do we effectively improve our proprioception (and joint position sense) in order to reduce injury and improve performance?
The answer lies in small sensory nerves located inside of multiple layers of fascia in and along the surface of our foot vs…
…the larger motor nerves which are located inside of muscles and tendon.
Take a good long look at the image above – note all of the small circles and other markers – all showing where those “small” nerve sensors (proprio or mechano-receptors) are located.
Small nerve proprioceptors include:
- Pacinian corpuscles, Ruffini’s corpuscles, Meisner’s corpuscles, Merkel’s discs.
What do these typically respond to?
- Light touch, vibration or deep pressure, skin stretch, texture perception.
On the other end of the spectrum, large nerves are responsible for us reactively responding to our environment. These are the ligaments, Golgi Tendon Organs, and Muscle Spindles.
The large nerve proprioceptors typically respond to muscle tension and muscle length.