Proprioception is the ability to sense the positioning of your body with or without visual clues. It is a vital component in rehabilitation due to the link between proprioception and injury rates. Proprioceptive training is a core piece of most physical therapy protocols. But how can we measure baseline levels and quantify improvements? There are a few balance tests and general movement screens but there are not many that measure and evaluate proprioception with cognition. Guido Van Ryssegem, Coordinator/Clinical Athletic Trainer at Oregon State University, states in his lecture on Overcoming the Myth of Proprioception (2013) that simple physical training may not, in fact, change proprioception and balance. He also confirms that the role of the central nervous system (CNS) must be considered when attempting to influence proprioceptive qualities and that the ideal learning environment for the CNS would include an exercise program that trains different motor skills with appropriately changing tasks in a cognitive environment.
What does this all mean? Well, without placing an individual in an environment where they have to adjust, adapt and respond to a stimulus, proprioception, balance and other qualities may not be developed. That is where Sports Medicine South comes in! We constantly strive to take our patients Beyond Better. With those concepts in mind, we recently added the Trazer into our rehabilitation protocols. The Trazer is a piece of equipment that allows the individual to engage the environment while responding to a stimulus. Standing in front of a large screen TV, the individual becomes a character on the screen and depending upon drill prescribed, must perform certain tasks. All movements are measured and the clinician can track progress. Trazer states, “This combination of engaging visual motivation, real-time visual feedback, computer-controlled progression and precise measurement has proved uniquely effective for rehabilitation and training of functional strength and power, range of motion, balance, coordination, reaction time, movement speed and cardiopulmonary condition.”
Not only does Sports Medicine South utilize this type of high tech rehabilitation equipment to help our athletes achieve the best of results, our own Director of Physical Therapy, Curt Bazemore,. is on the Trazer Advisory Board! If you want to get Beyond Better, call our offices today at 770-237-3475!