Can you name all of our senses? We have sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. But few know that we have a sixth sense that we use all day, every day. Lets do a quick demonstration of this sense. Take one hand and hold up 3 fingers, place this hand behind your back. You can't smell, hear, see, taste or touch this hand, but you know that it is behind your back and that you are holding up 3 fingers. This is something called proprioception. Proprioception is your body's ability to know where every joint is in space at all times.
Our bodies are able to use this sense through specific receptors that live in every one of our joints. When the joint changes position, it sends a signal to a part of your brain called the cerebellum. This part of your brain contains over 50% of the cells that make up your brain. It is responsible for balance, movement, and coordination. The cerebellum passes this information to a part of the brain called the thalamus. You can think of the thalamus as a relay station. The thalamus takes information and sends it to the appropriate part of the brain.
This pathway is reliant on proper mobility of the joints. If the joints are fixated, the informational cascade does not take place. Chiropractors ensure that the joints are moving properly which results in a heightened state of proprioception. This prioprioception is important for a number of reasons.
PROPRIOCEPTION AND FALL PREVENTION
A major fear for the elderly population is falling. A fall can lead to serious injuries and create a cascading effect of health concerns. It is important to do everything we can to avoid injuries from falls. Mobile joints in our feet, legs, and spines are very important to preventing falls. Without the appropriate information entering your brain simple tasks such as going up or down stairs, stepping of a curb, or bending over to pick something up can become very difficult. If these joints are mobile, they will send information to the brain that can prevent serious injuries.
PROPRIOCEPTION AND ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE
Athletes depend on this pathway to perform skilled tasks. There is a reason that every one of the 32 NFL teams utilize chiropracTIC care. Not only does it improve performance by increasing body awareness, it also prevents injury. All athletes from cheerleaders to dancers to football players can benefit from specific chiropracTIC care.
TAKE ACTION NOW
If your joints are not moving properly, your body is not operating at the highest level possible. Don't wait to take action. Set the example of proactive health care by getting your spine and nervous system checked.