Imagine you are wearing a blindfold. Would you still be able to walk around? Could you swing a baseball bat or hold a basketball?
While most athletes are likely unable to score a three-pointer or hit a homerun without their vision, a majority of people can still perform these simple tasks. Even without sight, your brain is still aware of the relative position and orientation of your arms and legs, whether or not you are moving them, as well as the level effort of required for specific movements, using a sense called proprioception.
Biofeedback To The Brain
Originating from Latin propris, meaning “one’s own,” and capio, meaning “to take or grasp,” proprioception allows our bodies to drive a car without looking at our hands turning the wheel or watching our right foot press down on the gas pedal. Any action that requires your body to move your limbs in an exact way without looking at them involves proprioception.
But how does it all work? Proprioceptors, the body’s sensors that help convey information about position, movement, situation and force, are located throughout your tendons, ligaments, muscles and joints. Proprioceptors are helped by mechanoreceptors in the skin, which help detect stretch, compression, vibration and pressure. All of these messages come together and are analyzed by your brain, which provides you with a sense of awareness of your body and its movement within space.
However, when you experience a muscle injury or strained ligament, proprioceptors can sometimes fail to detect and pass along these important signals, which can increase your chance of further injury.
Regaining Body Awareness After Injury
Just like any other motor activity, proprioception can be trained and essentially “re-learned” after an injury. Bauerfeind’s Train line of products increase proprioception by applying targeted pressure to your skin, activating your mechanoreceptors using both medical grade compression (found in the proprietary Bauerfeind Knit fabric) and viscoelastic inserts (including the stabilizing Omega pad in the GenuTrain).
Ultimately, succeeding at your sport relies on your coordination and confidence, and regaining awareness of your body’s movements is essential to recovering from any injury. Get back in the game with Bauerfeind’s Train line – lick here to see all Bauerfeind Train products.