Ankle proprioception in young ice hockey players, runners, and sedentary people
Proprioception is the sensory feedback that contributes to conscious sensation (muscle sense), total posture (postural equilibrium), and segmental posture (joint stability), and is mediated by proprioceptors that are located in the skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joint capsules (Lephart, Pincivero, Giraldo, and Fu, 1997). Research has shown that postural control stability is significantly affected by proprioception in the lower limb (Lord, Clark, and Webster, 1991). Colledge et al. (1994) studied the relative contributions to balance of vision, proprioception, and the vestibular system with age by measuring body sway during standing. In four different age groups through 20-to 70-years-old, the relative contribution of each sensory input was the same, with proprioception being predominant throughout each age group. Moreover, the lack of proprioceptive feedback that results from injuries, such as ankle injury (Guskiewicz and Perrin, 1996), may allow the excessive or inappropriate loading of a joint (Co, Skinner, and Cannon, 1993), and is one of the factors that leads to progressive degeneration of the joint and continued deficits in joint dynamics, balance, and coordination (Riemann and Guskiewicz, 2000). Much clinical research has demonstrated
that individuals with proprioception and neuromuscular response deficits as a result of injury, lesions, and joint degeneration are less capable of maintaining postural stability and equilibrium (Cornwall and Murrell, 1991; Forkin, Koczur, Battle, and Newton, 1996; Garn and Newton, 1988; Pintsaar, Brynhildsen, and Tropp, 1996).