Proprioception is the sense of relative positioning of the body and kinesthesis is the sense of movement of the body. Proprioception gives the information about the intensity of the effort needed for the movement of the body. With this information, the body applies the effort to move, brain sends commands to muscles and this movement is the sense of kinesthesia.
Proprioceptive sense is different from exteroception and interoception. Exteroception is the perception of the events and things outside the body, with respect to the body. Interoception is the sensation and perception of pain, movement of internal organs, hunger, etc.
Proprioception involves the joint position sense, that is, the person is able to understand the position of the joint with respect to surroundings, without visual inputs. Examples of proprioception are:
Kinesthetic sense is the awareness of the movement of the body. It uses the sense of proprioception from the joints and gives instructions for the body to move, and also keeps the track of the movement. Kinesthetics involves eye-hand coordination and muscle memory. The sense of equilibrium or balance is also related to kinesthetic sense. Some examples of kinesthetic sense include:
How both the senses work:
Sense of movement or Kinesthesia involves awareness of movement of the body in space. So, if a person takes a step forward, he can feel the movement of the leg, understands that it moves forwards and not backwards. But sense of proprioception is not concerned about how the foot got forward, but it knows that the foot was in a certain position before and it has changed the position, just aware of the current position with respect to the body and not the movement.
Application of kinesthetic and proprioceptive senses:
Proprioceptive and kinesthetic senses are very important to understand the neural pathways and any damage to them. Both sense of position and movement are tested for diagnosis of conditions like Parkinson’s disease, myasthenia gravis, stroke and other disorders.
Impaired kinesthetic and proprioception can lead to:
Occupational and physical therapy involves strengthening he sense of position and movement for activities of daily living. Practicing extensively for dance, athletics, musical instruments, etc are all involved in perfecting the two senses.