Kinesthetic and Proprioceptive senses are the two other senses in our body apart from the five senses – hearing, feeling, seeing, taste and smell.
Kinesthetic sense, or kinesthesia, is the awareness of the movement of legs, arms and joints. The brain perceives the sense of movements of parts of the body through sensations it receives from the joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments and other moving parts. This helps the brain understand the walking or running or other movements of the body.
With the sense of kinesthesia, we can understand that we are moving and how we are moving. When one leg is moving, a signal is sent through the nervous system to the brain. Further, the brain sends the signals to make the leg move in a particular direction.
Kinesthetic sense help us in routine moving activities like driving, walking, running and dancing. When a person is learning to drive, he is not able to respond quickly as they have not been in similar situations. With experience and practice, the body sends the movement signals to the brain and the brain is able to respond faster.
Physical therapy and occupational therapy is the rehabilitation of movement-associated awareness. This is done by improving muscle strength and practicing the sequence of movements again and again. It is beneficial for people who need help in activities of daily living (ADL), somatic feedback (signals from muscles) and reducing the physical effort to move.
What happens if the brain does not receive the right sense of movement? If we take a step forward, but the brain gets the signal to move backward, the brain cannot send signal to make the next move.
Proprioceptive sense, or proprioception, is the sense of body position. Nerve cells located in the muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments send signals to the brain about the position of the parts of the body with relation to the torso. It also gives information about the limb movement and speed, load on the limb and the limit of range of movements of the limb. Apart from the information that the nerves send from the muscles and joints, the brain also integrates information received from vision and the vestibular system (balance system).
Importance of Kinesthetic and proprioceptive senses:
Kinesthetics and proprioceptive senses work together to help in forming the reflex circuits and provide feedback about the body and limb position and also the movements.Balance:
These senses help in balancing the body by understanding the position of some parts and moving the other parts to balance, based on signals from other senses like vestibular and vision.
Impairment of Kinesthetic and proprioceptive senses:
Impairment of sense of position or movement may occur spontaneously or may happen temporarily. Some such possibilities are: