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Proprioception, Pain and Posture

Fixing pain and poor posture via muscle control and proprioception

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Proprioception, Pain, Posture

Proprioception is the ability to feel your body. It comes from muscle activation.

Proprioception is the ability to feel your body. It comes from muscle activation.

Muscle activation creates muscle activation sensation. It also creates connective tissue tension. Both of these are qualities that you can feel. And they are qualities that your brain uses to figure out how the parts of your body are positioned relative to each other. With the addition of skin contact and pressure where your body meets the earth, it also enables your brain to figure out how you relate to the earth and anything else you are in direct physical contact with.

How does this relate to pain and posture?

Bad posture comes from poor relationships within your body. You could say it is the outward appearance of poor relationships. You can fix those relationships via muscle control. That means that you can fix those relationships by learning to feel your body and control it. For example, if you have forward head posture or winged shoulder blades, one of the first things you can do is work on ribcage posture and neck posture. You do that by learning to feel and control your neck and ribcage. You may find that better shoulder posture naturally follows, but if it doesn't, then from there you also learn to feel your shoulder blades via the muscles that position them relative to the ribcage.

What about dealing with pain?

Muscles work on ligaments as well as tendons. Via both they can affect joint capsule tension. This in turn allows them to control joint lubrication which in turn ensures that joint capsules aren't damaged. Since joints are critical structures in your body (you only have one left hip joint), your brain is configured to protect your joints. If muscles aren't working properly, that inhibits joint lubrication and so your brain will use pain to prevent you from using joints in a way that damages them. Or, if other muscles have been called into play to substitute for muscles that aren't working properly, then pain results from muscle overuse which in turn results from the brain acting to prevent joint damage.

Since muscles create sensation as well as movement, you can use muscle control to work at self remedying muscle and joint pain. You can then figure out the necessary muscle activations that help keep your joints safe and thus alleviate pain.

So if you are dealing with pain or poor posture, proprioception gives you the tools to work on fixing both. As an added bonus it allows you to begin learning to feel your musculo skeletal anatomy. Plus, it can also be used to help you improve strength, flexibility or simply overall body awareness.

Published: 2019 12 03

Neil Keleher

Hi, I'm Neil Keleher

I have a bachelor's degree in Systems Design Engineering from the University of Waterloo.

I've taught yoga for over 20 years with a focus on force perception and using it to improve body awareness, stability, strength and flexibility.

My main interest is in basic principles that can be applied in any endeavor to make learning and doing easier and to make problem solving easier.

You can find more by me on my other website zeroparallax

Clearly defined poses, exercises and stretches for improving stability, body awareness and flexibility.

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