Proprioception and injury prevention

September 26, 2018 by Stefano Raus

Instructor: Stefano Raus
Tutor: Mika Vähälummukka
Topic 1: Proprioception and injury prevention
Topic 2: Guided discovery
Date & Time: Wed. 26.9.2018 14:00-15:15
Target Group: Students
Clothing: Sport clothes
Equipment: Website with feedback forms, projector, pc, soft mat, ankle disc,
balance board, air cushion, rope, obstacles, swiss balls, medic balls

Download the Lesson Plan in PDF

Link to the Proprioception Game by Trickster
(Download available at the bottom of that page)

Background material to create the mind map

‘Sensorimotor’ explicitly denotes the potential system in which training-induced adaptive processes may occur. The sensorimotor system describes mechanisms involved in the perception of a sensory stimulus through the proprioceptive, visual and vestibular systems. It also comprises the subsequent conversion of the stimulus to a neural signal and the transmission of the signal via afferent pathways to the central nervous system.
Successful tool for the prevention of lower-limb sports injuries, fall-prevention in seniors, rehabilitation of ankle and knee-joint injuries and enhancement of athletic performance in general.
Postural control: control of the body’s position in space for the purpose of balance and orientation.
Muscle strength: the maximal force that a muscle or muscle group can generate at a specified velocity.
There are no scientific guidelines concerning the optimal duration and intensity of sensorimotor training. Examples are from studies that were successful in improving balance performances in healthy young subjects. There are static and dynamic exercises.
Standing exercises: Two/one-legged stance, Semi-tandem/tandem stance, Skipping, Perturbed standing, Complete turns
Walking exercises: Walk for/backward, Walk sideways, Tandem walk, Walk with stop and go, Walk over/around obstacle

Additional conditions:
- For/back/sideward sways
- Eyes open/closed
- Dominant/non-dominant leg
- Left/right hand turns
- Name/spell words
- Count for/backward
- Throw/catch/kick a ball
- Bounce/juggle a ball

Materials and tools:
- Soft mat
- Ankle disk
- Balance/wobble/tilt board
- Air cushion
- Sissle
- Spinning top
- Rope
- Obstacle, ball

Characteristics of training --> general specification
Warm-up --> 10 mins
Cool-down --> 10 mins
Duration of training --> 4-6 weeks
Frequency of training --> 2-3 weeks
Duration of session --> 25-45 mins
Duration of exercise --> 20-40 secs
Number of sets --> 3-5 (early training phase), 6-8 (late training phase)
Duration of rests --> 20-40 secs (between sets), 2-5 mins (between exercises)
Progression --> Challenging (e.g. from two-legged to one-legged stance)

Significant improvements in variables of postural control were shown after four to six weeks of training in healthy young and middle-aged subjects.
Balance exercises should be challenging to the participants. Gradually reduce the base support: two-legged stance, semi-tandem stance, tandem stance, one-legged stance.

1. Reducing stability of the ground (e.g. standing on foam surfaces)
2. Dynamic movements that perturb the center of gravity (e.g. tandem walk, circle turns)
3. Stressing postural muscle groups (e.g. heel stands, toe stands)
4. Reducing sensory input (e.g. standing with eyes closed)
5. Applying unexpected situations (e.g. light nudge)
6. Adding tools (e.g. balls, obstacles)
7. Varying cognitive demands (e.g. counting numbers, naming animals)
Exercises may be conducted in pairs or by using circuit-training. Instructor-to-participant ratio of approximately 1:10 is reported to be sufficient.

This is important for virtually everything you do in sports or in the gym.
Better proprioception allows for more efficient decelerations and changes in direction and for greater understanding of how your body is moving during an exercise, so you can perform it with perfect form.
With better proprioception, you can perform the moves with more power and strength, because you won't waste energy on unnecessary movements caused by being out of position. You will also have a smaller chance of injury.

Ankle sprains are the most common sports-related injury. They are especially prevalent in sports requiring frequent jumping, directional changes and pivoting. Popular interventions for preventing ankle sprains include tape, ankle braces, evertor muscle strengthening and proprioceptive training.

Proprioception exercises are designed to improve your proprioception feedback circle.
In simple terms, your brain sends electrical contract or relax messages to your muscles. Your joint movement response is detected by your sensory nervous system and reported back to your brain for fine tuning and improvement with repetition of the process.
In other words, perfect practice will eventually mean proprioception perfection.

Form to fill and send after every station: