Proprioception is the sense that indicates whether the body is moving with required effort, as well as where the various parts of the body are located in relation to each other. It is a non-conceptual, holistic and usually unconscious sense that gives us information regarding the location, movement and posture of the body and helps us to keep and maintain our body schema. Proprioception is achieved through muscles, ligaments and joint actions using messages that are continuously sent through the central nervous system (CNS). The CNS then relays information to the rest of the body telling it how to react in terms of action and amount of tension. The BalanceMaster™ challenges balances in a controlled manner with distal and proximal motor and sensory changes and hence produces afferent feedback to the CNS, so improving Proprioception.
A mounting body of evidence indicates that proprioceptive training can improve athletes’ strength, conditioning, muscular balance, and muscle reaction times. The key role played by the somatosensory system helps to explain why some athletes tend to injure certain joints over and over again. For example, when an athlete sprains an ankle, he/she usually damages not just the ankle ligaments but also the somatosensory system’s mechanoreceptors which are dispersed throughout the ankle joint. As a result, the ability to detect ankle-joint movement is diminished together with the ability to detect the actual position of the ankle in space. As a result, the ankle remains relatively unstable long after the torn ligaments have healed.